Renewables

Popescu: Government of Romania to pass offshore wind energy bill next month

Popescu Government Romania offshore wind energy bill

Photo: Virgil Popescu / Facebook

Published

March 27, 2023

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Published:

March 27, 2023

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The offshore wind energy bill could be approved in the current parliamentary session after the government adopts it in April, according to Minister of Energy of Romania Virgil Popescu. There is 77 GW of potential in the Black Sea, he stressed.

Romania will regulate the production of offshore wind energy in its part of the Black Sea with an upcoming law, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu said. The government will pass the draft next month and send it to lawmakers for adoption, he asserted, expressing optimism the vote could be held before the end of the current parliamentary session. There was a lengthy delay in the legislation.

The cabinet expects to receive the final comments from the World Bank in April, after which it can approve the law proposal, Popescu pointed out. The Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) envisages the share of renewable energy to climb to 30.7% by 2030, but Romania has the ambition to reach 34%, according to the minister, who added that he believes the level would be even higher at the end of the decade.

Targets from National Recovery and Resilience Plan for 2030 set to be surpassed

The first contracts for projects in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or PNRR) will be signed next month for subsidized facilities that would come online in 2026, Popescu stressed. He said projects of more than 3 GW in total were submitted in response to the public call for 960 MW. The minister estimated that the 7 GW target from NRRP for renewable energy for 2030 would be surpassed and that 10 GW would be achieved.

State-owned Hidroelectrica and Germany-based wpd have already revealed ambitions to build offshore wind parks

Moreover, Romania has 25 GW of wind power potential in shallow waters in the Black Sea and 77 GW in total, Popescu underscored. In earlier estimates, the level was projected at 22 GW and 94 GW, respectively. Wind energy over deep waters can be utilized with floating turbines.

Romania had miniscule growth in green electricity capacity last year, reaching a 11.14 GW, the International Renewable Energy Agency said. Solar power accounted for 1.41 GW, against 3 GW in onshore wind energy, the report showed. In net terms, not a single wind turbine has been commissioned since 2020, the update showed.

Offshore wind projects in Southeastern Europe are in an early phase, with no capacities online yet.

Subsea cable from Georgia would help Romania carry offshore wind

Romania is under pressure to meet the deadlines for European grants and cheap loans for energy projects, as they must be completed by 2026. The country is attracting investments in renewables, nuclear power and adjusting the legal framework. The aim is to strengthen energy independence, especially from Russian fossil fuels, and meet the European Union’s environmental and climate targets.

The government joined forces with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Hungary with the aim to install a high-voltage direct current interconnector under the Black Sea, which would help the transmission of offshore electricity.

A year ago, Germany-based wpd announced plans to install offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 1,900 MW, which could be the first of their kind in Romania and the Black Sea. Earlier, state-owned Hidroelectrica included offshore wind in its investment plan.

In the wake of the energy crisis, the government also accelerated efforts to exploit the Black Sea gas reserves.

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