PV investors facing new charge, recycling fee of €7 per panel

Solar energy producers are expected to face a new charge this year, a recycling fee on panel purchases, expected to cost as much as 7 euros per panel, which would increase overall investment costs for the sector to dangerously high levels.

The imposition of such a fee at this rate would, for example, cost PV investors an additional 7,500 euros for a 500-kW park, raising the investment cost to extraordinarily high levels – for domestic and European standards.

Though the prospect was raised by officials last summer, its legislative roots stretch back to 2014. Three years later, in 2017, the Hellenic Recycling Agency (EOAN/HRA), an independent entity supervised by the energy ministry, informed the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (SEF/HELAPCO) that PV producers and panel importers are obliged to adopt the surcharge.

There has been no action to date as the energy ministry has sought to lower the prospective surcharge. Once a recycling fee rate is established, it will theoretically apply retroactively on all PV invoices from 2014. A legislative revision may be needed to fine-tune the implementation of the charge.