Ministry working seriously on small wind-energy system promotion

The Environment and Energy Ministry is working on a comprehensive framework promoting the installation of small wind-energy turbines in Greece. To specify terms and conditions, the effort is seen as a first serious attempt by the ministry for the development of this renewable energy sub-sector.

The objective is to have prepared a finalized plan by early in the summer, followed by the signing of a ministerial decision that will launch a development program for installation of small turbines with a capacity of up to 50 kW, as was stipulated by legislation ratified in 2013 but which has yet to be implemented.

Officials working on the plan are believed to be focused on two key aspects, the regional factor, or where installation of small wind-energy turbines will be permitted, and technical standards and certification to be required.

An effort is being made by ministry officials to avoid complexities for prospective investors. Officials also intend to allow small-turbine operators to take advantage of net metering provisions, as is the case with photovoltaic systems.

Net metering enables electricity consumers who generate their own power from an eligible on-site facility and deliver it to local distribution facilities to offset the electric energy provided by the utility during an applicable billing period.

Despite the existence of investment and commercial interest, activity in the small-scale wind energy sector is currently grounded. The number of applications submitted to HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, by parties interested in installing small wind-energy turbines, based on the older law, has varied in conflicting reports, but the tally is definitely over 1,000.

These applications will be processed, based on order of submission, once the new ministerial decision has been signed, assuming their respective applicants are still interested, given the new tariffs to be included in the new RES support framework.