Romania approves much awaited green energy support
The promise of a generous support scheme, good steady winds and a potentially lucrative market of some 22 million people have attracted scores of wind energy developers to Romania in recent years.Czech power group CEZ has halfway finished building Europe’s largest onshore wind park in the Dobrogea region in southeastern Romania, a 1.1 billion euros project.Other power firms developing wind projects in Romania include Italy’s Enel, Spain’s Iberdrola and Energias de Portugal.Romania’s energy regulator ANRE has estimated the overall renewable support scheme will cost some 10 billion euros over 10 years and add up to 33 euros per megawatt to prices by 2017.In the case of wind energy, the support scheme gives developers two green certificates for every megawatt hour of electricity they produce, while suppliers must get an increasing percentage of the power they sell from renewable energy and buy certificates to meet these targets.Wind power developers gain once by selling the certificates, worth between 27 and 55 euros each to power providers, and again when they sell the electricity produced.Romania jumped from 14 megawatts of installed wind energy at the end of 2009 to 462 megawatts at the end of last year, and should have some 4,000 megawatts by 2020.
Harrisburg, Pa., files for chapter 9 bankruptcy: report
The Pennsylvania state capital faces a $300 million debt crises tied to a project to revamp its incinerator and has been plagued with cash flow problems.Mark Schwartz, the council’s attorney in this matter, said on Wednesday that the bankruptcy filing would give the city “bargaining power” with its creditors and with the state, which is considering a takeover plan.”They were tired of being humiliated and denigrated,” he said of the council members who voted for bankruptcy on Tuesday.Chapter 9 is “a much better forum if you really want to address the financial problems of the city,” he added.The bankruptcy court for the middle district of Pennsylvania confirmed on Wednesday they have received a faxed bankruptcy petition from Harrisburg, but that it has not been filed yet.The state legislature is considering a bill that would call for an eventual takeover of the city and the forced implementation of a fiscal rescue plan.In July, the City Council rejected a state-approved rescue plan, which called on it to renegotiate labor deals, cut jobs, and sell or lease its most valuable assets, including the incinerator and parking garages.In August, the council rejected a similar plan that had been crafted by Mayor Linda Thompson, saying that both plans were overly burdensome for Harrisburg residents and did not ask enough of the county, bondholders and the bond insurer, Assured Guaranty.On Wednesday, a spokesman for Thompson said that the council’s actions could accelerate the state approving a takeover of Harrisburg.”(The bankruptcy) is hugely unpopular, but the council…is an independent body,” said mayoral spokesman Robert Philbin.He also said the city’s solicitor had raised questions about the legality of the vote during the meeting on Tuesday. The solicitor, Jason Hess, was not immediately available for comment.However, City Controller Dan Miller said on Wednesday the filing was the right move for Harrisburg.”I think it’s the only real option that we had,” said Miler, adding that the previous plans rejected by city council would have benefited creditors at the expense of the city.”They wanted to sell all of our assets and make Harrisburg destitute for decades to come,” he said.