NGOs: Romania’s submissions for greenhouse gas allowances contradict EU’s goals

Romania has not included investments in wind, hydro, solar or geothermal power plants in its national plan, submitted in September 2011 to the European Commission to obtain greenhouse gas emissions allowances, found a recent analysis issued by CEE Bankwatch Network and Greenpeace Romania. The allowances offset charges on greenhouse gas emissions, agreed by the European Union. Proposed investments focus almost exclusively on fossil fuel facilities, which contradicts the purpose of the free allowances. “Out of the total number of 24 investments the Romanian government intends to support, only two are not for new fossil fuel capacities,” according to Bankwatch. The two projects are a biomass co-generation plant at CET Govora and the rehabilitation of the coal power plant at Turceni. The free allowances are supposed to contribute to the de-carbonisation and diversification of the national electricity production systems.

Some of the submitted projects are not even eligible, according to the analysis. E.ON, Enel and Transelectrica’s Braila Power investment and Petrom’s gas-fired plant in Brazi are mentioned among the non-eligible projects, as they were started before June 2009, the starting point for eligibility.

Romania, one of the eight member states applying for EU help consisting of free of charge Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions allowances from 2013 to 2019. Instead the country is planning investments that will lead to maintaining or even increasing the high proportion of coal in the country’s electricity production, thus contradicting the goals of the EU aid scheme, Bankwatch has said in a statement. The NGOs recommend that the EC halts Romania’s reliance on coal and instead provides strong guidance to the country to promote the renewable energy sector.

“The Romanian government should have used this opportunity provided by the Commission to propose a national investment plan that truly contributes to greening our energy sector, but instead it has chosen to support the development of new fossil fuel power plants,” comments Bankwatch campaigner in Romania, Diana Popa. Read the full analysis here. 

The Romanian government applied for allocation of approximately 75 million tonnes of allowances free of charge in the period 2013-2019. Romania intends to allocate these allowances to 36 installations, operated by 31 companies.

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