ICIS Power Perspective: Romania considers changing the RES support scheme for new installations

ICIS Editorial


This story has originally been published for ICIS Power Perspective subscribers on 18 May 2018 at 15:44 CET.

Romania is considering changing the current RES support scheme of Certificates of Origin (CoOs, “green certificates”) to a payment system to RES producers. The type of payments is yet to be defined as the Romanian national regulatory authority ANRE has proposed changing to a Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) or Feed-in-Premium (FiP) system, but the Minister for Energy has proposed a UK-style ‘Contracts for Difference’ (CfD) set-up.


  • The existing CoO scheme has benefitted early producers, with recent entrants finding the certificates market oversupplied
    • Under CoO, renewable energy producers in Romania are given free CoOs for each MWh of electricity they supply for 15 years
    • Simultaneously, electricity suppliers in Romania must purchase a fixed number of green certificates per MWh of electricity they sell – to fulfil pre-set quotas
    • Under the existing scheme suppliers who must buy certificates can pass on some of this cost to their end consumers, but this was capped at €11.10/MWh in 2017
    • CoOs issued early during the scheme were mostly sold bilaterally on long-term contracts between producers and suppliers according to ANRE
    • RES production has grown but power demand and therefore demand for certificates has remained close to flat, creating oversupply in the certificates market (please see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: Solar and wind capacity and generation has grown between 2005 and 2014 then flatlined

Source: Transelectrica, IRENA

  • Romania reformed the CoO scheme several times since its introduction in 2005
  • In September 2017, ANRE created a regulated market where unsold certificates must be traded, and where the minimum and maximum price is regulated
  • Whilst the minimum price looks attractive, €58.80/MWh in 2017 for solar producers, oversupply in the market meant producers, especially smaller ones, were not able to find a buyer – according to a source at ANRE, the scheme does not have a ‘buyer of last resort’
  • The scheme is closed to projects commissioned after 31stDec 2016

New schemes proposed:

  • ANRE proposes a switch to either a FiT or FiP scheme, according to a contact at the body
    • Details are not confirmed, and further discussions between ANRE and the Industry Committee of the Deputies Chamber have been delayed, according to the same source
    • A source at ANRE expects a transition to a new scheme will “take some time”
    • In the meantime, ANRE proposes to lift the end-consumer cost pass-through cap to 14.00/MWh in 2022 to prop up demand on the spot market
  • The Energy Minister, Doru Visan stated that the Ministry of Energy is considering a CfDs scheme, similar to in the UK
    • Low-carbon producers receive a top-up from the government but producers must pay if the market price for power rises above the set threshold
    • Such a CfDs scheme would also be open to nuclear capacity, which could support two new nuclear units which are planned but have not yet received a final investment decision


  • Romania is on course to reach its binding renewable target for 2020 without any additional capacity – it reached 25% renewables in final energy consumption in 2016 – 1 percentage point above the target (please see Figure 2 below)
    • Since 2005 total installed capacity of renewables has almost doubled, from 6.3GW to 11.3GW by 2015 but has flatlined since (source IRENA)
    • Generation from RES has grown from 15.2TWh in 2005 to 25.4TWh in 2016 – flat power demand means the share of RES rise from 27% to 43% (source IRENA)
    • Romania’s domestic target for the share of RES in total power demand is 55% by 2030 and 78% by 2050
    • To reach its 2030 target, RES generation must rise by 7.4TWh per annum, assuming power consumption remains flat at 2016 levels
    • A 7.3TWh growth in RES generation could be met with a doubling in wind capacity, from 3.0GW in 2016 to 6.2GW, assuming a load factor of 26%
    • It is likely that RES capacity will remain flat until a new support scheme is introduced
    • Nuclear capacity is 1.3GW with a further 1.4GW planned but not yet with a final investment decision – however the new units would be mostly replacing the existing, ageing, capacity, leaving total nuclear capacity in 2030 flat to 2016

Figure 2: The share of RES generation in total power consumption has grown rapidly since 2011

Source: Eurostat

  • Across Europe, CoOs as a support scheme has been losing popularity in recent years
    • At the moment only three countries accept new installations to CoOs schemes: Sweden and Norway that coordinate a common CoO market and Belgium (links to the ICIS Power Perspective support schemes of BelgiumSweden and Norway)
    • Poland no longer accepts new installations to its CoO scheme except for electricity produced by biogas and biomass (link to the support scheme)
    • The Power Perspective map contains all support schemes for new RES installations across Europe

Anise Ganbold is Senior Analyst – EU Power Markets at ICIS. She can be reached at anise.ganbold@icis.com

Our ICIS Power Perspective customers have access to extensive modelling of different options and proposals. If you have not yet subscribed to our products, please get in contact with Neil Dewet (Neil.Dewet@icis.com).


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