Spatial planning-licensing, grid connectivity and the remuneration formula for investors are three key factors pivotal to the development of the country’s offshore wind farm industry, investors and authorities agree.
Speaking at an event staged yesterday by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou stressed that the right formula for the sector’s development needs to be based on these three factors.
This industry’s course abroad, so far, has shown that a variety of options can be adopted for each of these factors. Fellow European countries have followed a range of paths, often contradictory. Greece’s energy ministry will need to seek solutions that best suit local conditions.
The spatial planning-licensing options range from a liberal model adopted by the UK, offering offshore wind farm investors maximum freedom to develop their investment plans, as they deem best, including in choice of appropriate location for maximum commercial potential, and, at the other end, a state-regulated model, as practiced in countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands. In this latter case, state regulatory authorities are responsible for determining installation locations and capacities, through studies of their own, before staging auctions.
ELETAEN’s proposal favors a mixed approach, through which the state would initiate the process by allotting wider areas for offshore wind farm development.
The wind energy association also favors a mixed approach for network connectivity that would require power grid operator IPTO to develop main lines in areas designated by the state for offshore wind farm installations.
Local authorities and players still appear to disagree on whether non-auction fixed tariffs will need to be offered to investors as a catalyst for this industry during its early stage of development.
Sdoukou, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, did not rule out such an approach at yesterday’s ELETAEN event. But, regardless of whether a preliminary stage of non-auction fixed tariffs will be offered, all sides seem to agree that tariffs, later on, will be exclusively made available to offshore wind farm investors through auctions.