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Czechs unhappy with Romanian renewable stance

August 22nd, 2013

Czech conglomerate CEZ (PSE: CEZ) has asked the European Commission to take action over delays by Romania in paying green energy subsidies that may cost the Czech utility up to $89m a year.

CEZ is one of several foreign-owned firms who invested in Romania’s renewables sector, which originally participated because of incentives, but now find themselves at least temporarily bereft, after the Romanian government opted to change policy.

Romanian flag
In June, the government decided to hold off paying some of the subsidies for several years and cut the issue of so-called green certificates to avoid over-compensating investors and curb price increases for industry and homes.

CEZ, which operates Europe's largest land-based wind farm in Romania, said on Wednesday that retroactively changing the rules conflicted with basic European Union principles.

Based on the current value of CEZ's green certificates, the changes mean part of the utility's income from the scheme will be delayed until 2018 to 2020. According to Reuters, by then the value of the certificates could fall and Romania could further adjust the overall support scheme.

The European Commission said it was following the situation in Romania and investigating similar complaints over the changes from other companies involved in Romania's renewable sector.

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