‘Disruption management’ plan to harm RES sector, associations warn

The “disruption management” plan being prepared by the energy ministry as one of the immediate bailout conditions faced by the country will prove to be detrimental to the renewable energy sources (RES) sector, which will be forced to assume the bulk of the measure’s cost, ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, and ESMYE, the Greek Association for Small-Scale Hydropower Projects, have announced in a joint statement.

The plan will enable energy cost savings for major-scale industry in exchange for shifting energy usage to off-peak hours whenever required by IPTO, the power grid operator. The energy ministry needs to strike an appropriate balance on who will cover the costs of the plan if it is to be made fair and effective.

The two associations reminded that they had issued a warning last May against the Syriza-led government’s lack of a clear-cut and binding strategy for RES development in Greece, whose potential, they added, is enormous.

The current government had condemned the “disruption management” plan prior to its first election victory last January, the two associations noted. “Now that it has been re-elected, the government seems to be pushing forward with the plan, using the bailout obligation as a pretext,” the associations protested.

The “disruption management” plan, already endorsed by the European Commission, has been ready for months. It has raised RES sector concerns because its annual cost, estimated at between 50 million and 60 million euros, will be mostly shouldered by the RES sector. If adopted as is, existing photovoltaic and wind-energy producers will have 3.6 percent and 1.8 percent of revenues withheld, respectively.

Certain parties will be “rewarded for services they do not provide and other parties will be made to pay for services they do not enjoy,” the associations declared, adding that the RES sector must not assume the costs as planned amid an unbalanced market with insufficient liquidity.