The decrease in value-added tax and distribution tariffs led to a reduction of electricity bills, estimated at 8% on average, energy minister Victor Grigorescu said on Antena 3 TV. The tax was cut as of January 1 from 24% to 20%. The Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) of Romania cut the tariffs by an average of 12%. They represent 40% of the final price, Romania Journal reports. In contrast, the share of green certificates in the bill increased from RON 35 (EUR 7.72) per MWh to EUR 9.48, so the price was lowered 3.5% in total. Had the share of green certificates not been increased, ANRE’s part of the reduction would have reached 5.5 points.
Romania will reach the level of 24% of the final energy consumption from renewable sources before 2020 so it could statistically transfer to other states the green energy surplus, according to the Ministry of Energy. The share in 2013 and 2014 was 25.13% and 26.27%, far exceeding the target of 19.66%, its document says, as reported by Agerpres. At the proposal of ANRE, the government accepted to regulate the share of renewable energy in the system of certificates for this year at 12.15%, compared to 17% as stipulated by law. Last year’s quota was 11.9%. The current level is flat on the year, at RON 35 (EUR 7.72) per MWh, without transferring unjustified costs in the bill, the authorities say. The quota for this year was approved based on ANRE’s scenarios. The target should be reached by limiting the sale of green certificates to 60% of the number issued.
Renewable energy associations protested, stating that they would not have anywhere to sell their green certificates and thus would go bankrupt. Renewable energy producers receive free green certificates to sell. They are paid by all users in Romania, including by the population in the electricity bill. Suppliers must purchase the certificates, so the cost is transferred to end consumers. Employers say the quota ensures the sale of only half of the certificates, so producers have nowhere to sell the remainder.
By January 14, national electricity transmission company Transelectrica issued 13.2 million green certificates for 2015, and 4.1 million were still available, according to Opcom’s data, reported by Energy World Magazine. Only 2,739 certificates were traded on the market, while 9.2 million were transferred under bilateral contracts, and 124,522 have been reserved by green energy producers who are also suppliers and have to own a quota of green certificates, Nineoclock.ro reported.
Romanian state-controlled energy holding Complexul Energetic Oltenia said it acquired 1.6 million carbon-dioxide certificates worth EUR 12.5 million in December, at EUR 7.94 each. Total number of last year’s purchases was six million, and the remaining 7.85 million certificates, for 14.95 TWh, remained to be bought early this year.
The volume traded on the Centralized Market of Green Certificates, managed by Opcom, the operator of Romania’s electricity and natural gas market, dropped last year by over 73 times to 36,618, compared to 2.68 million certificates traded in 2014, Nineoclock.ro reports. According to Opcom’s data, 98% of transactions were made in the first four months.
In October, the government granted 19 energy intensive companies agreements for exemption from a part of the number of green certificates in the mandatory quota.