Increasing competitiveness with EU Funds: the energy sector
The use of renewable energy sources, the increase in energy efficiency and a clean and safe energy infrastructure are all challenges that once accomplished might boost Romanian productivity and thus competitiveness. Romania-insider.com looks at the structural funds for economic competitiveness and at the companies that got them.
By Alexandra Fodor
The business environment in Romania can take advantage of the operational program “Increase of economic competitiveness”, which aims to increase the productivity of Romanian companies.
The program targets small and medium to large enterprises, micro enterprises, public institutions, central government and local authorities, from both urban and rural areas. The main types of investments funded are those which focus on increasing production capacity, research and development and energy projects.
So far, in 2010, EUR 4.1 billion in European financing were approved for as many as 1,000 projects on economic competitiveness.
The National Institute for Information and Documentation, The National Trade Register Office, the National Institute of Statistics, The Institute of Biology, The Clinical Hospital Colentina, Universities, city halls as well as private companies have applied for EU structural funds.
As far as the energy sector is concerned Romelectro, Luxten Lighting Company, Comcereal S.A, Romconstruct, Eco Power Wind, Electromagnetica, Unicom, Elsid, Hidro Constructia S.A, LC Business, Balkan Hydroenergy, Agro New Energy have all received EU funding for increasing the competitiveness in this sector. Some county councils in Romania are also willing to access European funds for the construction of solar power parks.
For the period 2007-2013, the financial allocation through the Axis no.4, Increasing energy efficiency and security of supply in the context of combating climate change, is about EUR 725 million.
The European funding is allotted through the European Regional Development Fund and the managing authority is the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Environment.
In the energy sector companies have the opportunity to apply for projects aiming to improve the energy efficiency, such as investments in equipment and machinery, investments in installations for their energy consumption reduction and investments in upgrading and building new power and heating production capacities by exploiting renewable energy resources like biomass, hydro resources, solar, wind, geothermal resources and other renewable energy.
The local authorities can receive financing of up to 90 percent of the project costs while for private projects, developers can receive EU funds of up to 60 percent of the costs.
Romania plans to produce electricity from renewable sources at 35 percent by 2015 and 38 percent by 2020, while at present this percentage is of 33.
Recently the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Environment has decided to re-allot EUR 100 million for the renewable energy sector.
Romelectro has obtained European financing for a rehabilitation project of the Voineasa hydroelectric power stations. Romconstruct Top SRL and Eco Power Wind SRL are building RON 62 million (EUR 14.4 million), respectively RON 34.9 million (EUR 8.1 million) wind parks in Constanta County.
Balkan Hydroenergy SRL plans to build a chain of hydroelectric power stations in Caras-Severin town. The value of the project is RON 13 million (EUR 3 million). Electromagnetica SA has received RON 8 million (EUR 1.8 million) for the rehabilitation of Brodina 2 hydroelectric power station.
Ialomita County Council has requested European financing for a photovoltaic park that can produce around 2 MW of electric energy. The energy will be used for social and cultural centers, libraries, museums and other institutions that belong to Ialomita County Council. The project is worth EUR 10 million, with 98 percent non-reimbursable funds and 2 percent contribution from the county council. Timis County Council is planning to build a PV park near Covaci on a 45-hectare land plot. The project planned to be financed by EU funds, aims to provide electricity for public lightning, schools and kindergartens subordinated to the Council.