Further changes to the system promoting the production of energy from renewable sources

The Romanian Executive has adopted Government Emergency Ordinance no. 57/4 June 2013 (the “Ordinance”) which has been published in Monitorul Oficial al Romaniei, Part I, no. 335/7 June 2013. The Ordinance amends and supplements Law no. 220/2008 establishing the system for the promotion of energy generation from renewable sources (“Law no. 220”).

The amendments to Law no. 220 will exert considerable impact on multifarious activities. Thus:

  1. Under the Ordinance, the system of promoting energy generation from renewable sources shall not apply in the case of electricity produced by photovoltaic (PV) power plants located on plots of land which have been used for farming prior to the entry into effect of the Ordinance, nor shall it apply to the quantities of electric power distributed above the hourly plan assumed by producer under hourly notices sent to the electricity transmission system operator.
  2. As the Ordinance provides, in the first ten days of December, the National Energy Regulatory Authority (“ANRE”) shall publish, on its Website, the compulsory annual share of green certificates to be purchased in the year to follow, the number of green certificates envisaged for the year to follow, the number of green certificates to be issued on the basis of the information regarding the electric power contemplated to be generated from renewable sources in the year to follow and the final consumption of electricity estimated for the year to follow.
  3. As an exception from some of the general provisions contained in Law no. 220, as they are regulated by Art. 6 (2), (4) and (5), electricity producers shall benefit from:

–       a green certificate for every 1MWh produced and distributed by electric power plants in the trial period;

–       a number of green certificates established by ANRE by decreasing the number of green certificates stipulated by Law no. 220, as the case may be, diminishing the reference value of investment per 1MW by the value of the aid received per 1MW and preserving the value of internal profitability ratios taken into account in the calculations supplied by the European Commission as part of the process licensing this system, provided that the electric power plants also benefit from State aid.

  1. Likewise, producers of electricity from renewable sources shall benefit from green certificates in compliance with the decision on certification issued by ANRE by virtue of the regulation contained in Law no.  220.
  2. Under the Ordinance, the grant of a number of green certificates has been temporarily postponed for the period spanning 1 July 2013 – 31 March 2017 in respect to the quantity of electricity produced by electric power plants using renewable sources, from which the amount of electricity needed for their own technological consumption per every 1MWh produced and supplied by producers of electricity from renewable sources is deducted.  Such postponement refers to:

a)    one (1) green certificate for the new hydropower stations having an installed power generation capacity of 10 MW at the most;
b)    one (1) green certificate for wind power plants;
c)    two (2) green certificates for solar power plants.

The green certificates the granting of which has been postponed may be recovered as of 1 April 2017 for the power plants referred to under letters a) and c) and, starting 1 January 2018, for the plants mentioned under letter b) hereinabove.

The amendments contained in the Ordinance also refer to:
– the method of invoicing green certificates to final customers;
– the invoicing of the value of green certificates that have not been purchased, in which case the final consumer shall not be charged;
– the possibility of trading green certificates only by producers of electricity generated from renewable sources and by certain economic operators in special markets;
– the obligation of electric power suppliers and certain producers to adjust the value of the green certificates granted in the previous year;
– the method of certifying the groups / electric power plants benefiting from the promotion system based on green certificates;
– the method of connecting the producers of electricity generated from renewable sources to electric power grids;
– the powers of ANRE; this Authority shall monitor, every sixth months, the producers benefiting from the above-referenced system on the basis of green certificates, and shall prepare reports thereon;
– the abrogation of some of the provisions contained in Law 220 / 2008.

The Ordinance becomes effective on 1 July 2013.

LEGAL ALERT by Duncea, Stefanescu & Associates / MAZARS

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