Romanian government starts investigation into Electrica Furnizare over green certificate acquisitions

By bne IntelliNews July 26, 2016

The Romanian energy ministry will carry out an investigation at electricity supply company Electrica Furnizare, in which it holds a 49% stake, after the company bought green certificates worth around 60mn from companies within the same group, local media reported on July 25.

The acquisition is unusual considering the large number of green certificates purchased, 1.6mn, as well as the long delivery period, until 2019, at a time when there is a surplus of green certificates on the market.

Romania’s energy market regulator ANRE announced at the end of June that electricity suppliers should buy tradable green certificates from green energy producers equal to 8.3% of the electricity they supply to final consumers in 2017, down from the 15% quota this year. The proposal has been submitted for approval to the government.

Electrica Furnizare concluded around 20 contracts with at least 11 companies from the Portuguese group EDP Renewables, according to Hotnews.ro. The certificates were bought via Romania’s power market operator OPCOM at the same price demanded by other green energy producers, RON132 (€29.60) per certificate.

If the green certificates quota is reduced, Electrica Furnizare will register a considerable loss.

“We have no tolerance for any kind of lack of integrity, for no shady things. I have talked to state secretary Busu, who is a member of Electrica’s managing board, and we will have as soon as possible, meaning in a few days, a preliminary assessment,” Energy Minister Vlad Grigorescu said, according to news agency Agerpres.

Currently there is a surplus of around 6mn green certificates on the Romanian market. For 2015 and 2016, around 15mn green certificates were issued.

The Romanian association of investors in green energy capacities PATRES has asked for government arbitration and a meeting with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos after ANRE announced the 8.3% quota for green energy next year. Failure to raise the green energy quota in 2017 from the current 12.15% will hinder investors' ability to cover their operating and financial costs, PATRES waned. It would also result in Romania missing its 2020 green energy target, the association claimed.

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