The Romanian regulator (ANRE) approved Order 236/2019 (published in the Official Gazette No. 1029 of December 20), which includes a provision stating that electricity trading may not only be carried out on a centralized market. This should allow trading outside of the Romanian power exchange – OPCOM. The order enters into force on 01/01/2020. It provides the general requirement that all electricity transactions take place in a transparent, public, organized and non-discriminatory manner and includes the “non-regulated markets” amongst the markets on which electricity can be traded. This wording could be read as a reference to directly negotiated PPAs outside a regulated/organized market intended to be allowed by ANRE, which would contradict the express ban in art. 21 (1) of the Romanian Energy Act.
Romanian Energy Act 123/2012 still contains the requirement that all transactions should be carried out on a centralized market (i.e. OPCOM). So there is still uncertainty. Currently, only standard products are traded at OPCOM, which prevents Romanian market participants from entering into non-standard or bilateral deals for flexible products. This artificially increases the volume of the day-ahead market and severely restricts short-term cross-border trade.
If Romania abolishes the requirement for mandatory trading on the exchange, it would mean that Bulgaria remains the only European country with mandatory power and natural gas trading via an exchange (IBEX).
Source: Romanian Lawyers Week