Renewables

Romania at risk of losing EU energy transition funds on tight deadlines

Romania risk lose EU energy transition funds tight deadlines

Photo: Stux from Pixabay

Published

July 4, 2022

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Published:

July 4, 2022

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The Ministry of Energy warned the two-year deadline may be too short for Romanian developers to complete their renewable energy plants through a EUR 595 million EU funding scheme within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Romania is under obligation to see to it that 950 MW in wind and solar power plants comes online by mid-2024. The public call for the tendering procedure was launched in March. The administration could breach the “extremely short” deadline set up through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or PNRR), the Ministry of Energy said in an official document, Profit.ro reported.

There is EUR 457.7 million in the budget for the aid scheme, and EUR 595 million in total. Companies have submitted 668 projects with a combined planned capacity of 3.5 GW, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu revealed.

The national renewable energy targets will be increased, the Ministry of Energy stressed and pointed to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war

The Ministry of Energy acknowledged the process is long and complex. It includes the assessment of the cadastral documentation as well as urban planning, technical reports and a range of approvals.

Without a pragmatic approach to the issuance of permits, the allocated sums may become inaccessible, the ministry underscored. It added the national renewable energy targets would be increased due to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Not one contract signed so far for NRRP

Ziarul Financiar noted that 71 calls for projects worth over EUR 13 billion in total should be launched by the end of next year, adding that it seems the goal is unattainable. Romania already got EUR 3.9 billion approved from the NRRP, but not a single contract has been signed, the report reads.

Companies and partnerships can apply until July 31 for EUR 149 million with green hydrogen production projects

Furthermore, the Ministry of Energy issued a call for companies in an NRRP-funded competitive bidding scheme for the production of green hydrogen. Companies or partnerships must be ready to build electrolysis plants of at least 100 MW in capacity, equivalent to 10,000 tons of hydrogen powered by renewable sources, by the end of 2025.

The deadline for submitting the projects is July 31. The program is worth EUR 149 million and the maximum state aid is EUR 50 million apiece.

Romania to launch EUR 412 million energy efficiency funding program for companies

The government is preparing another state aid mechanism worth EUR 412 million for Romanian companies to implement energy efficiency measures including own renewable energy systems. The Large Infrastructure Operational Programme (LIOP) includes EUR 350 million in grants, and the rest is for cofinancing from the state budget. There are also other energy transition funding mechanisms.

The European Commission’s REPowerEU plan to end the dependence on Russian fossil fuels depends significantly on simplifying the authorization of newly built solar and wind farms.

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