Municipalities, consumers still awaiting local RES returns

Although nearly one year has elapsed since the energy ministry’s leadership of the time had signed a ministerial decision clarifying how a special deduction from wind-energy and hydropower project revenues would be distributed, municipalities and consumers in areas where such facilities have been installed have yet to receive any amounts.

Renewable energy source (RES) authorities have not been able to provide any information to numerous enquiries forwarded by local communities. Nobody seems to know anything about the fate of the ministerial decision, signed in December, 2014. The confusion is consequently creating a sense of distrust among local communities and municipalities for support of the few RES sector investments being made. Local governments and citizens are beginning to doubt whether they will ever receive RES-related returns they are entitled to.

According to law, a three percent deduction is imposed on revenues generated by RES projects. Local citizens in areas where RES facilities have been installed are entitled to one percent, their munipalities are supposed to receive a 1.7 percent share, while the remaining 0.3 percent is meant to be deposited into an environmental account.

Legislation for the matter, prior to last December’s ministerial decision, stretches back to 2010. Three years elapsed without any progress before another law on the matter was introduced in 2013. Another year of absolutely nothing followed. Then bureaucratic complications resulted over how retroactive payments covering 2010-2013 would be made before the most recent act, last December’s ministerial decision, was signed.

According to LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, it had accumulated 16.5 million euros from RES revenue deductions for distribution by September, 2014. A 74 percent proportion was -derived from wind energy park revenue deductions, and 13.5 percent stemmed from small hydropower facility revenue deductions.