In 2013 Romania has installed for the first time, a capacity of over 1 gigawatt solar power, putting the country on a market which includes global players such as Italy, India, Greece and the UK.
Developers have begun to move into first Romanian market after cutting the largest photovoltaic market incentives, such as Germany, Italy and Spain. What happened next ? The Romanian government has reduced incentives, leaving investors with the eyes in the sun.
This year, the Romanian program incentive for producers of clean energy has been changed from January 1, hastening investors to complete projects before the end of the year. Their experience on the Romanian market serves as a lesson about the past and future global demand for solar energy.
Greentechmedia.com platform makes an interesting analysis in this regard, showing that Romania is a case concerning of the development and failure of the solar market.
How to become our country in a year, with a ranking of the European solar market.
According to him, the year 2013 marked a major shift in the global solar market demand is dispersed in Western Europe to the Asia- Pacific and United States. Incentives traditional PV markets such as Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic have been minimized or eliminated, and developers have been forced to seek new markets, with generous incentives, able to provide solid returns.
In 2013, Romanian gave them the right incentives to investors in clean energy to a total of six green certificates for each megawatt of electricity every hour. These certificates can be traded on a spot market at 27 euros per megawatt and a ceiling of 55 euro per megawatt, with an annual adjustment designed to take account of inflation. The prices of green certificates were kept up, and developers gathered in the country, attracted more than generous incentives that were not found on other European market.
The blow from the Government on the proposal of ANRE
Demand significantly exceeded expectations and, in response, ANRE has recommended a reduction of green certificates from six to three certificates in March 2013. However, the Romanian government announced that as of July, two of six green certificates will be retained until March 2017 in the hope that this will limit PV demand.
In contrast, prices for green certificates remained between 40 and 45 euros per megawatt in the second half, and plants continued a rapid pace. When ANRE and the Government announced in the end, that will be a reduction from six green certificates for each megawatt three certificates for any project completed after January 1, a massive project work started in order not to exceed the deadline. The result ? A 3,667 % increase in solar installations to the 30 megawatts installed in 2012.
Experts say it is highly unlikely that Romania and neighboring countries in Eastern Europe to reintroduce incentive programs for the development of large-scale PV. In Romania, the expectations for 2014 are modest, with – perhaps – a few hundred megawatts projects, which were unable to be completed before the deadline.
It is expected however, to be introduced this year incentives for small-scale photovoltaic projects and as a result, the market will change from large infrastructure projects to small residential and commercial systems. Moreover, Romania will probably reduce the mandatory quota of green certificates to purchase electricity distributors and large consumers as a result of exceeding the renewable energy target of 20%.
To protect both solar energy producers and consumers, ANRE could implement a price freeze on green certificates. Electricity prices in Romania are among the lowest in Europe and, consequently, large consumers are highly sensitive to fluctuations in the market price of green certificates.
The future of the solar market in Romania ?
Romania solar market development is just a consequence of long-term forces on PV demand that moved development from one region to another, depending on the rapid changes among incentives. With an attractive incentive program and geographical accessibility for suppliers and developers, Romania has met all the criteria of a strong solar markets. However, similar to other markets, a rapid elimination of incentives resulted in a significant decrease in plants.
Although generous support for investors in renewable energy led to the development of the market so far, the adoption of policies that improve solar market would bring more interest in sustainable markets, the incentives may be minimal, but constant. Developers will always follow the general market in terms of incentives, but they are expected to move their attention to sustainable emerging markets, where demand for energy is high, such as Latin America.