Although Enel announced its withdrawal from all energy sales and distribution operations in Romania, it decided to keep its production operations, namely its renewable energy division, Enel Green Power Romania.
A promising investment
Most of the investments in the wind sector was absorbed by the Dobrogea region. Due to the relatively strong and predictable winds, and extended land suitable for the installation of turbines, Dobrogea is the “crown jewel” in wind energy. With wind power being the most promising renewable technology in the Romanian power sector, it′s no wonder Enel Green Power stepped in the Romanian wind sector.
In December 2010, Enel Green Power commenced operation of its first wind farm in Romania, the “Agighiol” plant, located in Valea Nucarilor municipality, close to Tulcea. The wind farm consisted of 17 turbines with a capacity of 2 MW each, for a total installed capacity of 34 MW. Enel Green Power′s expansion in Romania continued with the 30 MW Sălbatica I wind farm that entered into operation in January 2011 and brought the company’s total installed wind capacity in Romania to 64 MW. Enel Green Power Romania continued to expand at a rapid clip over the next two years, with Corugea, Sălbatica I, Sălbatica II, Moldova Nouă, Zephir I, Zephir II and Gebelesis, bringing Enel Green Power to a total wind installed capacity in Romania of around 500 MW. A total of around 340 million Euro was invested in constructing these wind farms, part of the investments being covered by credits from Danish government’s Export Credit Agency (“EKF”). In July 2013, Enel Green Power connected to the network its first photovoltaic plants in Romania. The two plants, Berceni 1 and Berceni 2, are located in Prahova county and have a combined installed capacity of around 19 MW. Shortly after, Enel Green Power connected to the grid the Colibaşi and Podari photovoltaic plants. The start of their operations brought the installed solar capacity of the Enel Group’s renewables specialist in Romania to approximately 36 MW. In December 2013, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Enel Green Power have closed a financing operation for 200 million Euro to partially cover investments for some wind farms in the Banat and Dobrogea regions of Romania. Now, the company has around 55 employees working in the offices of Bucharest, Tulcea, Constanţa and Moldova Nouă. According to reports in the Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), Enel Green Power has a market share of 1.2% of total electricity production in Romania.
A promise kept
Enel Green Power Romania registered last year a turnover of 64.7 million and reported a net profit of 56 million Euro, according to the data published by the Ministry of Finance. So, last year, Enel Green Power Romania operated at a net profit margin of nearly 87%, one of the largest in the local economy. Virtually, for each 100 Euro received, Enel Green Power Romania recorded a profit of 87 Euro. Most of the revenue and profits incurred by energy producers who invest in renewable energy, including Enel Green Power, does not come from their core business, ie the production of electricity, but from the subsidies granted by the Romanian State and paid by all energy consumers. This support takes the form of green certificates. In 2011, after a long process of authorization, Romania received in July approval from the European Commission to implement the support scheme for production of energy from renewable sources proposed through Law 220/2008. According to this law, until 2017, the producers of green energy receive two green certificates for each unit of electricity delivered (1 MWh), which can be sold separately from the electricity, on the green certificates market. In 2013, following the application of the support scheme, the installed capacity in power plants that benefited from the system reached 4,349 MW and a 6,279 GWh production.
Enel – A history in harvesting green energy
Enel was established 50 years ago through the nationalization of 1,271 private companies that were operating throughout Italy, contributing to the development of the country’s energy sector. That decade, Enel finalized the construction of the transport and interconnection network, which also allowed the electrification of moun – tain villages in the peninsula. Also at that time, Enel started constructing its first important thermal power plants in Italy. Following the 1970s oil crisis, the company’s research and development departments started to look for alternative sources of ener gy. In the 1980′s Enel started the construction of its first power plants based on renewable energy – solar and wind energy. In 1992, three decades after its establishment, Enel became a limited com – pany, this being the first definitive step towards privatizing the Italian company. The privatization process was finalized in 1999, a year that also marks the company’s debut on the capital market, with a listing of approximately 4 billion shares, an operation that was the largest public offer ever launched at the time, both value-wise and from the point of view of the number of shareholders. On November 2, 1999, Enel’s shares were listed on the Italian Stock Exchange. On November 4th, 2010, Enel Green Power, an Enel Group company, set up in order to manage projects based on renewable energy, was listed on the Milan and Madrid Stock Exchanges. Enel Green Power shortly thereafter became a world leader on the renewable market, being present in 16 countries, on three continents: Europe, North America and Latin America. In Romania, Enel Green Power operates almost 270 MW in the wind power sector. Also in 2010, the Group inaugurated its first industrial-scale hydrogen power plant designed to produce both electricity and heat. 2010 also marked the launch of the Archimedes thermodynamic solar power plant. This thermodynamic solar power plant can produce and store energy, permitting the generation of electricity during the night too or while the sky is overcast. Located in Priollo Gargallo, near Siracuse, the plant has a capacity of 5 MW and was the first solar plant that used molten salts as a heat transfer fluid as well as the first that used a combined gas – solar energy cycle in order to produce electricity.
Enel Green Power is one of the global leaders in its industry with an installed capacity of 9,149 MW, produced by 718 plants in 16 countries from a mix of sources including wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass. The company generated more than 25 billion kWh in 2012 from water, sun, wind and the Earth’s heat – enough to meet the energy needs of approximately 10 million households and avoid the emission of over 18 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.