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Sun-Powered Savings: Investing in Photovoltaic Systems through the EEA and Norway Grants

General Director Radu Lazar demonstrating the connection of 20 batteries to the solar panels.© Eva Marie Bulai
Pictured: General Director Radu Lazar demonstrating the connection of 20 batteries to the solar panels.
Through the EEA and Norway Grants, e-Laborator became the first furniture manufacturer in Romania to use only solar energy for its operations. The financing the company received is for their photovoltaic systems which increased the company's energy resilience and security significantly. By generating their own electricity, the grant beneficiaries are less vulnerable to power outages and fluctuations in energy prices.

"We could have lost 4-5.000 Euro in only a few hours"

The company e-Laborator Feeria SRL used to have power blackouts from one hour to a whole day. The furniture in production was rendered unusable and often machines needed repair.

Radu Lazar (e-Laborator): You can imagine if you have a machine running with 12.000 rotations per minute, and suddenly it stops. Without a shadow of a doubt, the piece of furniture breaks, and you can't get it out from the machine. Not only that, but the machine itself may also break - which certainly happened in the past - and the reparation costs 4-5.000 Euro.

Innovation Norway meets the e-Laborator General Director Radu Lazar in a small village just outside of Targoviste. It is only a 1,5-hour drive from the Romanian capital of Bucuresti, but it is a rural area. Mr. Lazar wanted to establish the production site for e-Laborator in his home village.

Unstable power supply

The company produces furniture for laboratories of universities, medical offices and pharmacies.

Radu Lazar (e-Laborator): We use compressed air for all the production. It happened that when we had the power blackouts, the compressor was destroyed. Then the whole fabric stopped, and we had to send our workers home. When we don't have compressed air, we cannot do anything.

Besides the expense of repairs, the lack of compressed air resulted in significant delays for entire orders.

The company used to be in great need for a more stable power supply, and with funding from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein through the EEA and Norway Grants, specifically from the Energy Programme in Romania, they were able to install solar panels with a 127 KW capacity and batteries with a storage capacity of 100 KW.

A magazine with picture of the solar panels© Eva Marie Bulai
Pictured: Proudly showcasing the solar panels, the company always emphasizes the effects of their investment.

70-80% lower energy-bills

Innovation Norway: How do you feel the difference from before the investment?

Radu Lazar (e-Laborator): Now we almost never have defects on our machines, which we had often because of the power breakdowns. Furthermore, our energy bills have fallen 70-80%, which we can really feel.

Despite the fluctuations in power supply in the rural area where they are situated, they can now continue the productions even during power blackouts. The solar energy they produce on-site keeps the factory operational for almost an hour and a half.

Radu Lazar (e-Laborator): The hour and a half of backup power gives us enough time to finish off one production series and we can safely shut down the equipment without risk of machines being affected or parts of furniture broken. So we have solved a very important problem with this investment.

A handmade mug and plate with the text e-laborator on it.© Alina Toporas
Pictured: A handmade mug by e-Laborator. Innovation Norway received a souvenir from the visit organized by EFTA, the Romanian Ministry of European Funds, the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Innovation Norway


Programme: Energy Programme in Romania

Grant amount: €243,263

Total project cost: €325,979

Finalised: 31.08.2021


  • Increased energy-security
  • Reduced damages of furniture and machines during power blackouts
  • 70-80% reduction in energy bills
  • 48,18 tonnes reduction of CO2-emissions
  • 157,49 MWh a year estimated annual production of energy

By embracing solar energy through the grants, e-Laborator are taking proactive steps towards a more sustainable and secure energy future for themselves. The EEA and Norway Grants have been an enormous help in improving the company’s financial stance.

About the Energy Programme in Romania

The Energy Programme in Romania, managed by Innovation Norway, aims at less carbon intensive energy and increased energy security, providing grants for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and electrification of households. The Programme financing is ensured through the EEA and Norway Grants which contribute to social and economic development in 10 European countries, including Romania.

About Innovation Norway

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. Innovation Norway supports companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation.

In Romania, Innovation Norway is managing two programmes: the Energy Programme and the SMEs Growth Programme

This interview has been conducted in collaboration with Eva Marie Bulai

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