The Romanian Council of Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) has assessed the amendment of Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) and the Council of the European Union will issue a new implementation decision shortly.
The NRRP amendment from December 2023 includes a REPowerEU chapter (Component 16) and has a total allocation of EUR 28.5 billion (EUR 14.9 billion in loans, EUR 13.6 billion in grants), which covers 66 reforms and 111 investments.
Romania’s amended NRRP also emphasises the importance of the green transition by allocating 44.1% (compared to 41% in the original plan) of available funds for measures supporting climate goals.
Through REPowerEU, Romania will benefit from an additional EUR 1.4 billion in non-reimbursable funding. The REPowerEU chapter includes two new reforms and seven investments focusing on accelerating green energy generation, increasing energy efficiency in buildings and retraining and upgrading the green energy workforce.
The first reform is focused on creating the legal framework for the use of state-owned land as Renewable Energy Sources (RES) investment acceleration zones. The reform has an allocation of EUR 3,011,752.
According to the Romanian authorities, this reform comes in the context of the hurdles faced by investors when accessing land for the development of RES projects. The reform aims at targeting unproductive or degraded agricultural land for electricity generation. At the moment, there are large areas of courtyards or unproductive areas under the control of the Romanian state that cannot be used for agricultural purposes and for this reason. The best use of this land will be for green energy creation.
The first specific target of this reform is to amend the legal framework to allow the classification as “RES acceleration zones” for those lands owned by the Romanian state that are classified as non-productive or degraded so that they can be used for renewable energy production. In addition, the reform aims to promote particularly short and simple authorisation processes for the projects that will be developed on these lands.
Another target of this reform is the creation of a Single National Inventory Register of Unproductive Land (RUITN) for approximately 320,000 hectares of land under the administration of the State Land Agency.
The second reform introduced by the new REPowerEU chapter provides for the establishment of One Stop Shops (OSS) offices to provide energy advice on energy efficiency and renewable energy production for prosumers. This reform has an allocation EUR 431,438, and aims to create specific offices as one-stop-shops, providing energy advice services for refurbishment, in order to increase energy efficiency and the implementation of new RES energy installations. The reform is expected to raise awareness on the benefits of refurbishment to increase energy efficiency and install RES capacity for own consumption and to provide general information on practical issues and support possibilities.
In addition, the new REPowerEU chapter provides for the following investments, which will be implemented mostly through calls for projects organised by the Ministry of Investments and European Projects:
– Training human resources for developing green energy skills (allocation of EUR 10,380.000);
– Increasing green energy production – Renewable electricity generation capacities (allocation EUR 460,000,000);
– Increased energy efficiency for public buildings (allocation of EUR 300 million);
– Voucher scheme to accelerate the installation of renewable energy capacity in individual households (allocation of EUR 610,762,268);
– Efficiency, modernisation and digitalisation of the national electricity transmission network (allocation of EUR 56,237,200);
– Pilot project for the installation of a 20 MW capacity related to electricity production with floating photovoltaic technology on the infrastructure of the water systems (allocation of EUR 17 million);
– Voucher scheme for improving energy efficiency in individual households (allocation of EUR 559,651,395).
This article has been co-authored by Ada Romanti.