Europe 2020 targets - Romania

ROMANIA: Romania has added an annual average of 92MW of new wind capacity since 2005, with 448MW of a total 462MW coming online last year. It must add almost four times that much each year now to reach its 2020 target of 4GW.

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But, while the country’s wind energy market is in its early stages, the European wind energy association says the target is realistic, considering its strong wind and land resources, investor interest and the prospect of a new renewable energy law. The national wind energy association RWEA says capacity could in fact reach 5GW.

However, the country needs to set out a clear and stable market framework. Romania, only an EU member state since 2007, showed its inexperience by approving renewable energy legislation, including a generous incentive scheme for wind and other renewables, before discussing that legislation with the European Commission. The legislation, which would offer wind farm producers two green certificates for every MWh of electricity up to 2020, must now wait for a commission ruling that it does not violate state aid restrictions. 

While some developers believe the current single green certificate is sufficient, given the country’s strong wind resources and the fact that many projects also receive EU structural funds, there is concern about the market’s longer-term stability. Investors could be reassured, for example, by guarantees that there would be a buyer for green certificates even when the market suffers from an excess supply of certificates. 

Many projects are concentrated in the north-western Dobrogea region, which has highlighted weaknesses in the grid. These must be attended to if the 2020 target of 8.4TWh of electricity from wind is to be met. Developers are being asked to share grid investment costs.

Romania has also suffered difficulties with a complex authorisation process and local authority inexperience. Streamlining the process will continue to be a priority.

Potential is seen for offshore development in the Black Sea but none is expected by 2020. "We still have a lot to do onshore," says RWEA executive director Dana Duica.

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