Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Romania to Double 2012 Wind-Power Capacity on Incentives

Romania will probably double its wind-power capacity this year, as investors tap European Union- approved incentives for investment in renewable industry, said Ion Lungu, head of CEZ AS (CEZ)’s Romanian trading unit.

Wind-power installed capacity will probably increase to 2,100 megawatts by the end of 2012 in Romania from about 1,000 megawatts at the end of last year, said Lungu, who is also president of the Association of Electricity Suppliers in Romania. The Black Sea country now has an installed capacity of 1,541 megawatts of wind power, Lungu said.

“Romania can support an installed capacity of about 3,500 megawatts of wind power, considering its current infrastructure and backup capacity,” Lungu said in an interview in Bucharest today. “That may increase if additional investments are made and new generation units become operational.”

Romania has attracted investors in its renewable energy industry, including Iberdrola SA (IBE), Portugal’s biggest utility EDP (EDP), Germany’s biggest utility EON AG and Italy’s Enel SA with an incentive plan for wind investments. It wants to attract 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in wind-power investments through 2020 under the incentive program.

CEZ, the Czech Republic’s largest power producer, is one of the biggest investors in wind energy in Romania. It is building a 1.1 billion-euro wind farm in the Constanta region near the Black Sea and so far has 388 megawatts operational, Lungu said. The utility plans to finish building the entire 600 megawatts by the end of this year, he said.
Green Certificates

The country is offering two so-called green certificates with a value of 28 euros to 57 euros for each megawatt-hour of energy produced from wind. State-owned power-grid operator Transelectrica SA (TEL) plans to invest 782 million lei ($219 million) this year to expand and upgrade its outdated grid to accommodate the rising wind-farm output.

Romania’s energy-market regulator is now monitoring wind- energy producers, who receive green certificates, to avoid overcompensation. This may lead to a reduction in the number of certificates granted under the program for new investors, Competition Council President Bogdan Chiritoiu said today during an energy conference in Bucharest.

“If we estimated that producers need two certificates for the wind power industry, but in reality the companies reported a higher profit than a reasonable profitability of 11 percent or 12 percent, then the support may be reduced for future investors,” Chiritoiu said.

The monitoring and potential reduction in the number of certificates before 2014 may hamper investments in the industry and jeopardize project funding, Dana Duica, head of the Romanian Wind Association, said on Nov. 14.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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