Romania Risks Losing Investments of Billions of Euros in Clean Energy

As a result of proposed amendments to the legislation with impact on agricultural land sales, investments of billions of euros in clean energy are jeopardized, warn the most important associations in the renewable energy sector – Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA) and the Employers Organization of the Producers of Energy from Renewable Sources in Romania (PATRES).

Proposed amendments in the field of legislation with impact on agricultural land sales do not take into account Romania’s interest in attracting investments in the field of clean energy, and adopting them in the current form would prevent the development of renewable energy projects, jeopardizing the absorption of European funds of over EUR 10bn, with impact on the energy security and economic competitiveness, the mentioned associations warn.

RWEA and PATRES member companies request the review of the Draft Law (PL-x 336/2018) in the Parliament amending and supplementing the Law No. 17/2014 on some measures to regulate the sale-purchase of unincorporated agricultural land and amending Law No. 268/2001 on the privatization of companies that manage land in the public and private ownership of the state with agricultural destination and the establishment of the State Property Agency (Romanian: ‘Agentia Domeniilor Statului’).

In the event of promulgation of the Draft Law in its current form, adopted in the Parliament, the activity of investors in the renewable industry will be seriously disrupted, as they will be unable to acquire or otherwise legally secure unincorporated land for the development of energy projects.

Moreover, Romania risks being in the impossibility of complying with the targets assumed before the European Institutions, law enforcement following to determine a reluctance of investors or even their impossibility to invest in new renewable energy production capacities in the investment period 2020-2030. Entry into force of this law will have as main negative consequence the loss (again) of investor confidence in the renewable energy industry in relation to the legislative framework and the legislative power of the Romanian state.

Romania has announced a target of renewable energy in the final energy consumption of 30.7% in 2030, according to the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) of the Romanian authorities, the country needing more than 7 GW of new renewable capacities, part of investments of over EUR 22bn in the energy sector. In this regard, Romania is one of the Member States that benefit the most from the Green Deal, having at its disposal over EUR 6bn through the Modernization Fund, more than EUR 1bn through the Just Transition Fund, besides the amounts dedicated to investments in energy transition included in the economic recovery plan NextGeneration EU and private investments.

RWEA and PATRES believe that entry into force of the Draft Law in its current form would have a negative impact on the resumption of investments in the energy sector in Romania at a time when the economic recovery is of utmost importance, in conditions in which – through NECP – Romania has assumed a well-established investment plan for new production capacities. Moreover, the lack of investments in new competitive energy generation capacities will extend the negative impact on the energy security of Romania and the price paid by end-consumers, given the already aging park producing from conventional sources and the current situation in which Romania is a net energy importer, according to official data provided by authorities.

“We express our hope that, following the steps taken by RWEA and PATRES, as well as by other energy associations, this law will not be applied in the form adopted in the Parliament,” say RWEA representatives.

The Romanian Wind Energy Association (RWEA) has been participating since 2008, in an active and constructive manner, in the process of transformation of the Romanian energy market. RWEA represents an industry with 3,000 MW of wind energy installed in Romania by companies such as CEZ, Enel, EDP, Engie, Vestas, with developers of new energy capacities and providers of related services.

The Employers Organization of the Producers of Energy from Renewable Sources in Romania – PATRES has over 109 members – producers of energy from renewable sources with a total installed power of 1,800 MW, which represent investments in the energy sector of Romania of approximately EUR 2.7bn.

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