Renewables

Romania completes offshore wind power bill after severe delays

Romania completes offshore wind power bill after severe delays

Photo: Wirestock on Freepik

Published

December 22, 2023

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Published:

December 22, 2023

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The Parliament of Romania will debate the first offshore wind power bill at its next session, under an emergency procedure. The World Bank estimated the potential of the country’s Black Sea at 76 GW.

Romania is experiencing a solar power boom within its energy transition. European funding and the reform of the legal framework spurred investments from households-prosumers to utility-scale facilities. On the other hand, the wind power segment is lagging, particularly offshore, as investors are waiting for a bill to be adopted in Parliament so that they can at least start planning.

The government is rushing to improve the legal framework and harmonize it with the European Union’s legislation, particularly because the deadlines for grants and favorable loans may expire.

Siemens attempted to launch a wind power project on the Black Sea in 2010, but scrapped it because the Romanian government cut renewable energy incentives. Blackstone wanted to build a 500 MW facility before halting the initiative.

Hidroelectrica first in line waiting for offshore wind power bill to be adopted

The idea to get things going was revived in 2020 and the first law regulating the sector was supposed to be adopted two years ago. Lawmakers are now finally getting an offshore wind power bill, in an emergency procedure, as the cabinet of Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu approved the draft. However, the Parliament of Romania is scheduled to reconvene in more than a month.

The World Bank sees the Romanian Black Sea’s offshore wind power potential at 76 GW. State-owned Hidroelectrica earlier said it would invest in the sector and try to obtain European funding.

First turbines could be commissioned in 2032

Ciolacu claims “billions of euros” are lined up, waiting for the basic legal framework. The offshore wind power bill is aimed at launching research and facilitating the selection, by mid-2025, of maritime zones available for concessions.

Restrictions from the Maritime Spatial Plan and the protection of biodiversity and the environment will be taken into account, according to the Ministry of Energy. Minister Sebastian Burduja expressed the view that the first turbines would be commissioned in 2032.

The government also approved EUR 70.4 million in state aid for the Jiu Valley coal region for decarbonization and the green transition of the local economy.

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