German, Hungarian and domestic investors are lining up for European grants in Romania for manufacturing and recycling solar power equipment. One firm even plans to make building-integrated photovoltaics.
From households to state-owned companies and local authorities, Romania is swelling with solar power and other renewable energy projects. They are benefiting from legislative reforms and subsidies from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or PNRR), part of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The country is in a rush to phase out coal and meet its energy and climate goals by tapping on the funds as well as soft loans.
There are also grants available for setting up manufacturing facilities that would be able to meet the surging demand, including for batteries. Otherwise, Romania would be left dependent on equipment imports.
For instance, Turkey has strict requirements for the share of domestic components and workforce for companies applying for incentives. The approach has helped the establishment of manufacturing hubs for renewables equipment.
AE Solar applies for just up to EUR 15 million for its EUR 1 billion factory
Romania has a chest within the NRRP with grants of EUR 200 million in total for the manufacturing, assembly and recycling of solar cells and panels and battery storage units. The goal is to reach 200 MW in annual capacity for solar power equipment and 2 GW for batteries by the end of 2025.
Germany-based AE Solar also has investment projects in Turkey, Bulgaria and North Macedonia
Profit.ro reported, citing official documentation, that five companies applied for NRRP grants for solar modules and recycling. AE Solar, which revealed a EUR 1 billion plan in March for a solar panel factory, submitted a request for up to EUR 15 million.
The German firm said the initial capacity would be 2 GW per year and that it intends to increase it to as much as 10 GW. It also has investment projects in Turkey, Bulgaria and North Macedonia. The company established a subsidiary called AESOLAR Production Solar in March.
One project is for high-efficiency devices
Hungarian investor Attila Keresztes founded a firm called Sunflower Hundred in January and applied with a project for the production of high-efficiency photovoltaic panels. Keresztes is the chief executive officer of Hungarian company Astrasun, which designs, builds, operates and maintains solar parks.
He revealed last spring that Astrasun wants to build three solar panel factories in Turnu Măgurele in Romania’s south. Keresztes valued the investment at EUR 320 million.
Building-integrated photovoltaic modules to be made
Through his company Profiton, businessman Szabolcs Olosz, a former advisor in the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, filed a EUR 24.5 million project for the production, assembly and recycling of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) modules.
The firm is registered in Târgu Secuiesc, also known as Kézdivásárhely, a town in Transylvania. Profiton used to be a newspaper publisher.
Newspaper publishing company Profiton is switching to BIPV manufacturing
Construction company Carroponte from Galați, in the country’s east, is planning a photovoltaic panel production and recycling line. It is controlled by businessman Marius Petcu. Another competitor is entrepreneur Bogdan Pițigo’s Tester Grup, which is active in the automotive, real estate and retail services sectors. The firm based in Iași, Romania’s third-largest city, applied with a project for assembling cells and modules.