Net metering interest struck by adverse market conditions

The recent introduction of the net metering option available to electricity self-producers served as a good indicator for prospective demand of photovoltaic systems, but the summer’s eventual imposition of capital controls has held back actual investments in this domain.

Both household and professional consumers, especially the latter, had shown a great interest, enquiring about technical details, in order to utilize the net metering system for self-production after the option was introduced in early May, according to officials at the Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Ministry. But the emergence of capital controls swiftly flattened all interest. The measure’s cash restrictions immediately reshuffled consumer and business priorities. Also, PV sector merchants have been left unable to import equipment as a result. All that currently remains available in the market is any equipment that may have been previously stocked up by merchants.

HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – locally acronymed DEDDIE – had planned to announce it is ready to accept net metering applications from interested parties, but has decided to postpone the initiative as a result of the adverse conditions. It may launch procedures following this Sunday’s elections.

According to sources, most of the net metering interest expressed to date concerns enterprises with plans to install PV facilities with capacities between 25 to 50 KW. The majority are businesses consuming considerable amounts of electricity, such as hotels and bakeries.

Market sources anticipate the early interest shown for net metering systems will eventually recover once market conditions return to normal. However, the level of PV activity is not expected to reach phenomenal levels achieved several years ago, before the sector’s bubble eventually burst. Even so, the expected increase in PV activity promises to offer respite to the sector’s enterprises, from equipment suppliers to installers.

The net metering plan 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.