RES auction exemptions plan discussed by Brussels, locals

Energy ministry and European Commission Directorate General for Competition officials have exchanged views, over the past few days, on a Greek plan seeking the exemption of certain renewable energy sub-categories from RES auctions.

The Greek side needs to support its case as Brussels has not embraced exemptions included in the plan, which is based on recommendations made by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

EU directives propose across-the-board auctions for all renewable energy technologies. But the directives do not rule out seperate auctions for RES sub-categories. However, such a move would need to be fully substantiated. Greek officials believe their case is valid.

The Greek plan is seeking approval of a plan for separate auctions concerning wind and PV technologies as well as an exemption from auctions for all other RES technologies, including small-scale hydropower and biomass units, as well wind-energy facilties with capacities of less than 3 MW.

If the Greek plan is approved by Brussels, the energy ministry will need to issue a ministerial decision containing various auction details, including the number of rounds and terms.

According to sources, the Greek plan includes a proposal for separate wind energy auctions, divided regionally, for producers in northwest, central and eastern Greece, and taking into account the differing wind conditions of these respective regions.

The RAE plan primarily focuses on auctions for PV and wind energy products. Pilot auctions for the PV sub-sector have already been successfully staged.