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5 billion Euros in 3 years - The investment potential of the Romanian renewable industry


BUCHAREST, MARCH 23rd. The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) launched today a document underlining the necessary steps which have to be taken by the Romanian authorities to create the conditions to boost investments in the renewable industry.

The Romanian state assumed towards the European Union an increase of the energy generated from renewable sources from 17.6% in 2005, to 24% in 2020. Although, in 2008, Romania approved a Law defining an incentive framework for investments, the text has not been notified to the authorities in Brussels, and is not yet enforced. Consequently, the system is running under the framework of an old text dated 2004, and investors are postponing their plans to develop renewable energy capacities.

According to FIC forecasts, if the relevant regulation and legislation are in force Romania could attract investments amounting to more than 5 billion Euros only in the wind renewables industry in the following 3 years. The physical and geographical conditions are excellent in Romania and there is significant potential for wind energy.

Developing the renewable industry would have a direct impact on the Romanian economy mainly through the contribution to the state budget but also through the creation of new jobs. For example, due to the development of renewable energy, 1.5 million new jobs were created in the EU up until now (according to the European Commission data) and around 1.5 million new direct jobs will be created by 2020 if the renewable target is met at the EU level assumed by the members.

Competitiveness of the industry, a favourable trade balance and direct investments are three of the most important pillars that should sustain the recovery of the Romanian economy. However, to attract capital at a reasonable cost, there are few basic principles to be followed: attractiveness of the economic environment, stability and predictability of the legislation, clear and fair electricity market rules.

“These are in particular important for the energy renewable industry, which has a potential of more than 5 billion Euros in the up-coming 3 years. But, as the average investment in renewable capacity is in the range of 100 million Euros, no investor is able to make a bankable business plan and to finance a project of this magnitude without a clear, stable and friendly regulatory framework” Frank Hajdinjak, FIC Board Member and Head of the Energy Working Group within FIC, stated at the roundtable.

URGENT ACTIONS NEEDED TO ATTRACT INVESTMENTS

  1. Romanian authorities should have as a priority the urgent implementation of the regulations / legislation (primary and secondary).
  2. At the same time, additional provisions should accompany the existing legislation in terms of guarantees for the minimum price per green certificate after 2016, final allocation of certificates and validity and what should happen to the certificates in excess.
  3. Measures should be taken to ensure a stable legal framework on the long term. At the moment, the Romanian authorities have sent to the DG Competition a proposal stating that the compensation scheme could be revised in 2017, depending on the profitability achieved by the projects implemented by that date. This will affect the long term business plans and the bankability of the projects, unless the principle of grandfathering is respected, as requested by DG Competition. This principle insures clear rules for existing implemented projects versus future projects. Stability is of utmost importance when discussing about investments that, on average, are close to 100 million Euros per project and that need at least one to two years to be developed.
  4. At the moment new capacities are being developed and they should be granted access to the distribution network. The access to grid depends upon the investments in the transmission grid (Transelectrica). This is the most important barrier in developing especially large generation capacities. The situation of Dobrogea in terms of availability of the grid seems to happen again in Moldova.
  5. In order to recover 3 million hectares which are propitious for solid biomass crops is necessary to maintain the number of 3 green certificates for investment in this kind of capacities.
  6. Complete the regulations and legal framework with missing aspects related to the other renewable energy types: co-firing for rehabilitated installations, cooling, heating and other.

In order to exploit the entire potential of the renewables sector, FIC member companies are fully committed to work together with the Romanian authorities for the purpose of designing and implementing the best solutions for the country and the sector.

******

The Foreign Investors Council is representing more than 125 companies in Romania, whose cumulated investments account for two thirds from the total foreign investment in the country. With a turnover of more than 36 billion euro, the member companies contribute to one third of the gross domestic product. In 2011, the FIC members have investment commitments amounting to over two billion euro and, for the next five years, their investment plans mean more than ten billion euro.


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