Imminent RES support system aiming to revive PV sector

The Environment and Energy Ministry pre-notified the European Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Competition late last week on the fundamentals of the new support model for renewable energy source (RES) producers and must present the full details by the second half of January, according to energypress sources.

Although a ministerial committee has held recent talks with RES sector officials, the full plan will not be forwarded for public consultation procedures until it has been submitted to the European Commission.

As part of Greece’s recent third bailout agreement, the government was expected to ratify a new RES support system, in line with EU guidelines, by the end of this year for implementation at the beginning of 2016. Greece was granted an extension of several months as the country was originally expected to deliver a plan by July, 2015. However, a slight additional extension into 2016 is now needed, which is why the ministry delivered a pre-notification of its plan to be imminently followed by the full version early in 2016.

The key objective of the ministerial committee working on the RES plan is to establish a support system that will be compatible with EU guidelines, without, however, drastically changing investment plans for projects deemed as being mature for development.

Basic features of the plan will, according to sources, include feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic systems of up to 500 KW, while PV systems over 500 KW and wind-energy facilities of over 3 MW will be backed by a feed-in premium system suitable for Greece’s current economic conditions while also offering fair prospects for investors. A variety of premiums are applied in other parts of Europe, including fixed and floating. Different premiums are expected to apply for each RES technology.

The basic principle behind the ministry’s approach is to ensure reosanable returns for investors as an incentive to re-activate the RES market, especially the PV sector, without overheating market prices, as was the case in the past.

A competitive procedure is expected to be applied as of January 1, 2017, for the support system concerning PV facilities of over 1 MW and wind-energy parks of over 6 MW.