Romania slowing, Bulgaria and Hungary fall off the radar

ROMANIA: Romania remains the strongest among these former eastern bloc countries, although prospects there have been clouded.

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Hungary's market has been lifeless for a number of years, while Bulgaria's prospects are dim following a series of measures penalising the sector.


Romania added 700MW in wind capacity last year, just above the 630MW-odd average of the previous three years, but below the 923MW commissioned in 2012, bringing its total to 2.61GW. The Romanian wind energy association forecasts 295MW will be added this year. Among new projects set to come online is a 50MW wind farm using turbines from China's Goldwind, a sign that eastern Europe is still targeted as an entry point to other markets on the continent by China. Wind investors may not be content, but Romania is on track to meet its 2020 target of 4GW in wind capacity.


Hungary has been off investors' radar for years, with wind capacity stuck at 329MW since end-2011, just shy of the 330MW cap set in a 2006 tender. A new tender, which was expected to put an additional 410MW in capacity up for grabs, was called for 2010 but shelved. There have been no signs the government intends to call a new tender anytime soon.


The situation is much worse in Bulgaria. Over the last few years, the government has rolled out a series of measures penalising wind and other renewables, the latest including a 20% tax on renewable producers' revenue. The result is a market that Zornitsa Pavlova, policy co-ordinator of renewable energy association APEE, calls practically "non-existent".

Last year, just 20MW was added to the total, bringing cumulative capacity to 677MW. In the previous three years, the average stood at about 160MW.

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