With the aim to reduce bureaucracy and encourage project development especially in the field of renewable resources, the amendments regarding the simplification of the procedure for the connection to the grid proposed and subject to consultation with the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority, through an emergency procedure, have entered into force.
In this context, Order no. 45/2021 dated 23 June 2021 was published, amending the Regulation regarding the procedure for the connection of the users to the public interest electric network, approved by Order of the President of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority no. 59/2013 was published in the Official Gazette no. 618 dated 23 June 2021. As the Order does not provide for a different date for its entry into force, such entered into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette (23 June 2021).
As per the approved amendments, the network operator will no longer have to be submitted by the applicants with the approved Regional Zoning Plan or the approved Detailed Zoning Plan along with the other documents required for the connection to the grid, irrespective of whether such plans were requested through the Urbanism Certificate: “Art. 14 para. (1) let. e) is repealed.”
Pursuant to the information published by the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority in the public consultation stage, this amendment was introduced “for the support of operators and it simplifies the activity of wiring to the electric network of public interest of the users from the point of view of the requested documents for the approval of connection requests”. As such, aside from making the energy projects’ development more efficient and simplifying access to the network, potential entailed costs may also be reduced. As regards the entire permitting process for such projects, this amendment operated a division between the procedure for network connection and that of the building permitting.
The positive effect of this amendment will reflect mostly on the renewable energy producers, but it is still to be seen how this procedure will be managed at an administrative level, as there is already some concern among economic operators involved in public debates regarding a potential increase in the number of connection requests.