Greece will most likely reach a RES energy mix target set for 2020, but problems subduing investment activity in the renewable energy sector, bureaucracy and insufficient network investments being two key concerns, remain, the European Court of Auditors has observed in a special report focused on renewables and electricity generation.
Greece, along with Latvia and Austria, will most probably meet their 2020 target if they continue to implement measures targeting renewables at the current pace, the report noted, adding all three EU member states currently require increases of less than 2 percentage points.
Inspections were conducted in Greece, Germany, Poland and Spain for the report, titled “Wind and solar power for electricity generation: significant action needed if EU targets to be met.”
Specific national targets for the share of gross final energy consumption coming from renewables have been set, ranging from 10 percent to 49 percent.
Greece’s RES target for 2020 is 39.8 percent. Spain has a target of 39 percent, Germany is aiming for 38.6 percent and Poland’s figure is 19.1 percent.
Germany and Spain maintained high rates of progress between 2010 and 2017, while Greece is behind schedule. In 2017, the country was 7 percentage points off target, the report noted.
A team of officials representing the European Court of Auditors is expected in Athens on March 5 for an inspection of the country’s RES development and role of support mechanisms.
The ECA inspection team will focus on a period covering 2009 to the present in an effort to determine the level of effectiveness of support provided by the EU for wind and solar generated electricity.
Greece is one of four EU member states to be examined, the others being Germany, Spain and Poland.
In Greece, ECA officials will meet with energy ministry and RES sector authorities, while a sample of projects will be examined for RES support mechanism effectiveness.
The visiting officials will seek to determine whether current European and national strategic planning for the RES sector is furthering wind and solar electricity generation. They will also look for any legal and institutional uncertainties that could be affecting investment activity. The ECA team will also be checking to see if existing RES support mechanisms and financing solutions are adapting to market conditions so as to prevent excessive subsidies or increased risk for investors.
The audit reports for all four countries are expected to be published early in 2019.
The European Court of Auditors, the EU authority inspecting finances, is conducting an audit on four member states, Greece as well as Germany, Spain and Poland, to determine whether EU and Member State support for electricity generation from wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power is effective.
The auditors will analyze the design, implementation and monitoring of EU and national strategies for wind and solar PV from 2009 onward and also EU and national funding for their development.
“Wind and solar PV are the two renewable energy sources for the production of electricity that have been developing by far the most dynamically over the last ten years”, said George Pufan, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “They play a vital role in our energy mix and it is very important to understand if the strategy and support for them are effective.”
Wind and solar PV are currently the two main sources of renewable energy used for this purpose and are on the brink of becoming the two cheapest forms of electricity production.
The estimated contribution of renewable energy to fossil fuel import savings in 2015 was €16 billion and it is projected to be €58 billion in 2030.
The audit report is expected to be published early in 2019.