Smaller PV investments risk being sidelined, producers warn

Renewable energy producers have warned that new small-scale PV investments face a heightened risk of being sidelined as a result of the recent dominance of major-scale plans in the sector.

The overwhelming dominance in the number of large-scale production license applications submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, over the past year has smaller investors worried, sources at SPEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers, have told energypress.

Virtually all production license applications submitted over the past year have concerned project plans with capacities of 10 MW or more.

Once these investment plans have matured and licenses have been acquired, small-scale producers fear it will be impossible to compete against big investors  at auctions for viable tariff prices. One auction category has been established for all, regardless of size.

These concerns, expressed by Stelios Loumakis, SPEF’s president, are also shared by the majority of sector professionals, including engineers and installers. A market dominated by large-scale projects and investors will severely diminish opportunities for all others, they fear.

“Nobody wants major-scale investments to be obstructed. But this does not mean that space cannot be safeguarded and ensured for small-to-medium sized players, with fair terms,” Loumakis pointed out.

This is not the first time officials have requested protection for small-to-medium sized players in the PV market. The energy ministry received such proposals last September.