Brussels requests joint auctions for wind, PV capacity

A series of European Commission responses to a RES auction plan prepared by Greece’s energy ministry, based on RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) proposals, have called for a jointly staged auction procedure involving both wind and photovoltaic energy installations.

Brussels authorities pointed out that auction procedures for PV and wind facilities should not be held separately but, instead, involve investors representing both technologies, the reasoning being that the cost of these is similar.

The European Commission also wants further documentation for a Greek proposal concerning the exemption of small-scale hydropower units from competitive procedures.

Responding to these observations, Greece’s energy ministry appears to have remained adamant on its plan, believing that separate PV and wind energy auctions should be staged until at least 2019.

A hybrid plan also appears to have been tabled for discussion. According to this proposal, joint auctions would be staged for PV and wind energy installations but include minimum capacity amounts that would need to be covered by both PV and wind energy technologies, as well as a minimum capacity amount to be covered by both.

EU directives, adopted by Greece for the country’s new legal framework for the RES sector, require competitive procedures for all RES technologies and categories.

The installation of new RES facilities requires a series of European Commission approvals. As a result, market officials consider the probability of auctions being staged within 2017 to be highly unlikely.

According to the Greek plan, auctions will mainly concern PV and wind energy units. An initial pilot auction for PV installations has already been successfully staged.

RAE has proposed competitive procedures for wind energy units in cases  where project capacity exceeds 3 MW.

The authority has proposed separate auctions for major-scale wind, offshore wind facilities and fast-track investments.