The state fund responsible for the Casa Verde Fotovoltaice scheme in Romania approved 48.8% of applications for rooftop solar power systems in the first round of grants, completed one and a half years after launch. EU funds cover as much as EUR 4,100 or 90% of the cost for the installation of photovoltaic systems per individual beneficiary.
The Environment Fund Administration (AFM) said it would start signing contracts with homeowners eligible for subsidies of EUR 52.1 million in total from the Regional Operational Programme – ROP 2014-2020. The grants are for solar power stations on roofs of residential structures in Romania.
ROP is funded by the European Union and EUR 110.9 million was secured for the scheme, but the agency rejected 13,339 applications while approving 12,718. The maximum for individual subsidies is EUR 4,100 or up to 90% of the cost for solar panels with at least 3 kW in capacity.
AFM claims the process would be simplified and that more installers would be certified
The new public call will be published in the autumn, according to AFM’s new chief Andreea Kohalmi Szabo. She said she would introduce “major changes” aimed at simplifying the application process, shortening evaluation and expanding the list of certified solar power installers. Kohalmi Szabo said those that didn’t get funds in the first round of Casa Verde Fotovoltaice should reapply.
Greenpeace Romania criticized the government as no solar panels have been installed on a single rooftop since January of last year, when the grants program was launched. Furthermore, it said, AFM rejected most of the applications over expired documents, contradicting its earlier statements.
Upon suspending the first round in September, the authorities said applicants didn’t need to submit new versions of the necessary documents
After suspending the round in September due to a computer crash, the fund’s management claimed homeowners wouldn’t need to obtain the same papers, the organization added. Greenpeace stressed more than 200 installers who were authorized for Casa Verde Fotovoltaice now face economic difficulties for not being able to use the equipment they bought for the purpose.