The Bucharest government has earmarked €2.9 billion for measures aimed at mitigating the impact of rising electricity and gas prices on citizens and the public and private sectors. Also in the context of the energy crisis, Romania is proposing a moratorium on bank loan repayments, while President Klaus Iohannis has announced a strategic shift towards renewable energies and nuclear power.
Faced with war in neighboring Ukraine and energy prices soaring to record highs, Romania has decided to extend its support to households, institutions, non-governmental organizations and businesses by one year, until in March 2023. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă presented the measures which will be similar to those already in force until the end of the month.
The government said subsidies for electricity and gas bills would cost it €2.9 billion by the end of the year, including €1.85 billion for electricity.
Ciucă revealed that his cabinet had also decided to reduce price volatility by rolling out a domestic trade tax, suspending green certificates until the end of the year and capping suppliers’ profit margin at 5%.
In addition, Finance Minister Adrian Câciu proposed to the country’s banks to authorize a moratorium on the repayment of loans for customers financially affected by the increase in electricity and gas bills. Such a measure was last put in place two years ago, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renewables and nuclear for energy independence
President Klaus Iohannis said after the meeting of the Supreme National Defense Council that the body had set two strategic objectives: to increase defense spending to 2.5% against 2% of gross domestic product and work towards energy independence. focusing on renewable and nuclear energy.
The latter seems to be distancing Romania from its gas pipeline network projects, as far as fuel imports from Russia are concerned, but the president did not specify. The government has allocated massive funds to gas infrastructure, which is supposed to gradually switch to hydrogen.
Billions pledged for renewable energy projects
Regarding renewable energy, several foreign and domestic companies have recently pledged to build a range of medium and giant wind, solar and hydrogen projects worth billions of euros.
Energy trader and developer Enero Furnizare last month received connection approvals for solar parks with peak capacities of 71 MW and 95 MW in the southern county of Dolj. The company said it has 400 MW of photovoltaics under development in the region and will add another 600 MW in Romania this year.
Israeli company Ecoenergy Renewable Energy secured funding worth more than €200 million for renewable energy investments totaling 2 GW, mainly in Romania, and purchased a solar energy project of 60 MW in Ovidiu in the county of Constanța in the southeast.