On 8 February, the Ministry of Energy of Romania announced the re-launch of its tender for battery energy storage projects and investments in the manufacturing sector for the production of energy storage equipment and solar panels. The tenders aim to strengthen its energy security and grid resilience in the face of a continued increase in the share of renewable energy sources by adding at least 240MW/480MWh of battery storage capacity and at least 2GW of battery production, assembly and recycling capacity.
To achieve this goal, the Romanian government will conduct both tenders through competitive bidding. A total of €79.6 million is allocated for the battery energy storage project. €199 million will be spent on related manufacturing capacity. Of this amount, €149.25 million will be used for new cell production, assembly and recycling facilities. The remaining €49.75 million will be used for new solar PV cell production, assembly and recycling facilities.
Benefiting from the programme, the Romanian government expects to achieve the following two objectives by mid-2026. First, the production, assembly and recycling capacity of energy storage batteries and modules will increase to more than 2GW per year. The second is that the production, assembly and recycling capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will increase to more than 200MW per year.
These funds will help Romania to achieve the energy and environmental targets by 30 June 2026 set by its NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) in the framework of REPowerEU.
The details of the tender are set out below:
1. Project objective: to bring online, by 30 June 2026, at least 240 MW (or 480 MWh) of battery energy storage capacity and at least 2 GW per year of battery production, assembly and recycling capacity. In addition, a minimum of 200 MW/year of PV cell or panel production and/or assembly and recycling capacity is planned to be in operation.
2. Project Eligibility: purchase of facilities/equipment for the construction of new production capacity and/or assembly and recycling of batteries, and purchase of facilities/equipment for the construction of new production capacity and/or assembly and recycling of PV cells and panels.
3. Bid Eligibility:
For Energy Storage Capacity - Microenterprises, Small Enterprises, Medium Enterprises, and Large Enterprises that meet the requirements of Category 35 of the CAEN Code.
For New Capacity - Micro Enterprises, Small Enterprises, Medium Enterprises and Large Enterprises that are already involved in at least one activity with the following CAEN codes:
4. Funding allocation: The total budget associated with the call for projects is €199 million: partly for the realisation of new capacity for the production and/or assembly and recycling of batteries (€149,250,000) and partly for the realisation of new capacity for the production, assembly and recycling of solar photovoltaic cells and panels (€49,750,000).
5. Details of the competitive tender: The competitive tender procedure will be based on selection and scoring criteria and will be carried out through a dedicated electronic platform of the NRRP, with submission dates from 8 February 2024 at 09:00 a.m. to 21 March 2024 at 05:00 p.m.
This initiative by the Romanian Ministry of Energy responds to the EU's broader energy policies and objectives, especially in terms of increasing the share of renewable energy sources and promoting a green economy transition. The funding provided by the EU's Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) also reflects its investment and support to member states in the clean energy transition.
SMM believes that the tender will not only facilitate investment in the construction of related industries within Romania, but also provide a valuable case study for other EU countries, particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe that are seeking to grow in energy storage and clean energy.
What's more, as the EU and its member states continue to set higher renewable energy and emissions reduction targets, Romania's industrial products have a stronger production cost advantage over Western European countries. This is due to the fact that it is among the member states with a relative advantage in labour costs and land prices. If Romania can gain an advantage in the energy storage battery and photovoltaic industry and attract industrial capital from inside and outside the EU to invest in this field, it will help the EU to realise an autonomous and controllable sustainable energy supply chain.
SMM advocates that for pioneering enterprises in related fields that aspire to explore the EU market, laying out production capacity in Romania or other Central and Eastern European countries is also a development direction worth considering.