C. Prună: Romania has a major offshore wind potential, we need a legal frame

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Bogdan Tudorache

Romania can become an important producer of offshore wind energy, if it takes steps towards defining a clear and predictable legislative framework, which will encourage investments in the field, as well as if it will succeed in building a sustained and credible dialogue with potential investors.

This is the main conclusion of the debate “The potential for investment and development of offshore wind projects in the Black Sea”, organized by the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies Cristina Pruna, on Thursday, April 8 at the Parliament Palace.

“The Black Sea has an extraordinary offshore wind energy potential. By exploiting this potential, Romania can become an important player in European energy production. But it is clear that we need a joint effort by state institutions to facilitate investment in the offshore wind industry. Today’s debate is a signal that we want to start, in the Romanian Parliament, together with all relevant actors to create the necessary legislative and regulatory framework,” said Cristina Pruna, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Committee on Industries and Services.

The studies carried out so far, cited in the debate, revealed that Romania has a potential offshore wind capacity of 94 GW. Offshore wind farms can use technologies such as fixed turbines that can be installed more quickly and floating turbines for deep water areas, suitable for much of the country’s capacity potential.

Discussions showed that the legislation should establish a clear, predictable and as little bureaucratic approval framework as possible. Flexible investment support mechanisms, such as difference contracts, should also be provided for.

The creation of the framework for the development of offshore wind projects must also take into account the need to develop infrastructure, including port infrastructure, and the existence of a trained human resource. There is also significant economic potential for developing the value chain of offshore wind technology production and, with it, the emergence of new specialized jobs at national level.

During the debate, the development of the network infrastructure was discussed, both onshore and offshore. The transmission network plays a crucial role for the evacuation of energy from the area where it is produced to the consumption areas in Romania.

The implementation of offshore wind projects is a long process. It was mentioned that, in theory, we need a period of at least 10 years to complete the implementation of offshore wind farms. International practice shows that we would need two years to analyze and establish the perimeters, four years for field studies, issuing permits and gaining access to the network, two years for detailing the project and financing plan and three years for effective implementation.

Romania’s great chance is that there are already successful implementations and models. The maritime spatial planning plan is the basic document for starting the process of creating the necessary legislation for Romania, and it should be available as soon as possible. Taking over and adapting good European legislative practices can help us to speed up some of the steps and shorten the bureaucratic part of the processes, in order to get to the stage of project implementation much faster.

“Romania does not have to reinvent the wheel. There are good practices in many European countries, with the European Union at the forefront of international offshore wind farms. We should study this and be inspired. Personally, I want to be actively involved, at least on the piece that parliament can support and make sure that we have a clear and predictable bill. Potential investors need to know that we, the representatives of the state, want the offshore wind projects to happen. Offshore wind energy production is included in the priority investment program and must not remain only on paper,” concluded Cristina Prună.

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