Romania’s president has refused to sign a bill into law that he says cancels the right of pre-communism owners over their property, that decision would help to remove one of the obstacles to developing wind energy in that country.
President Traian Basescu said Friday that he is returning to Parliament the law it recently adapted because it amounts to a “re confiscation” of private property that was seized by the Communists.
After communism ended in 1989, Romania began a long struggle with returning confiscated properties, in many instances instead of returning the property the state sold it to the tenants.
Those land disputes became one of the obstacles hampering development of wind energy in Romania, according to a report in this months’ issue of The Diplomat Bucharest magazine.
In returning the bill, Basescu said that the nation must continue to return confiscated properties as well as build apartments for the tenants of those properties. He reportedly added that only people who want to make money from real estate would have benefited from the bill he refused to sign into law.
However, even if property ownership disputes end, there are other obstacles to developing wind energy in Romania. Although the laws force property owners to sell land if the state wants to build a road, there is no similar provision for a right of way on privately owned land for electrical power transmission lines.
That problem, along with land speculation in areas where developing wind energy is likely, have led to soaring land prices, which means that small developers might find that paying for the extension of an electricity grid costs more than the project is worth.
Still, there is great interest in developing wind energy in Romania. Among the companies that are looking into opportunities to develop wind energy in Romania are Gaz de France, Czech Republic’s CEZ, Austrian-owned Petrom, Spanish group Bogaris and the Romanian state hydro power company Hidroelectrica.
Right now, renewable energy only represents 0.07 percent of Romania’s energy production, with 84 percent of that being hydro power and the remainder wind power.
Linda Young – AHN Editor
18 July 2008
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