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Romania improves rebate scheme to speed up rooftop PV development

  • 2021-03-08

Romania‘s Ministry of Environment has published, in the country's official journal, a few amendments to the Casa Verde Fotovoltaice (green PV home) scheme to support residential solar installations under the country’s net metering regime, which was launched in June.

“The new provisions improve the installation process and settlement of rebate payments,” environment minister Barna Tánczos said, adding that of the approved 12,650 applications, only 450 have led to the grid-connection of a rooftop PV array. “Now there are no more barriers for the execution of works and the settlement of payment, and we invite all beneficiaries to complete this process,” he said.

The new rules include an extension of the timeframe to install a PV system, from eight to twelve months, the possibility of incorporating more powerful products that expand the capacity of the approved projects, and the possibility of changing the location of a project within the same property.

Romania’s Environment Fund Administration (AFM), the state funding body for environmental protection, allocated a total of RON252 million ($59 million) for the rebates in 2020. The total budget for the program is RON536 million. The Romanian government first launched the rebate scheme in August 2018.

The AFM is providing rebates for installations larger than 3 kW in size, which cover up to 90% of the array costs, provided that the grant does not exceed RON20,000.

Romania's net metering regulations include fiscal incentives for owners of PV systems with capacities up to 27 kW. Under this scheme, owners of renewable energy power systems up to 100 kW in size are entitled to sell power surplus to the country’s four power distributors – Enel, CEZ, Eon and Electrica – at a rate that will be set by the energy regulator ANRE, depending on the distributor.

According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Romania had 1.38 GW of solar installed at the end of 2019. Most of this capacity is represented by megawatt-scale PV plants built under the green certificate scheme launched in 2011 and, since this program was shut down, the country saw almost zero growth in terms of new installations. From 2015 to 2019, new PV additions totaled just 14 MW.

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