RES sector in danger of being left without support system

The country is in danger of being left without an approved financial support plan for the renewable energy sources (RES) sector in 2016, meaning the current emission reduction tariffs (ETMEAR) paid by energy-intensive industries to support the RES sector could be susceptible to legal challenges and even be considered a form of state aid. This would have a negative impact on investors struggling to remain afloat in the RES sector.

Based on the latest bailout agreement, Greece must have a new RES support plan approved by the end of this year and ready for implementation in 2016. This new plan will need to be compatible with EU guidelines issued in June, 2014 on state aid in the environment and energy domains. Greece was given an extension on a previous deadline set for July this year.

The support system deals with details concerning the amounts paid to RES producers supplying the grid, and the method used to determine these payments.

According to energypress sources, the entire process has been severely delayed, making the objective of ratifying legislation by the end of this year impossible. At this stage, having prepared a finalized plan by the end of this year, even if not legislated, is a more realistic objective, one source noted. “This could allow for a small deadline extension that would save the system,” the source told energypress.

Officials at the energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, CRES, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving – locally known as KAPE – and the German consulting firm GIZ are working on the prospective new model, based on the EU guidelines, to replace the current model, which is based on fixed feed-in-tariffs.

Various groups, such as ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, and SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists, are seeking to contribute proposals to the process.