Energy authorities have decided to defer a plan for stricter property ownership regulations concerning prospective RES project applications as the energy ministry deems the introduction of letters of guarantees worth 35,000 euros per MW required to accompany applications is proving effective in the effort to cool down the overheated RES market.
Just 127 applications (representing 960 MW) for RES producer certificates, an early step in the RES licensing procedure, were submitted to the October cycle, sharply down from 743 for 17.45 GW lodged in the previous cycle, in June.
The energy ministry is currently preparing a second round of RES licensing simplification measures, to soon be forwarded for public consultation. Its details are not expected to differ greatly compared an initial proposal prepared by the ministry.
Stricter property ownership regulations have been considered to help resolve RES market overheating as a number of applications lodged have ended up being entangled in overlapping property disputes.
The assessment by RAE, the Regulatory Authority of Energy, of RES production certificate applications submitted to the June cycle is progressing and should be completed by the end of September, energypress sources have informed.
Barring no complications, such as overlapping RES property issues, applicants should receive related emails by early October requesting payment of producer certificate fees to DAPEEP, the RES market operator. Successful applicants will be given 20 day-periods to pay this fee.
A total of 743 applications for RES units representing a total capacity of 17.4 GW were submitted to RAE for the June cycle, the authority has announced. Solar energy units, totaling 302 and representing 12.8 GW, were the cycle’s dominant RES technology, followed by wind energy units, reaching 290 in total for 4.2 GW.
Meanwhile, RAE is preparing to establish a 35,000-euro letter of guarantee as a prerequisite for applications, this measure’s objective being to limit applications to RES investors with serious intentions.
The authority launched a brief public consultation procedure on Friday. It concludes tomorrow, paving the way for the energy ministry’s draft bill for the letter of guarantee measure’s implementation.
Thousands of RES investors already holding producer certificates are racing against time to avoid letter-of-guarantee payments of 35,000 euros per MW, which will be avoided if they manage to submit complete applications for finalized connection offers by a February 28, 2022 deadline to distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO or power grid operator IPTO.
This same deadline applies for imminent producer certificates to be issued through last month’s application cycle. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has already begun processing these applications submitted in June. If these investors miss the February deadline for finalized connection offers, they too will also face letter of guarantee costs.
From the next cycle – in October – onwards, most applicants will need to submit letters of guarantee worth 35,000 euros per MW. Investors behind smaller projects with capacities of less than 1 MW, strategic investments, projects for public-benefit purposes, as well as projects developed by local authorities and foundations, will be exempted from the upcoming letter of guarantee requirement.
Its prospect is expected to increase the pressure on DEDDIE/HEDNO and IPTO, expected to face an increased inflow of applications over the next few months as investors scramble to meet the February 28 deadline.
The 35,000-euro per MWh letter of guarantee is being introduced to prevent saturation caused by applicants submitting bids but not following up with actual project development.
RES investors applying for producer certificates concerning facilities over 1 MW may need to also submit accompanying letters of guarantee worth 35,000 euros per MW as part of the application process, the objective being to make this procedure more demanding and restrict applications to investors with serious intentions of following through on their plans.
Heightened investment interest has led to an overheated RES market, especially in the large-scale PV category, prompting saturation at various stages of the licensing process.
Restricting applications to investors with serious intentions will help free precious system capacity currently taken up by PV investors acting in a haphazard fashion without full commitment to their plans.
If the measure is eventually implemented, an investor behind a solar energy project plan with a capacity of 50 MW, for example, will need to submit a letter of guarantee worth 1.75 million euros.
The energy ministry does not intend to take immediate action but is likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach over a six-month adjustment period before deciding on whether to require letters of guarantee.