Romanian photovoltaic (PV) industry

Romania is a member of the European Union since January 1st, 2007 and one of the largest countries in the EU. In order to comply with the EU rules, Romania has committed to produce 38% from its energy from renewable energy sources by 2020

To achieve this target, a very attractive system for the promotion of renewable energy with green certificates was enacted in October 2008, through the Law no. 220/2008 (RES Law). By the approval of this law by the European Commission on July 13th, 2011 and its full application as of October 19th, 2011, Romania has the perfect combination between an attractive and stable promotion scheme and perfect climacteric conditions.


As an example, the worse place in Romania in terms of radiation level is 30% better than the best spot in Germany, a country with more than 30,000 MW of solar energy. Further, due to the wind conditions, CEZ is developing the largest wind onshore farm in the proximity of Black Sea. Romania is in a very early stage of development in what regards PV energy. At the beginning of 2012, there were only 2 MW installed in Romania, while the potential of the country is 1.2 TW/h.


How many green certificates are granted for PV energy? Where could they be traded and at which price?


Res Law grants six (6) green certificates for each MW hour produced and injected into the grid from PV energy. A green certificate is valid for sixteen (16) months and could be traded on a regulated market called OPCOM for a price of a minimum Euro 27 to a maximum of 55 Euro (these values was updated and currently there is a minimum price of Euro 28.8 and a maximum price of Euro 58.8). These values are subject to indexation on a yearly basis, taking into account the Euro zone inflation rate.. On top of the revenues generated from the sale of green certificates, a producer will also receive the price of energy.


Currently a MW is traded with circa Euro 40. Therefore, in a very simple example, a producer of PV energy will receive for each MW/h produced and injected into the grid Euro 330 (6 green certificates x Euro 55), plus Euro 40. So the total revenue of 1 MW/h is Euro 370.


However, as f July 1, 2013 an Emergency Governmental Ordinance will enter into force and two (2) green certificates would be suspended between July 1, 2013 and March 31, 2017. The Romanian Energy Regulatory Body (ANRE) is to issue a secondary legislation regarding the procedure to recover the suspended green certificates.


Who buys green certificates?


According to the RES Law, the off takers who are supplying energy to end consumers are obliged to acquire a quota of green certificates established by the ANRE. The price paid for green certificates will be passed to the end consumers. If they fail to acquire their allocated mandatory quota, the off takers will pay a penalty of Euro 110 for each un-purchased green certificate.


How long is the promotion system?


If the equipment is new, a producer will qualify and will receive green certificates for a period of fifteen (15) years, provided that the PV project is commissioned by no later than December 31st, 2016.


One of the questions frequently met on the market is with regard to the excess of green certificates and the price reduction. The promotion system is designed for a particular quota of energy within the total annual gross energy consumption. Currently, this quota is 12% and will keep on increasing until 2020 when it will be 20%. In theory, if the quota will be exceeded, then it is likely that the price of a green certificate to decrease up to, maybe, the minimum value. As per some studies conducted by ANRE, there could be an excess of green certificates during a short period in 2017, but then it would be again an undersupply, as currently is in Romania. Therefore, it is not expected that the price of green certificates to decrease.