Four multinationals active in Greece’s renewable energy market are set to express their concerns to the government over its plan to impose an extraordinary charge on RES producers in order to help eliminate the RES special account deficit.
Preparing a joint letter to be forwarded this week, the four multinationals, ENEL, Iberdrola, EDF and Total Eren, see any extraordinary charge on RES producers as a move that could breed investor insecurity and force reexaminations of investment plans for the Greek market.
The companies are reacting to recent comments by energy minister Costis Hatzidakis, who announced an extraordinary charger for RES producers is being considered to counter the RES special account deficit.
Older RES producers have already persevered a significant reduction in contracted tariffs for solar energy production at existing units, prompted by a so-called new deal nearly seven years ago.
That setback, plus other extraordinary charges, tightened up investments in Greece’s RES sector, only just beginning to recover.
Industry associations representing local RES enterprises have already spoken out against the plan for an extraordinary charge on producers.
Also, MPs representing various constituencies around the country face pressure by smaller solar energy producers to intervene and question the political leadership over its targeting of RES producers. Some 15,000 families around the country were affected by the new-deal tariff cut in 2014.
Hatzidakis, the energy minister, insists the government is committed to supporting the RES sector, as described in the National Energy and Climate Plan, adding, however, that the RES special account’s inflow has been reduced by the pandemic and its resulting energy consumption decrease.
“An unprecedented crisis exists and is impacting all sectors and all countries…we need to position ourselves with social responsibility,” Hatzidakis noted in an interview published yesterday by Greek daily Kathimerini.
Property owners have been forced to reduce rent levels by 30 percent to help keep Greek businesses afloat, the minister added, implying that RES producers must also contribute to help confront a widespread problem affecting all.
“Industry is under pressure; ordinary consumers are under pressure; and RES producers – I won’t say illegally or legally – are collecting revenue at an average price of 144 euros [per MWh] against a wholesale price averaging about 40 euros,” the minister noted.
Wind energy producers receive around 90 euros per MWh and solar energy producers approximately around 280 euros per MWh, Hatzidakis specified.
The government, like all governments, is right in leaving consumers out of the RES special account deficit equation, Hatzidakis said, as it is taking measures with social awareness intact.