The process of obtaining the necessary authorizations for the commissioning of new renewable energy production capacities is arduous, which discourages potential investors, although some steps have been taken to simplify the procedures, the Competition Council found following a study.
“A first aspect that contributes to the difficulty of the authorization process refers to the non-unitary interpretation of the legal provisions at the level of the Territorial Administrative Units (UAT), which leads to the application of a differentiated treatment from the point of view of the conditions that companies must meet in with a view to obtaining the building permit, depending on the locality within the radius of which the land on which the renewable energy production capacity is to be built is located,” say officials of the Competition Council.
As a result, the Competition Council recommends to the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Administration (MLDPA) the adoption, within the secondary legislation, of the provisions of Annex no. 6 – Approvals required for the authorization of new constructions to the Draft Code (initial version), in order to ensure unitary interpretations at the level of UATs, from the perspective of the requirements regarding the documents necessary for each company in order to obtain the building permit.
In order to be able to build renewable energy production capacities, investors must remove the land from the agricultural circuit, a procedure that involves interaction with several public authorities/institutions under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), which leads to a complex procedure, lasting, which contributes to the difficulty of accessing the market.
At the same time, the Land Fund Law (no. 18/1991) allows the construction of energy production capacities from renewable sources, in the outskirts, within the limit of 50 ha for agricultural lands of the III, IV and 5th quality, which prevents the development of large projects.
Thus, the competition authority recommends the Ministry of Agriculture to identify solutions that facilitate the procedure of removing extra-urban land from the agricultural circuit, so that the applicant interacts only with the County Agricultural Directorate, by submitting a single documentation, and, at the same time, to initiate the necessary steps for to allow the construction of photovoltaic and wind parks on agricultural land, located outside the village, having class III, IV and V quality (less fertile land), regardless of the surface.
Also, the authority recommends MADR to initiate the necessary steps to allow the construction of wind farms on agricultural lands, located outside the village, with quality class I and II (the most fertile), ensuring the goal pursued from the perspective of agricultural production through the dual system use of these lands.
During the course of the study, the incident legislation underwent some changes that lead to a simplification and streamlining of the authorization process for economic operators that invest in energy production capacities from renewable sources (both the obligation to enter the land into the urban area and the the obligation to amend the Zonal Urban Plan). Also, the process will be simplified with the entry into force of the Spatial Planning, Urban Planning and Construction Code and the implementation of the Emergency Ordinance on the single industrial license, promoted by the Competition Council and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Tourism, which aims to debureaucratize the environment of business. Thus, economic operators which invest in renewable energy production capacities will be able to apply to obtain a single industrial license, so that all licenses, authorizations, agreements, notices or permits necessary to carry out the activity will be obtained within a single procedure, carried out by electronic means, through the electronic Single Point of Contact for the industrial license (the building permit will be included in the single industrial license starting from January 1, 2025).
The Competition Council collaborated with the MDLPA and MADR representatives in order to identify solutions to make the process of authorizing construction works more efficient, during the course of the study.
In the next period, the competition authority will complete another study aimed at the possible restriction of the market access of energy producers from renewable sources in the process of obtaining the technical approval for connection (ATR) from the electricity transmission/distribution operator.