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Two Power Clouds PV parks, part of a 20 mln euro project, amongst the few ones commissioned this year

Once working like a magnet for investors, the Romanian green energy sector has lost its shine, becoming almost unattractive for developers of such projects whose plans have been thwarted by the legislative changes enforced at the beginning of the year. With the green certificates support scheme reduced drastically by the Law no. 23/2014, a declining trading price of the GCs and a lower quota of subsidized green energy, most investors have decided to abandon their plans as regards the Romanian market.

Power Clouds, a developer of renewable energy projects, seems to be an exception if considered the two solar parks commissioned this year and that are part of a large scale project through which the company aims to create a global network of PV parks. The power plants are built by the company with support from anyone who wants to engage in the project by providing solar panels and for which is granted a monthly rent for 20 years. 

Interviewed by Business Review Europe, Power Clouds CEO, Roberto Forlani, talked about the initiative which required 20 million dollar funds locally. “We are recently back from Romania, where over 20 million dollar have been invested in less than a year in order to create a network of five large solar plants located between Scornicesti and Nucet”, said Forlani referring to their business in Romania. 

To date, the network comprises 15 solar plants, those five in Romania being located in Nucet, near Bucharest (the two commissioned in 2014) and in Scornicesti, the Olt County (three). The two PV parks named above were connected to the power grid in June 2014, while the other three are operational since 2013, their combined power capacity of 6 MW (1.2 MW each) being able to generate nearly 8,700 MWh annually under optimal conditions.

Although commissioned after the green certificates cut was enforced, the solar parks in Nucet had been projected before the new regulations became effective, as happened with many of the projects inaugurated this year, believes Zoltan Nagy, Member of the Bord of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE).

“I think that most of the power plants built in 2014 were authorized and obtained financing in 2013, they were in a more or less advanced construction phase and investors considered that it would have been a greater loss to abandon the investment than if they had accepted the reduced subvention scheme and the changed conditions of the GC and green energy market”, he said to Govnet.

Nagy explained that investors' interest in the Romanian renewable energy sector dropped sharply in 2014, the power capacity installed in PV power plants being more than fifteen times smaller than in 2013.

“In 2014, the power capacity of power plants that are included in the green certificates support-scheme is slightly above 250 MW, of which about 60 MW are installed in PV plants. The decline in terms of installed capacity is obvious, but it is also observable that solar power plants account for a smaller share of the total authorized power capacity which was installed”, added the ANRE representative.

2013 was the best year in terms of development of green energy projects, resulting in an almost double power capacity installed compared to 2012. The total power capacity of the projects authorized for the green certificates support scheme last year exceeded 2 GW, the solar plants accounting for over 1 GW.

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