Greece’s reduced country risk and the drastic drop in RES technology purchase and installation costs, both for solar and wind energy, appear to have been key factors that drove down prices for output remuneration at Monday’s RES auction, staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.
RES facility purchase and installation costs have fallen considerably over the past year, especially for wind-energy systems, down by around 30 percent. New-technology turbines not only cost less to buy but have made spectacular gains in productivity, enabling the development of sustainable projects even in areas offering low and medium wind-energy potential.
As for the photovoltaic sub-sector, the cost of solar panels has also dropped significantly but anti-dumping measures imposed by the EU and the US to protect these markets from low-cost Chinese imports have subdued the growth potential.
Besides the lower purchase and installation costs, a downward trend seen continuing to create further sustainability expectations, the low prices reached at Monday’s RES auctions can also be greatly attributed to the considerably lower financing costs enjoyed by foreign enterprises compared to Greek rivals, including major domestic players.
For quite some time now, foreign players have eyed Greece’s RES market, now offering satisfactory and guaranteed yields, but hesitated to make the move as a result of the elevated country risk factor.
The latest RES auction suggested these concerns are subsiding. The participation of major players such as Germany’s ABO and Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis, both new entries into the Greek market, could, on the one hand, intensify competition and create problems for local firms, but, on the other, could set a trend for more sector investments in the near future.
“Investors are like fish. They all move together to wherever one or two made the initial move,” one pundit told energypress.
Three auctions were staged for three sub-categories – small-scale photovoltaic installations of less than one MW; larger-scale PV installations measuring between one and 20 MW; and wind energy installations of between 3 and 50 MW.
In the first category (small-scale photovoltaic installations of less than one MW), large projects were broken up into many smaller ones. Egnatia Energia was a dominant participant securing 46 of the catalogue’s 83 projects for a total of 34 MW of the 53 MW offered.
In the second category (larger-scale PV installations measuring between one and 20 MW), Germany’s ABO was a main bidder, securing 5 projects with a total capacity of roughly 45 MW at prices of between 62.97 and 62.99 euros per MWh for the output’s remuneration.
In the third category (wind energy installations of between 3 and 50 MW), EDP Renovaveis was a main player. It secured a 44.6-MW wind energy park for a price of 68.18 euros per MWh for output.
Other successful bidders included Marmara Pavlidis, securing two projects with a combined capacity of 36 MW; Vedavel (one project, 34-MW); Eltech Anemos (one project, 28.8 MW), Iberdrola Rokas (one project, 16 MW), and PPC Renewables (one project on the island Andros, 11.5 MW).
A total of 83 projects with an overall capacity of 53.4835 MWp qualified for the auction’s first category. Its starting price was set at 85 euros per MWh. The lowest bidding price was 75.87 euros per MWh.
A total of eight projects with an overall capacity of 52.91896 MWp were selected for the second category. Its starting price was set at 80 euros per MWh. The lowest bidding price was 62.97 euros per MWh.
A total of seven projects with an overall capacity of 170.925 MWp were selected for the third category. Its starting price was set at 90 euros per MWh. The lowest bidding price was 68.18 euros per MWh.