RPIA’s event, a message to the Photovoltaic project owners?



Hello to everyone from Rome. While the “Zero Emission” Fair is entering its second day, yesterday in Bucharest an interesting event took place: The Romanian Photovoltaic Association Industry (RPIA) organized a workshop titled “The Right Balance for your growing business”.

I will not tell you too much about it, as I will let the official RPIA announcement speak for itself. I would just like to tell you that I contacted some of the participants in the workshop regarding its target and the outcome of the discussion and all of them replied to me in the same way: “It is a pity that very few Photovoltaic Project owners were in the room, to listen to the issues. They would understand the challenges an investor has to cope with”.

Below you can find RPIA’s announcement for the event. My stand point is that the issue regarding the energy trade in the centralized market should be resolved during autumn, despite the pre–election period. If not, everyone will lose, including the Romanian State.

RPIA’s announcement

“On September the 5th, 2012, the Romanian Photovoltaic Industry Association (“RPIA”) organized the workshop “The right balance for your growing business”. This is the first workshop from a series of many to follow shortly. The purpose of the workshop was to bring more clarity on the important phase of operation and maintenance of a solar farm. To this effect, RPIA invited specialists from the prominent companies operating in Romania, as well as relevant public authorities in the energy field and energy trading (e.g. ANRE, OPCOM).

The workshop proved to be a great opportunity for RPIA’s members to be informed on the latest legislative changes and to have such explained in a manner that is both comprehensible and complete. As largely expected, the main concern of our members was the impossibility to sign PPA’s outside the centralized market run by OPCOM and to register to OPCOM centralized market for new investors.

The solar PV market seems to face hard times in its developing, in lack of a trading platform for electricity which will grant access to new investors well before obtaining the production license. This is mainly due to the fact that financial institutions are still reluctant in providing project financing without a PPA in place.

Following discussions that took place during RPIA’s workshop, an unanimously conclusion was reached regarding the provisions of Energy and Gas Law 123/2012 (“Law 123/2012”), which restrict all energy trading outside the centralized market, were unfortunate and something must be done. We believe this is a positive conclusion, because we have seen willingness from the authorities present at the workshop, to work together with interested parties in finding efficient and quick solutions.

Although the PPA’s topic seems to have fueled the Q&A session of the workshop, other important topics like taxation of GCs, electricity production and GCs allocation during testing period, trading of bilateral contracts on the centralized OPCOM market and secondary legislation of the Law 123/2012 were as important and kept the audience interested. We believe that RPIA’s first workshop was a necessary event and proved, once again, that our members are committed to the improvement of the PV sector in Romania. In a short period of time, RPIA managed to bring under the same umbrella more than 45 local and international companies with exceptional expertise and knowledge in the PV sector. Today was a great example on how this expertise can be put to good use in finding practical and efficient solutions.

RPIA will continue to be actively involved in the PV sector and, as such, will try to find the best solutions for constructive dialogue with all the parties involved in the PV industry. We are certain that the PV sector has a bright future in Romania and a very important role in the mix of electricity sources."