The Romanian government has revealed plans to hold the country's first tender for utility-scale renewables projects in the first half of this year.
“Through various tender schemes, at least 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity will be added to the country's electricity mix by 2026,” the executive director of the Romanian Photovoltaic Industry Association (RPIA), Mihai Balan, told pv magazine. “And around 2 GW of this will come from solar plants.”
Balan said the funds to implement the tender scheme will come from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) and the EU Modernisation Fund. The authorities also plan to implement a contracts for difference scheme from 2023, with another 3.5 GW of renewables capacity to be contracted by 2025.
Balan said that there are currently between 20 GW and 30 GW of large-scale renewable energy projects in various stages of development. Several hundred megawatts could go online this year alone, he added.
“Some projects planned to operate under a power purchase agreement are now at an advanced stage of development and construction may start soon,” Balan explained, noting that new rules the government introduced in May 2020 are more favorable for power purchase agreements. “All the modeling that we saw and worked on indicate that the initial 2030 targets for solar will be surpassed and we will probably see this reflected in official documents in 2022-23, when the national energy and climate plan should be updated.”
Balan said Romania's future energy landscape will also be favorable to storage. Around 480 MWh of storage capacity could be deployed by the end of 2025, he claimed.
“Currently, there are plans to have a 2 GW battery industry by the end of 2025,” Balan said. “And solar cell and module manufacturing may also be resumed in our country as a result of the NRRP.”
Large-scale solar projects now under development in Romania include arrays being built for coal power supplier Complexul Energetic Oltenia (CE Oltenia). It plans to build eight PV plants with a combined capacity of 725 MW at several of its coal power facilities. Other PV projects that are now in the works include a 111 MW solar park by OMV Petrom, an energy supplier that is majority-owned by Austria's OMV, as well as a 700 MW solar project that will be spread across the municipalities of Grăniceri and Pilu. In addition, CE Oltenia is developing 310 MW of solar at one of its coal power facilities.
Romania is also supporting rooftop PV deployment via the Casa Verde Fotovoltaice (green PV home) scheme for residential solar installations, under the national net metering regime. According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Romania had 1.39 GW of solar installed by the end of 2020.
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