RES auction questions trouble ministry, date shift possible

A flood of questions by prospective participants of upcoming RES auctions to offer wind and solar energy project installation capacities has troubled the energy ministry, which is considering delaying the auctions.

The ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and DEDDIE/HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, have all been swamped by questions raised by investors, a main issue being whether guarantees demanded from participants in advance will be returned if their bids ultimately prove unsuccessful.

As has been previously reported by energypress, the energy ministry intends to satisfy this concern and take measures enabling the return of guarantees to participating investors who fail to secure RES capacities at the auctions.

However, this will require a legislative revision. As a result, investors are hesitating to take the next step and submit applications by a June 5 deadline, now less than a month away. The auctions are scheduled to be staged on July 2.

Besides not taking up unutilized capacity that could obstruct other investors from proceeding with their projects, auction participants who have their guarantees returned may have RES production licenses revoked, meaning their project plans would be cancelled.

The energy ministry has responded to the overall sense of unrest by stressing it is well aware of the situation and intends to soon push through the required legislative revision. Even so, a slight postponement of the auction date is possible, according to certain energy ministry officials.

The objective is to provide appropriate conditions for investors and secure a high level of participation at the auctions.

“Very different messages will be projected if the country emerges from the auctions with an additional 600 MW of RES projects as opposed to a far lower level,” one pundit remarked.

The upcoming RES auctions have been split into three categories. One will concern photovoltaic installations with capacities less than 1 MW. Another will offer photovoltaic installations with capacities of between 1 and 20 MW. A third auction will cater to wind energy installations between 3 and 50 MW. A limit of 300 MW has been set for each of the two categories.

Meanwhile, ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, will hold a RES investments conference in Athens tomorrow at the OTE Academy Amphitheater (Pelika & 1 Spartis, Marousi). RAE officials will participate.