Romania to reduce PV support


The news that Romania is expected to reduce the amount of green certificates it issues to photovoltaic plants in 2014 was announced at an event held on photovoltaics yesterday, February 20.

Although no official confirmation has been made, a spokesperson for the Romanian Photovoltaic Industry Association (RPIA) tells pv magazine that everyone is expecting the reduction. They added that a member of Romania’s energy regulator, ANRE, announced the news.

It is still unclear by how much the certificates will be reduced. The spokesperson said that predictions are, they will be lowered from 6 certificates for each MW produced, to around 4.

Romania introduced its green certificate scheme just last year. However, the spokesperson said that compensation estimates were made based on data "from a few years ago". As such, 6 green certificates – issued for a period of 15 years and worth between €27 and €55 each – is too high considering the current costs of photovoltaics.

Romania has a cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity of around 71 MW, according to the latest data, issued last week. Based on the news that compensation will be reduced, the spokesperson says that this year is likely to see a rush by developers to finish their projects.

Estimates for newly installed capacity range from between 500 and 800 MW. The spokesperson said, however, that financing is the "main challenge" for project developers, with Romanian banks reluctant to provide financing as photovoltaics is still seen as "high risk". As such, it remains to be seen how many projects will actually get off the ground.

In December, IHS Solar released its top 2013 photovoltaic predictions. Among them was the expectation that Romania is set to become one of the emerging "PV markets to watch" as it grows from a virtual non-entity in the solar sphere to a market where several hundreds of MWs are likely to be added. The change is said to be driven by the tender scheme in the country’s green certificate program.