Moldova proposes renewables tariffs


Moldovan energy regulator ANRE has proposed new feed-in tariffs for solar, wind, biogas, biomass and hydroelectric projects to be developed under a 168 MW renewable energy scheme which is being implemented after a clean energy law came into force in March 2018.

That legislation – which transposed EU renewables directive 2009/28/EC – introduced net metering for solar systems no larger than 200 kW and fixed tariffs for PV projects ranging in size from 10 kW to 1 MW, and for solar plants with a generation capacity larger than 1 MW.

Some 18 months after the provisions came into force ANRE has calculated its proposed tariff levels, which will now go out to public consultation.

Generous rates

The proposed tariff for projects with a 10 kW-1 MW capacity is MDL1.79/kWh ($0.10). The Moldovan government intends to allocate around 15 MW of capacity for systems that size and to award a 15-year tariff, with state-owned energy distributor Energocom the sole buyer of the electricity generated.

The 15-year tariff paid to projects with a capacity larger than 1 MW will be determined by an auction regime for which the details have not yet been finalized. A commission has been created to prepare the guidelines and auctions are expected to start early in the new year.

Net-metered customers will receive MDL0.90-1-10, depending on their power distributor, for excess energy exported to the grid.

Solar project developers which include the cost of plants in share capital also qualify for VAT exemption.

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Need for solar

According to the latest statistics published by the International Renewable Energy Agency, Moldova had only 2 MW of installed PV capacity at the end of last year. The country desperately needs more clean energy capacity as it has promised the European Union it will source at least 10% of its electricity consumption from renewables by next year.

“There are not and there will be no developments until the fixed tariffs for projects up to 1 MW will be approved and auctions for larger plants will start,” Vitali Zveaghintev, founder of installer Zaw Energy told pv magazine. “After a long period of inaction and silence on the part of the authorities – although the law was approved and entered into force – now that the tariffs were calculated and public consultations were started by [the] ANRE we feel more optimism and enthusiasm among investors, installers and citizens interested in environmental issues.”

Zveaghintev said tax breaks, reduction or exemption of VAT for renewable project components, and mandating solar on new buildings, would help Moldova secure much-needed renewables capacity. “The best practices adopted by European countries should be evaluated and transferred here,” he added.

Moldova relies heavily on electricity imported from Ukraine and Moldovan breakaway state Transnistria.

The headline and lead intro for this article were amended on 02/03/20 to reflect the fact the tariffs levels are merely proposed at this stage, and will now go out to consultation.

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