Energy storage preparations begin after Brussels approval

The European Commission has approved Athens’ support system proposal for energy storage units, a decision enabling the energy ministry to start preparing the details of auctions concerning investments and operational support for these facilities.

Procedures will need to be carried out swiftly as the support system’s funding, through the Recovery and Resilience Facility, has tight deadlines.

According to a related European Commission decision, contracts for energy storage projects selected will need to be awarded by the end of 2023, while development of the energy storage facilities must be completed by the end of 2025.

On the other hand, some time will be needed to shape the details of the support system approved by Brussels and transform it into a fully competitive procedure, given the limited experience, internationally. Greece’s energy storage auctions will be among the first to be staged in Europe.

Also, the auction’s details will need to be shaped to suit the storage needs of Greece’s grid.

The first auction is expected to take place by the second quarter of next year, while efforts will be made to stage the session three months earlier. The second auction is planned for the third quarter of 2023.

 

European gas storage units nearly 70% full, on course for October target

Europe’s gas storage facilities are estimated to be close to 70 percent full in early August, according to data provided by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), representing the continent’s gas infrastructure operators.

Europe’s gas storage units continued being filled at a rapid rate in late July, despite the reduction of Gazprom’s gas supply through the Nord Stream I pipeline, now operating at just 20 percent of capacity.

Given the continent’s current gas storage levels, European authorities are confident an 80 percent objective can be achieved by early October. However, storage level discrepancies between EU member states remains a challenge that needs to be dealt with.

German gas storage units are now 70 percent full, while the level in Italy is higher, at 73 percent. On the contrary, gas storage facility levels are far lower elsewhere, registering 48 percent in Bulgaria, 24 percent in Ukraine and 53 percent in Croatia.

Ten Greek grid link, storage projects on ENTSO-E list

A total of ten Greek grid interconnection and storage projects have been included in development plans set by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, for up to 2030 and 2040.

They include an extension to the line running to Italy, the Euroafrica and Euroasia grid interconnections, an interconnection project for the south Aegean and its possible extension to Africa, new lines connecting Greece with Bulgaria and Turkey, a pumped-storage station in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece, two Cretan interconnections, as well as the GREGY north African interconnection.

In addition to 23 GW in transboundary grid interconnections being planned in the EU by 2025, authorities have also identified the need for a further 64 GW in projects, including storage units, at 50 European borders by 2030 and 132 GW by 2024.

Overall, the ENTSO-E plan includes 141 grid interconnection projects and 23 energy storage projects.

 

Energy storage wait from scratch, more project details now required

Investors who had obtained licenses from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for prospective energy storage stations and were queued up for project approvals will now essentially lose their places as a new energy ministry bill requires additional studies, which, when submitted, will give applicants new waiting-list numbers.

Older documents already submitted for projects will remain valid. RAE has expressed its disapproval of the energy ministry’s rule revision, noting it will create a huge backlog of work for the authority.

Holders of licenses for energy storage stations will now need to also submit an extensive list of technical descriptions concerning various aspects of their projects. They include: technical configuration and main equipment of the station; maximum infusion and absorption power; guaranteed capacity; initial installed capacity of the storage systems; possible expected capacity loss during operation and the degree and method of its replenishment; as well as foreseen replacement of main equipment during the life of the station.

According to recent data, RAE, by the end of 2021, had issued a total of 181 licenses for energy storage projects representing a total capacity of 14.3 GW, including 14 pumped-storage stations with a 3.04-GW capacity.

RES licensing simplification bill headed for parliament

A legislative revision including a second wave of measures for further RES licensing simplification as well as a framework for development and operation of energy storage units is expected to be submitted to parliament today or, possibly, within the current week, at the latest.

The measures for further RES licensing simplification, included in Greece 2.0, the country’s recovery and resilience plan, are planned to be ratified by the end of June.

This would help unlock funding for energy-sector investments promised through the recovery and resilience plan.

A legal framework for offshore wind farms was also planned to be ratified by the end of this month but is now headed for a slight delay. This set of measures will be presented for consultation within the next few days.

RES sector officials have warned that a new measure designed to enable energy injection cuts of 5 percent for green electricity producers, whenever needed for grid security, would threaten the sustainability of RES units.

Swift moves for Revythoussa capacity boost, FSU by July 30

Gas grid operator DESFA’s plan to boost the capacity of its LNG terminal on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, with the addition of a floating storage unit (FSU), is in full progress, the target date for its mooring being no later than July 30.

DESFA is now preparing to stage a related tender for this plan and, as a first step, is researching the international market to check on the availability of an FSU matching Revythoussa’s requirements, factors including the installation’s period, should a lease solution be chosen, and storage capacity.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is soon expected to decide on whether the FSU should be purchased or leased.

The authority is expected to hold a meeting today with DESFA officials to discuss the plan’s details.

DESFA has indicated it could lease an FSU for a period of between 12 to 18 months and, as part of this plan, would receive the vessel between May 1 and July 30.

The operator is moving fast as the European Commission has requested all EU natural gas storage facilities be filled to 80 percent of capacity by November 1. In addition, the danger of a Russian disruption of gas supply to Europe also requires swift action, as does the higher energy demand anticipated during the summer season.

 

Revised NECP’s 2030 energy storage target to be doubled to 3 GW

Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan will set a doubled energy-storage capacity target of 3 GW by 2030, to support the RES sector’s greater penetration of the energy mix, as part of the country’s contribution to CO2 emission reductions.

The previous energy-storage capacity target of 1.5 GW will be moved closer, to 2025, so that additional energy storage projects may be installed during the latter half of the decade, energy minister Kostas Skrekas told a recent energy sector conference.

The revised NECP will also set a higher target for RES installations, at 25 GW, from the existing plan’s 18.9-GW objective, as energypress has previously reported.

Investors are expected to receive a total of 450 million euros from the Energy Transition Fund as support for the first wave of RES projects to be installed by 2025.

 

 

Energy storage unit payment based on RES feed-in premiums

The energy ministry is preparing a legislative revision to secure remuneration levels for energy storage facilities, deemed necessary to ensure sufficient earnings for such units and their sustainability as investments.

The energy-storage framework being prepared for the Greek market, regarded as innovative, resembles the feed-in premium system adopted for renewable energy units and will secure remuneration levels for energy storage facilities through competitive procedures.

Units that qualify for remuneration through the competitive procedures will be entitled to participate in all markets (day-ahead, intraday and balancing).

If earnings secured by energy storage units through this market participation are smaller than remuneration levels agreed to, the difference will be fully covered by a compensation amount stemming from the RES special account. On the contrary, if earnings exceed remuneration levels agreed to, then the operators of energy storage units will need to return excess sums to the RES special account.

The energy ministry’s legislative revision will also incorporate a framework for investment support to energy storage units, to be given access to 200 million euros from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

 

RES and energy storage licenses in less than 2 years from 5 at present

The time needed by investors to secure RES project and energy storage licenses will be reduced to less than two years, from five at present, according to a RES licensing simplification draft bill prepared by the energy ministry, expected to be announced within the next few days.

Through the simplified licensing procedure, the ministry will aim to facilitate RES licenses representing a total capacity of 12,000 MW and investments estimated at 10 billion euros by 2030.

The ministry’s legislative initiative will be carried out over two stages, the first concerning RES and energy storage project licenses, and the second offshore wind farms.

The revisions will enable investors to push ahead with licensing steps simultaneously rather than successively, as is the case at present.

Also, the procedure will include criteria filtering out prospective RES applicants deemed to not be genuinely interested in developing projects.

 

 

 

 

September target for first energy storage support competition

An energy ministry plan for a competitive procedure to offer investment support for energy storage facilities with capacity between 800 and 900 MW has been approved by the European Commission, the ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou noted during a speech yesterday on the opening day of the two-day Power & Gas Forum, staged by energypress.

The energy ministry is working towards staging a first competitive procedure for this investment support in September, to offer between 400 and 450 MW, or half the planned total capacity, according to sources.

Talks with the European Commission on the matter ended successfully earlier this week, Sdoukou told the forum, adding that an official announcement will be released within the next few days.

Interested investors will be invited to lodge applications confirming their participation in the competitive procedure for investment support in the lead up.

A sum of 200 million euros in support funds is expected to be offered through Greece’s recovery and resilience plan, expected to cover approximately 40 percent of the energy storage unit costs.

Investment interest is high for energy storage development. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, issued licenses for 120 units representing a total capacity of 9,641 MW until the end of January.

 

Yale enhances lithium-ion range with Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries

Yale Europe Materials Handling is enhancing its lithium-ion range with batteries provided by Sunlight Group, one of the world’s top manufacturers of industrial and advanced energy storage solutions.

Sunlight Group boasts over 12 years of research and development in lithium chemistry. Yale will offer Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries as a solution for selected warehouse and electric counterbalance trucks, enabling its customers to select the best battery technology to suit their applications.

The move marks a deepening relationship between the two companies. Sunlight Group has previously provided lead-acid batteries for Yale products.

“Thanks to the success of our collaboration, Sunlight Group has become a trusted partner of Yale, helping us to deliver efficient and productive solutions for our customers,” said Marcus Rosenkranz, Area Business Director for Eastern Europe at Yale. “We’re excited for the next era of our working relationship, which will see Yale offer Sunlight Li.ON FORCE power solutions in our product line-up.”

Powering productivity

Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries are well suited for intensive and/or multiple shift applications. For industries where clean operations are a must, such as food, beverage and pharmaceutical, Yale products fitted with Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries are free of gaseous emissions with no risk of acid spillage.

A single battery can replace multiple lead-acid batteries, meaning customers can benefit from fast opportunity charging during breaks and shift changes. Areas previously needed for battery change can be repurposed as additional working or storage space.

The robust Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries are maintenance free with long life cycles. With no battery exchange required, Yale lithium-ion products offer more uptime as well as reduced running costs. The charging efficiency of lithium-ion batteries is at over 90% – greater than lead-acid options.

“Our Sunlight Li.ON FORCE batteries are the most innovative and revolutionary Smart Battery Solution in the market,” said Dimitris Panagiotou, Sunlight Group Sales Director. “Our values align closely with those of Yale, and we are excited to continue our successful partnership moving forward. Yale customers will reap the benefits of our lithium-ion technology, which has been honed and refined over many years of intensive research.”

Yale Europe Materials Handling is a trading name of Hyster-Yale UK Limited, part of Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (NYSE:HY). Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. and its subsidiaries, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, employ approximately 7,800 people worldwide.

Energy storage capacity objective 1,500 MW by 2030

A new support framework concerning energy storage stations will be attached to a RES licensing simplification draft bill headed for imminent consultation, the objective being to have the bill ratified in parliament by the end of this month.

Authorities aim to have energy storage units offering a total capacity of 1,500 MW installed and functioning by 2030, 700 MW of these in the form of pumped storage stations, the other 800 MW as batteries.

The Greek market’s current conditions are challenging for the sustainability of energy storage stations. As a result, Greece is the first EU member state to have notified the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition of the need for an energy storage support framework.

Investment support worth 200 million euros is planned to be provided through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to finance 700-MW in batteries.

Investors eligible for this RRF support will qualify through competitive procedures, the first of these scheduled to take place this coming summer.

Investment interest in energy storage is currently elevated. A total of 78 applications for energy storage stations representing a total capacity of 4,800 MW have been submitted to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

Consultation for RES licensing simplification, energy storage

Consultation is set to begin within the next few days for an energy ministry draft bill carrying a second round of measures designed to further simplify the RES licensing procedure and establish, for the first time, a complete framework concerning the development of energy storage projects, energypress sources have informed.

A third section of measures concerning development and operation of offshore wind farms, initially intended to be incorporated into this draft bill, is not yet ready. It will be released for consultation at a latter date, the intention being within the year’s first quarter.

The second round of RES licensing simplification measures will improve the country’s investment prospects as the overall time needed for licensing will be drastically reduced from five years at present to 14 months, according to the energy ministry.

Measures in the current draft bill include an initiative fusing three licensing steps into one – operator connection terms; installation license; and an operating contract with RES market operator DAPEEP. Until now, these three RES licensing steps have needed to be taken successively.

Licensed energy storage projects at 12.7 GW, 47 hybrid RES units OK’d

Energy storage projects with licenses granted by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, have risen to 134 prospective investments, at present, representing an overall storage capacity of 12,677 MW, following a heightened inflow of applications lodged by investors.

Of these, 120 projects purely concern energy storage, totaling 9,641 MW, while the other 14 licenses are for pumped-storage plants offering an overall capacity of 3,037 MW.

In addition, RAE has also granted licenses for 47 prospective hybrid RES units, combining energy storage facilities, their overall capacity being 1,672 MW.

The overall capacity of all the aforementioned licensed projects, 181 in total, is 14,351 MW.

 

Subsidy mechanism for energy market’s turbulent years ahead

The energy market faces an extended period of fluctuating electricity prices and adverse market conditions that will require ongoing subsidy support for consumers over the next decade, government officials have noted.

The finance and energy ministries are working together on the establishment of a subsidy-support mechanism as electricity-bill aid for vulnerable households and, possibly, enterprises, until 2030.

Officials from these ministries attributed the precarious situation to delayed RES penetration and a lack of energy storage development in previous years, noting, as an example, the delayed underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, whose utilization would subdue energy price increases.

The acceleration in the installation of RES units and energy storage systems has become a leading priority for the government.

Grid priority for units functioning purely as energy storage stations

Revisions enabling grid connection priority only for facilities functioning purely as energy storage stations dominated the legislative revisions presented by energy minister Kostas Skrekas at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

The minister left aside matters concerning RES licensing simplification, pumped storage stations and other energy-storage forms.

RES units combining energy storage facilities will be regarded as RES units and not be given grid connection priority, according to the draft bill.

Offshore wind farms, storage, RES licensing, climate in bills

Two legislative initiatives by the energy ministry, one for climate change rules, the other for a second round of RES licensing simplification revisions, development of offshore wind farms, and a framework for the installation and operation of energy storage units, will be presented at a cabinet meeting today.

The country’s climate rules will make official Greece’s target for a 55 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, aligned with the EU’s new and more ambitious “Fit for 55” climate-change package.

Greece’s legal framework on the climate will also propose a binding road map for the achievement of net-zero emissions by 2050, also in accordance with EU objectives.

As part of the RES licensing simplification procedure’s second round, the energy ministry has proposed the introduction of letters of guarantee, worth sizeable amounts, for RES connections to the network, the aim being to subdue excess investment plan applications, but will enable investors to have their say through public consultation before any decision is made.

 

Brussels pressures Athens for energy storage support plan

The country’s plan for a competitive procedure to be applied for energy storage unit subsidies needs to be finalized as soon as possible, the European Commission has informed Greece’s energy ministry.

Brussels has called for swift action so that its assessment of the Greek plan can be based on current EU directive criteria concerning state aid in the environment and energy sectors.

Given the fact that these EU directives will be revised as of 2022, the procedure will need to be completed by the end of this year.

If Brussels is to offer its approval of the Greek plan by the end of December, Athens will ideally need to deliver its proposal by the end of this month as a two-month period for any observations and exchange between the two sides will be needed.

According to energypress sources, two auctions each offering energy storage capacities of 350 MW, for an overall total of 700 MW, is seen as the likeliest scenario.

Funds worth 200 million euros are planned to be made available for energy storage support through the national recovery plan, dubbed Greece 2.0. Also taking into account support planned for pumped storage stations, this sum is expected to reach 450 million euros.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou recently noted that this sum should provide subsidies covering up to 40 percent of the cost of energy storage projects needed to support the planned increase in RES penetration by 2030.

Renewable & Storage Forum Oct 13-14 with Eng translation

The Renewable & Storage Forum in Athens has returned for a third edition October 13 and 14 as an event involving over 80 speakers for numerous presentations, introductions and discussions on developments concerning the RES and energy storage sectors.

Energypress.eu is offering live coverage of the entire conference with concurrent translation in English. The link for this broadcast:

Due to the pandemic, the forum is being staged in a hybrid format. Speakers as well as a small number of associates and company officials will be present, in person, while the event is being broadcast live via energypress without any registration requirements.

Agenda topics include the energy transition’s cost and the question as to who should assume responsibility for this cost; the target model and PPAs; RES market participation; the new shape of competitive procedures; the RES special account support system; price establishment; as well as network durability and needs.

Energy storage is another key topic as participants will discuss the domain’s progress at technical, institutional and regulatory levels. Participants will also discuss the emerging offshore wind farm sector.

The event will examine alternative forms of energy production and storage, such as hydrogen, as well as new financing conditions concerning the RES and energy storage sectors.

Reaction by communities in various part of Greece opposing the installation of RES units, the role of energy communities, and participation of consumers in the new energy make-up has also been included on the agenda.

 

 

Listed players plan 16 GW in RES projects worth €16bn

Greece’s listed energy groups, alone, plan to invest a total amount of 16 billion euros over the next decade for the development of green energy projects representing over 16 GW, big figures highlighting the anticipated dominance of the green energy market in the years to come as the country transitions to cleaner energy sources and decarbonizes.

Investments are already anticipated in mature RES technologies, namely wind and solar energy facilities, while, once market and regulatory conditions allow, major investments will be made in energy storage as well as offshore wind farms.

Terna Energy, market leader in Greece’s RES market, plans to reach an installed capacity of 3,000 MW in the next five years. The company, the biggest wind energy player in Greece and southeast Europe, is currently developing wind energy projects representing 400 MW while a further 63 projects are nearing maturity.

Power utility PPC is making impressive RES market progress through its subsidiary PPC Renewables. PPC, according to the company’s updated business plan, will make investments totaling 3.4 billion euros until 2023, 34 percent of this amount concerning RES investments.

Green energy is also a key aspect in the Mytilineos group’s investment plans over the next few years. Its solar energy projects portfolio, representing 1,480 MW, is one of the biggest in Greece. The company possesses 300 MW in RES projects either operating, under construction or set for construction, as well as a further 100 MW headed for final investment decisions by the end of 2021. Mytilineos also plans to develop 20 energy storage projects, each with a 50-MW capacity.

Hellenic Petoleum (ELPE), both acquiring and developing RES projects, is aiming for a 2-GW RES portfolio by 2030.

Motor Oil Hellas recently acquired 11 operating wind farms with a total 220-MW capacity as well as a 20-MW facility still under construction from private equity fund Fortress. MOH is aiming for an operating RES capacity of 364 MW by the end of 2022 as well as a medium-term RES goal of between 500 to 600 MW.

Ellaktor is planning investments worth 1 billion euros for the development of 900 MW through its partnership with Portugal’s EDPR.

Contractor Intrakat also aims to push ahead with a one billion-euro RES investment plan. The company has joined forces with Gaia Anemos, possessing wind and PV production licenses representing approximately 1 GW, plus RES expertise.

RF Energy has reached an investment decision to develop an offshore wind farm with a capacity of 498.15 MW northeast of the island Limnos. The project is budgeted at two billion euros, according to the company.

 

 

 

Energy transition proving to be expensive, 30% price hike seen

Unprecedented price rises in the wholesale electricity market, up by as much as 80 percent between July 1 and August 8 and tripled since the beginning of the year, will inevitably impact consumers with imminent increases of approximately 30 percent, market officials have told energypress.

The average wholesale electricity price for this year has been estimated at between 80 and 90 euros per MWh, up 30 percent compared to levels in 2019, used as the base year as price levels in pandemic-hit 2020 were distorted by the unprecedented conditions.

Households and businesses should soon expect elevated electricity bills as a result of wholesale-related clauses triggered by suppliers in response to the sharp wholesale electricity price increases recorded since early July.

These developments, largely attributed to European Commission policies implemented to combat climate change, have prompted comments by key energy market officials, including Evangelos Mytilineos, chairman and chief executive of the Mytilineos group, who recently warned “the energy transition will be expensive.” Another official noted this is a “new era of higher-priced electricity.”

CO2 emission right costs have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, reaching levels, at present, of between 54 and 55 euros per ton.

Natural gas prices have doubled since January at the TTF Dutch trading platform, to 42 euros per MWh.

Greek market officials widely acknowledge the country has no other option but to gradually end its reliance on lignite and fossil fuels, while stressing, however, the need for swifter legislative revisions facilitating quicker RES penetration and energy storage development.

 

 

Pilot auction for 200-MW RES units combining energy storage worked on

A new RES support framework prepared by the energy ministry for the European Commission to examine includes provisions for a pilot auction offering tariffs to 200-MW RES projects combining energy storage, energypress sources have informed.

This is the first time a specific tariff-related procedure is being prepared for this category of projects, expected to play an instrumental role on the country’s energy map in the years ahead.

However, it remains unclear when such RES production-energy storage project combinations could mature.

A recent legislative revision delivered by the energy ministry freezes, until the end of the year, applications and issuance of production licenses, environmental permits and connection terms for energy storage projects combining RES units until a related framework is, in the meantime, established.

The new RES support mechanism, nearing finalization as details are being worked on by energy ministry and Brussels officials, is expected to facilitate the continuation of competitive procedures for tariffs until 2025.

 

 

Huawei FusionSolar Residential Smart PV wins iF design award

Two key products from Huawei FusionSolar Residential Smart PV product suite – SUN2000 Smart Energy Controller and LUNA 2000 Smart String Energy Storage System (ESS) – have recently been honored with iF Design Awards 2021.

These awards demonstrate the global recognition of Huawei’s creative and user-friendly designs that blend function and emotion, and fuse tech with nature. This marks the second such iF Design Award bestowed upon Huawei residential Smart PV solution, following the success of FusionSolar App in 2020.

Huawei has always adhered to user-centered and innovative product design principles to meet the needs of customers around the world.

Since 1953, the iF Design Award is organized by Hannover-based iF International Forum Design GmbH, the oldest industrial design institute in Germany, and has become one of the world’s three most prestigious design awards, and also known as the “Design Oscar”.

It builds its reputation on independent, rigorous, and reliable guiding principles. Since 1953, the iF Design Award has been recognized internationally as a symbol of design excellence. The jury of almost 60 world-renowned experts from more than 20 countries select products that excel in design, user experience, and innovation based on rigorous criteria and procedures.

SUN2000 Smart Energy Controller

The SUN2000 Smart Energy Controller features a smooth and exquisite appearance that matches its powerful functions. As the first-of-its-kind smart PV inverter utilizing AI-boost arcing protection, the smart energy controller boasts the highest safety rating and can increase energy yields by 30% when coupled with the optimizer, providing users with safe, stable, and green energy. Thus, it enables families to enjoy a low-carbon life.

LUNA2000 Smart String Energy Storage System

The smooth, sleek, waterfall-inspired aesthetic design of LUNA2000 ensures a good fit in the home environment, where the device serves as a backup power supply. Advanced high-voltage parallel connection technology supports the mixed-use of both old and new batteries. Its modular design promises both pack-level and rack-level optimizations that can increase the charge and discharge capacity, maximizing the potential of each battery. The home energy storage system gives homeowners confidence and peace of mind with five layers of safety protection.

Huawei FusionSolar App

As an integral part of our residential solution, Huawei FusionSolar App was also recognized with an iF Design Award in 2020. The app refines management to the module level and offers a user-friendly interface, presenting all the information you need right at your fingertips. It also allows you to check home power consumption in real-time and provides suggestions on how to fully utilize excess solar energy, while supporting intelligent management of each PV module to improve the efficiency of energy production. This attention to detail even extends to the APP’s interface that appears warm in color, bringing to mind the comforting warmth of home.

Huawei FusionSolar Residential Smart PV solution has already been deployed in over 500,000 households around the world, and has redefined modern living through three-layer protection, proactive safety for the entire house, intelligent management of each PV module to ensure optimal power generation performance, and stable operation during power outages.

 

 

 

 

RES simplification, energy storage bills in September

The energy ministry plans to submit a draft bill to Parliament in September, following public consultation, for a second round of RES licensing simplifications concerning new projects.

During this time, the ministry intends to have also finalized and forwarded its legislative framework for the emerging energy storage sector, to play a crucial role in the country’s ambitious RES output targets.

The energy ministry plans to jointly submit the RES licensing simplification and energy storage bills to Parliament.

The new RES licensing simplification revisions will be based on a key proposal made by the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou, heading the ministry’s RES licensing committee, entailing the termination of non-binding connection offers.

Instead, investors behind new RES projects will directly proceed to applications for finalized connection offers, once environmental permits have been issued.

Also, RES investors will be set time limits to submit installation permit applications for projects. Time will begin counting as soon as the investors have accepted finalized connection offers. If the time limit is not met, RES production certificates for corresponding projects will automatically expire.

According to the ministry plan, PV projects, land-installed wind turbines and hybrid stations will be given 12-month periods, while all other RES technologies and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) units will have 18 months.

Licensing authorities will also be set time limits, according to the plan. They will be given 20-day limits to request any additional information or clarification from investors. Also, authorities will have 20 days to issue RES licenses once applications are deemed complete.

Energy storage interest enormous, applications for over 12 GW

Investment interest for the installation of energy storage units is already considerable, even though related licensing and support mechanism frameworks have yet to be established, data presented yesterday by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has shown.

According to the data, RAE, since October, 2019, has received 123 applications for prospective energy storage and pumped storage projects representing a total of 12,229 MW.

Of these applications, 110 concern energy storage systems representing a total capacity of 9,102 MW, the RAE data showed.

To date, RAE has already issued production licenses for 38 energy storage units with a total capacity of 3,582 MW.

A further 12 applications representing 2,447 MW are for pumped storage units, not including a Terna Energy project in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece.

So far, RAE has issued three licenses for pumped storage facilities representing 807 MW.

Energy ministry officials already suspect the energy storage market may experience overheating issues, as has been the case with the RES market.

Energy storage subsidies to ‘cover up to 40% of project cost’

The energy ministry is close to finalizing the shape of its proposal for a competitive procedure concerning investment support qualification for energy storage units through the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, the ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou informed yesterday during a speech on the first day of a conference titled “Investing in Green Energy Transition: Energy Storage – New Technologies – Energy Saving”.

According to Sdoukou, the ministry is striving to forward its proposal to the European Commission as soon as possible as Athens aims to launch the competitive procedure in the first quarter of 2022.

Investors are expected to be offered 200 million euros through the competitive procedure as investment support for energy storage systems totaling at least 500 MW.

Greece is expected to have determined and notified all qualifying parties by the second quarter of 2023.

The government aims to offer a total of 450 million euros as investment support for energy storage and pumped storage projects.

Sdoukou asserted that this amount will suffice to cover subsidies of up to 40 percent for the development of energy storage systems, necessary to support the country’s increased RES penetration objective set for 2030.

Ministry puts brake on RAE-licensed energy storage plans

The energy ministry is stopping the implementation of RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy)-licensed energy storage station plans as it wants to avoid priority treatment in power grid operator IPTO’s examination of connection-term applications submitted by investors already holding production licenses.

The ministry intends to first ensure the induction of investment plans already holding production licenses into the new, soon-to-be-legislated licensing framework for energy storage units before all investment plans, old and new, are examined from scratch, to determine the processing order of IPTO connection-term applications.

According to energypress sources, the government was never in favor of a policy pursued by RAE to license energy stations despite the absence of a legislative framework for this sector.

The majority of RAE’s energy-storage licenses have been granted through an existing framework for natural gas-fired power stations, used as a surrogate framework.

According to data recently presented by RAE president Athanasios Dagoumas, the authority, since 2019, has received a total of 98 applications for energy storage, pumped storage and hybrid units representing a total capacity of 8,213 MW.

By April, this year, RAE had issued production licenses for the majority of these applications, while the examination of a further 34, representing a capacity of 4,519 MW, was pending.

Solar, wind, energy storage system costs ‘exceed’ RAE figures

The cost of installing and launching solar and wind energy facilities, as well as storage systems, exceeds levels presumed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, RES agencies and investors have pointed out in public consultation staged by the authority on the cost of new entry for all electricity generation technologies.

RES equipment costs have not only failed to stabilize in recent times, but, on the contrary, struck an upward trajectory, RES officials highlighted.

Some public consultation participants pointed out that RAE’s figures only factor in equipment supply and construction costs without taking into account the connection costs entailed.

SEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies, rejected RAE’s capital expenditure estimate for domestic roof-mounted solar panel installations, presumed to be €550,000/MW, noting this figure is extremely low and does not reflect actual market conditions.

The association also noted that RAE’s €400,000/MW CAPEX estimate for commercial PVs is also too low, contending this cost ranges between €500,000-€550,000/MW.

The capital expenditure figure for offshore wind farms is far greater than RAE’s estimate of 3.1 million euros per MW, contended ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association.

“Given the lack of relevant experience in Greece, depth of the seas, and the still-undeveloped supply chain, the €3.1m/MW estimate is probably very optimistic,” ELETAEN stated.