A RES auction that was expected to be staged in December to offer a remaining 340-MW capacity for solar energy units appears increasingly unlikely to go ahead given the insufficient time left between now and the end of the year.
Normally, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy staging these auctions, requires a period of approximately two and a half months to conduct RES auction preparations in proper fashion.
The RAE board has not taken a decision to stage a RES auction in December as the energy ministry has not given the green light.
The ministry, troubled by the deficit of the RES special account, used to remunerate producers for output, may want to limit the level of fixed tariffs offered to producers through RES auctions.
The year’s wind energy capacity offered to investors was fully exhausted at the most recent RES auction in July, offering both wind and PV capacities.
Authorities could announce a RES auction for 2021 before the end of this year. Or the year’s remaining 340-MW capacity for solar energy could be incorporated into new terms from January onwards.
It should be pointed out that the energy ministry has yet to decide on whether to submit an application to Brussels for an extension of the right to stage RES auctions beyond 2020.
Some market officials, including power utility PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis, believe RES projects should participate in imminent target model markets, not RES auctions, for tariffs as of 2021.
RES market officials, fearing that an abrupt end of the RES auctions could create funding issues for new RES projects until the market’s new framework is fully implemented, prefer a transitory period.
Energy ministry decisions on the RES auctions will be combined with solutions aiming for the RES special account’s sustainability. Surprises cannot be ruled out.