European Commission - Press release
State aid: Commission approves Romanian Green Certificates renewable energy support scheme
Brussels, 13 July 2011 - The European Commission has found Romania's plan to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources in line with EU state aid rules, in particular, because it creates clear incentives for an increased use of renewable energy, while containing safeguards to limit distortions of competition. The scheme is designed to assist Romania in reaching by 2020 the mandatory national renewable energy target set under EU legislation.
"The green certificate scheme is a market based mechanism, which will encourage investments in renewable energy in Romania. It will thus support Romania's objective to reach the 2020 renewable energy targets without unduly distorting competition", said Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.
The Commission found the proposed scheme in line with the 2008 Environmental Aid Guidelines rules concerning operating aid for renewable energy sources.
Green certificates are granted to electricity producers for each MWh generated from wind, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage plant treatment gas or solar. If the energy is produced in high efficiency co-generation plants, a bonus is applied. The certificates issued by the State to the producers can be sold to the energy suppliers on a specific market (independent of the electricity market). The electricity suppliers have the obligation to acquire annually a certain number of green certificates. If they fail to do so they must pay a penalty. The penalties are collected by the transmission system operator and transferred to the Romanian Environmental Fund, which will use them for support to small individual producers of electricity from renewable sources.
The beneficiaries of green certificates will be able to enter the scheme until 31 December 2016.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.33134 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.