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Niculescu: Phasing-out of support scheme should not cause shocks in the market

15 November 2023
General Interest

The phasing-out of the energy support scheme must be done in such a way that consumers do not feel any kind of shock in the bills they will pay after March 31, 2025, the president of the National Authority of Energy Regulation (ANRE), George Niculescu stated, on Tuesday, in a specialized conference.

“Abandoning the support scheme, from the point of view of the regulatory authority, must be done in a way that does not cause shocks in the market. If we saw several Emergency Ordinances when the support scheme was introduced, the process of exiting the support scheme support must be one, I repeat, that does not cause shocks in the market. Therefore, I think it is very important in the period before the end of the support scheme to have discussions with suppliers, with producers, with all market participants, in this way so that we gradually “phase-out” the support scheme as well, so that consumers do not feel any kind of shock in the bills they will pay after March 31, 2025. Obviously, this is not easy, it is not a simple mission to do this. That’s why I think that, during 2024, we can generate such discussions with utility companies, the ministry, Parliament, specialized commissions and the regulatory authority and try to find the best solutions,”  said Niculescu, according to Agerpres.

In the opinion of the head of ANRE, an important aspect also concerns the development of electricity transmission networks and, implicitly, the security of supply.

“Very important will be the point of view of the transport operator in terms of the development of electricity transport networks. We must not forget the fact that without an energy that is bearable from the point of view of cost by consumers, all this castle the narrative breaks down, because we are no longer talking about the security of natural gas and electricity supply, as we talked about in the winter of 2022. There were challenges every winter, but thanks to the specialists in the system, they were overcome. I am convinced that this it will also happen in the cold season of 2023 – 2024. So, we are not necessarily talking about safety anymore, but the narrative tends to slowly turn to price. We are again talking about returning to a market, from 2025, that no longer contains price regulated for natural gas for domestic consumers, of 150 lei, if the market will not register the shock. Nobody wants these domestic consumers to have high prices in their bills, in the period after Ordinance 27. From the forecasts we have at the regulatory authority, the amount of energy available in this mechanism tends to increase in the year 2024. More energy at a fixed price of 450 lei for suppliers, so that they can supply their household customers or non-households at a relatively lower cost than what is recorded on the markets,” added George Niculescu.

According to the data presented by the official, in the first nine months of this year, Romania recorded a 63% increase in electricity exports, compared to the same period in 2022.

“From the data we have from Transelectrica, we noticed that, in the first nine months, we recorded an increase in the export of electricity. If we refer to the first nine months of 2022, the increase is 63%, an important increase This shows us the fact that Romania is consolidating its production capacities. The energy produced in Romania in terms of quantity increases every year. We see this from ANRE as well, through the number of establishment authorizations we grant. Practically, the appetite of investors in the field is maintained. Only last week, within the Regulatory Committee, we approved establishment authorizations that add up to 130 megawatts. Things are moving on the production market and the construction of production capacities. The trend is held by renewable technologies, because they have and have been stimulated at the level of investment programs,” added the president of ANRE.

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