Romanian government slashes wind incentives

ROMANIA: The Romanian government has cut the incentives paid for wind farms and other renewable energy plants, in a move set to shake investor confidence in what has been a booming market.

Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm in Romania, owned by Czech CEZ Group
Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm in Romania, owned by Czech CEZ Group

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An emergency ordinance set to go into effect on 1 July and affecting production through 2016 will halve the green certificates issued to wind producers to a single certificate per megawatt hour of production from a previous two.

The second green certificate will still be issued, but only beginning 1 January 2018. Details of delayed certificate payments, which will be made in steps through 2020, must still be settled by energy regulator ANRE.

The ordinance is widely seen as a response to industrial consumers' complaints that the green certificate programme was costing them too much.

Market players have been bracing themselves for negative legislative developments after a draft law began circulating that would have cut the maximum price for green certificates. However, this is not mentioned in the ordinance.

Romania's installed wind capacity stands at about 2.1GW, nearly half of which began operating last year. The mood has soured this year, and new capacity is expected to fall short of the roughly 1GW initially expected.

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