PV group urges for tariff rate to remain at 9 cents per KWh

The Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (HELAPCO), locally known as SEF, has forwarded an open letter to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras requesting the avoidance of significantly lower production tariffs for the sector in 2015, as has been planned, and maintenance of the current year’s rate of 90 euros per MWh, or nine cents per KWh.

The association’s open letter to the country’s leader warns that, based on current plans, tariff rates for the photovoltaic sector will fall to levels ranging between 60 and 65 cents (euro) per MWh over the next few years, which, the letter added, will deprive the sector of any growth prospects.

HELAPCO’s letter noted that growth in the sector was virtually non-existent in 2014, despite current rates being 50 percent higher than the intended new rates.

“The year 2015 will be particularly crucial for the entire country. Decisions to be made in the immediate future will determine whether many of the economy’s sectors will return to growth or not. As we recently pointed out to you, the photovoltaic market is currently not only faced by new challenges and objectives, but, unfortunately, also exceptionally low tariff rates for production of ‘green’ energy, [at levels] so low that they cannot gurantee the sustainability of investments made,” the open letter notes. “Any positive measures taken in recent times, such as the lifting of a suspension on new project permits, are now in danger of being eliminated by an incorrect revision reached in the past and concerning 2015 and on,” it continued.

In the letter, the association questions the reasoning behind the planned rate reduction for photovoltaic production at a time when virtually no new facilities are being installed. It also asks why the sun will be rewarded even less than the cost of lignite-based electricity production in 2015. The HELAPCO letter also enquires why new photovoltaic projects are not being supported despite their promise of a reduction in the overall cost of electricity for local consumers, as indicated by a recent study.

The letter concludes by warning that failure to heed the dangers spelt out by the association will force many of the sector’s operations to go out of business.