Excess RES producer permit applications subdued by action

An energy ministry strategy applied to subdue, to more realistic levels, the number of applications submitted by investors for RES producer certificates, by requiring applicants to provide letters of guarantee worth 35,000 euros per MW, has proven effective.

The number of producer certificate applications submitted to RAE’s (Regulatory Authority for Energy) latest round, for October – the first with the new restrictive measure in place – was limited to approximately 130, representing prospective RES units with a total capacity of 1 GW, energypress sources have informed.

This is well below the levels of all preceding rounds since a legislative revision was ratified to offer investors producer certificates as a first, and more simplified, step in the RES licensing process.

A total of 743 producer certificate applications representing a total RES capacity of 17.45 GW had been submitted to a round in June.

New household solar program to offer €87/MWh for 25 years

The energy ministry has taken a first step towards implementing a new RES program dubbed “Solar Panels on Roofs”, to offer households fixed tariffs of 87 euros per MWh over 25-year contracts, by including a relevant provision to a draft bill designed to adopt EU directives concerning energy efficiency. The bill was submitted to Greek Parliament last night for ratification.

An ensuing ministerial decision will specify conditions and terms, including beneficiaries, the offer’s duration, maximum capacities per installation, the licensing process and necessary supporting documents, as well net metering details.

The program’s 87-euro tariff on offer had been announced through a ministerial decision delivered back in March, 2020.

The energy ministry appears to have decided on setting a maximum capacity of 10 kWp per installation, up from a level of 6 kWp previously noted in a ministerial decision, sources have informed.

A 10 kWp solar panel system remunerated at 87 euros per MWh would generated annual revenue of 1,200 euros. At current prices, installing such a system would cost between 10,000 and 11,000 euros, including VAT, meaning the investment would require approximately eight years to break even before offering an annual income of 1,200 euros for the remainder of the 25-year contract, roughly 17 years.

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.

 

 

Ministry to impose stricter RES project ownership inspection

The energy ministry is preparing to enforce a stricter ownership inspection procedure for RES projects, following many property overlapping cases, to be included in a second round of measures intended to further simplify RES project licensing.

The ministry intends to include this second round of RES licensing simplification measures, including the stricter project ownership checks, to a draft bill covering energy storage matters, expected to be submitted to Parliament towards the end of the year following its presentation to the cabinet and public consultation.

The second round of measures for RES licensing simplification is expected to  include interventions at many stages of the overall procedure for swifter processing and outcomes.

 

PPC Renewables, RWE set to finalize PV partnership today

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and Germany’s RWE Renewables are expected to seal their joint venture agreement today, paving the way for the development of solar energy projects to offer a total capacity of nearly 2 GW, energypress sources have informed.

PPC Renewables will contribute 940 MW in PV projects, planned to be developed at the location of the Amynteo lignite mines in northern Greece. The company has already secured a first batch of environmental permits for these projects.

RWE will offer producer certificate licenses bought from Greek company IDEA. These licenses are for two solar farms with respective capacities of approximately 700 and 300 MW.

The joint venture plans to start with the Amynteo projects, their development expected to begin in the first half of 2022. PPC Renewables has already formed nine special purpose vehicles for these projects.

RWE Renewables, holding a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, has established a subsidiary in Greece, RWE Greece, currently being staffed.

PPC’s board had approved the agreement between the two partners in February.

NTUA study surveying energy price effect on green objectives

The European Commission has commissioned the National Technical University of Athens’ E3 Modelling department with the task of examining scenarios on the EU’s ability to achieve ambitious green energy goals in the event that natural gas, fuel and CO2 emission prices remain high.

The NTUA had also been commissioned to conduct research that served as the basis for most of the twelve legislative proposals forwarded by Brussels for its Fit-for-55 climate-change framework, aiming for a 55 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Early findings produced by the latest NTUA survey have shown that the swiftest possible market penetration of renewable energy sources will not cause further problems linked to the higher energy prices at present but, instead, create favorable conditions for a return to market equilibrium, energypress sources informed.

Swifter market entry of RES units and their full induction into the private-sector market as an energy supply base for customers represents a positive response to the higher natural gas prices, Pantelis Kapros, Professor of Energy Economics at NTUA pointed out in a recent article. The impact of a faster RES entry, however, will not be felt immediately but will require two to three years to produce results, he added.

ELPE begins group restructuring plan to feature new subsidiaries

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE has begun preparations for the establishment of a new subsidiary as part of the group’s wider restructuring plan, dubbed Vision 2025. The subsidiary will be attached to a holding company to serve as an umbrella for subsidiaries representing the group’s activities.

As a first step, ELPE’s administration has decided to establish a new division for its refining, supply and petroleum and petrochemicals sales.  ELPE plans to offer 130.1 million new shares for 10 euros each, which results in a total value of 1.3 billion euros for this new subsidiary.

The restructuring plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year with the establishment of all other subsidiaries, representing Commerce (EKO, BP), ELPE Upstream, ELPE Renewables, as well as a subsidiary hosting the group’s electricity and natural gas interests.

The Vision 2025 plan includes investments worth 4 billion euros to facilitate the group’s entry into the renewable energy sector and support new technologies for cleaner energy production.

Local PV market grounded by China’s sharply reduced output

A drastic reduction in output of solar module panels by Chinese manufacturers, prompted by electricity shortages in the country as well as limited availability of PV materials, is heavily impacting RES sector investors in Greece.

Numerous local investors who had placed PV orders quite some time ago have been informed, by Chinese manufacturers, of delays for indefinite periods. Developers face the same problem.

PV prices have surge amid the extraordinary conditions making it extremely tricky, if not impossible, for Chinese manufacturers to price their products.

The energy crisis in China has forced the government to impose electricity consumption limits on industrial producers, which has hampered their operating capacity.

In response, many large-scale PV producers in China have chosen to suspend their operations, deeming as unfeasible the prospect of producing for a limited number of hours per day.

Five of the country’s PV producers, Longi, Jinko, Trina, JA and Risen, have issued a joint statement noting that, under the current conditions, their output cannot exceed 70 percent of capacity.

 

China shortages up PV prices, investment plans in jeopardy

Solar panel prices have registered further price increases over the past week, driven higher by electricity shortages and higher coal costs in China, the world’s dominant solar module manufacturer.

The price escalation, decreased production and delivery delays are jeopardizing solar energy investment plans, including in Greece, where RES investors are in danger of missing crucial sector deadlines and face growing pressure because of the solar module price ascent.

The price of polysilicon, used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic industry, rose by 8.6 percent in China, according to PV-Infolink, adding to the upward trajectory of the past month, which is forecast to continue.

In the Modules market, 360-370/435-445W Mono-facial Mono PERC prices were up 2.1 percent last week, while 182mm Mono-facial Mono PERC and 210mm Mono-facial Mono PERC prices rose by 2 percent.

As for glass, 3.2mm sheet prices rose by 3.8 percent and 2mm sheet prices increased by 5 percent.

PV-Infolink has projected further price increases next week, in excess of 3 percent, for all PV materials, except glass.

Solar module manufacturer Amerisolar, a US brand with production facilities in China, Taiwan and the USA, noted, in an announcement, that the current situation is expected to continue into October given the fact that China’s solar module production capacity is currently at just 50 percent.

Also, the delay in deliveries by Chinese producers is a concern ahead of the anticipated end-of-year spike in orders, a customary market trend.

 

Crisis Management Committee to examine supply security

The Crisis Management Committee is expected to meet within the first fortnight of October to examine the overall situation in the energy market, driving price levels up to exorbitant levels for consumers of all categories.

The committee’s members will discuss the issue of supply adequacy and security for meeting electricity generation needs, primarily.

Electricity, natural gas and CO2 emission prices are skyrocketing, while natural gas shortages are now emerging in EU markets, all as a result of an extraordinary combination of developments in European markets.

For the time being, Greek energy sector authorities – RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy; DESFA, the gas grid operator; and IPTO, the power grid operator – have remained reassuring. Yesterday, RAE president Athanasios Dagoumas noted: “We are not in a state of alarm but are vigilant.”

Overall natural gas consumption is expected to increase in 2021. Consumption was 14 percent higher in the first half compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, DESFA data has shown.

Gas demand rose in July and August to meet increased electricity generation needs and is also expected to be elevated this coming winter.

In Greece, approximately 60 percent of natural gas consumption results from electricity generation. The ongoing withdrawal of coal-fired power stations and greater reliance on fluctuating RES output is expected to lead to a further increase in demand for natural gas.

Local authorities have pointed to Greece’s natural gas source diversification, made possible by the Revythoussa LNG terminal and TAP, both offering alternative solutions, as crucial in the effort to manage the current energy crisis.

PPC Renewables, RWE set to finalize joint venture agreement

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and Germany’s RWE Renewables are expected to finalize a joint-venture agreement at the beginning of October for solar energy projects in Greece to offer a total capacity of nearly 2 GW.

PPC Renewables plans to contribute to the joint venture 940 MW in solar energy projects at Amynteo, the northern Greece location hosting 4,360 hectares in company lignite fields to be repurposed as part of the decarbonization effort. The Greek company has already received a first round of environmental permits.

RWE Renewables is at the final stage of its search for solar energy projects to total 1 GW.

The two partners will begin their collaboration with the Amynteo project. They plan to begin its development in the first half of 2022. PPC Renewables has established nine special purpose vehicles for these projects.

RWE Renewables, holding a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, has already established a Greek subsidiary, RWE Greece, currently being staffed.

Talks between PPC Renewables and RWE Renewables have intensified since early summer. The respective company heads, Konstantinos Mavros and Katja Wünschel, discussed the prospective partnership at the recent 5th Greek-German Economic Forum, while RWE officials have also visited Athens for negotiations.

PPC equity capital increase to reshape market, rivals on alert

Power utility PPC’s plan, announced late last week, to proceed with a 750 million-euro equity capital increase, effectively a partial privatization that will result in a decrease of privatization fund TAIPED’s current stake in the company from 51 percent to 34 percent, promises to free the utility from restrictions imposed on state-controlled companies, boost its finances and enable the company to further consolidate its position as the dominant market player.

Rival players in the electricity and RES markets are closely following the developments, realizing the energy market map is headed for a major reshape if PPC’s equity capital increase is successfully completed.

PPC, as a transformed, independent corporation without state-company restrictions will be a much harder force to reckon with as it can be expected to charge ahead with an aggressive investment strategy in Greece and the Balkans, market players have commented.

Also, PPC, reshaping for a focus on green energy, will benefit from many advantages in the RES market, including the right to utilize its outgoing lignite areas for renewables, as well as priority grid dispatch rights given the strategic importance of its investments for the country, market officials have noted.

In response, rival players will now need to strengthen their capital standing and also consider strategic partnerships.

 

PPC: EBITDA green exposure to 39%, Balkan investments

Power utility PPC’s chief executive Giorgos Stassis, in an extensive update to analysts following the announcement of a 750 million-euro equity capital increase plan, described the utility of the future as a radically transformed company to be primarily based on green energy production.

Stassis, who was addressing approximately 120 analysts, noted that the equity capital increase plan’s timing reflects current opportunities for PPC as well as the country’s needs.

Besides takeover opportunities in Balkan markets and RES sector investments that will help Greece achieve its energy and climate plan objectives, the country will also decrease its exposure to energy imports at fluctuating price levels, according to the chief executive.

The equity capital increase, Stassis noted, will enable PPC to carry out an 8.4 billion-euro investment plan by 2026, its objectives including the installation of RES units with a total capacity of 9.1 GW.

The utility has set an objective for a green-related EBITDA exposure of 39 percent by 2026, up from 17 percent at present.

PPC’s push for greater Balkan presence is planned to begin with projects in Romania and Bulgaria.

Romania’s RES market is growing at an annual rate of 8 percent, the country’s objective being to reach an installed capacity of 6 GW by 2030. Bulgaria’s RES market is growing at an even greater rate, 15 percent. The neighboring country’s objective is to have installed a further 3 GW by 2030.

 

PPC planning equity capital increase, big funds involved

Power utility PPC will proceed with a 750 million-euro equity capital increase, effectively a partial privatization coming twenty years after a previous round at the bourse that will result in a decrease of privatization fund TAIPED’s current stake in the company from 51 percent to 34 percent.

The company administration’s step back for a minority share, plus management, aims to maximize the participation of foreign institutional investors, who, along with local investors, are expected to easily cover the equity capital increase’s financial demands.

US, British and northern European funds are among the interested parties, private talks held over the past six months, at least, have indicated, energypress sources informed.

Blackrock, EBRD, Fidelity, Apollo, Carmignac, Twenty Four AM, Bluecrest, Pictet, Union Investments, Sona Asset Management, Barings, Aperture, Saba Capital and Vontobel are funds that could be involved, it is believed.

The equity capital increase paves the way for the influx of capital that will contribute to PPC’s 8.4 billion-euro investment plan until 2026, currently ranked as the most ambitious in the Greek market.

Besides the installation of RES units with a total capacity of 8.1 GW, PPC also aims to branch out into the Balkans, beginning with projects in Romania and Bulgaria.

Romania’s RES market is growing at an annual rate of 8 percent, the country’s objective being to reach an installed capacity of 6 GW by 2030. Bulgaria’s RES market is growing at an even greater rate, 15 percent. The neighboring country’s objective is to have installed a further 3 GW by 2030.

Interest rate subsidies for competitive RES projects

RES projects deemed competitive, based on tariff levels, will be entitled to loan interest rate subsidies as compensation covering the gap between rates offered in the Greek market and far lower European rates, deputy finance minister Theodoros Skylakakis has informed.

The deputy minister offered the update at a presentation yesterday of the National Bank of Greece’s “Ethniki 2.0” plan through which the bank will offer an extensive range of financing services to investors, small, medium and large enterprises opting to utilize various investment benefits offered by the country’s recovery fund, dubbed Greece 2.0.

The subsidy support covering the interest rate gap will be made available for new projects to be developed following the launch of Greece 2.0 support programs, the deputy minister clarified.

Skylakakis stressed that only competitive RES projects will be eligible for these subsidies, the logic behind the support being to cover the financing cost disadvantage faced by RES investors in Greece compared to investors of this domain in other parts of Europe.

 

Legal framework for offshore wind farms progressing

The legal framework for offshore wind farm investments has been completed and final decisions at the energy ministry are expected soon, sources have informed.

Competitive procedures offering offshore areas to prospective investors is the most probable approach that will be adopted for this emerging sector in Greece, the sources added.

Floating offshore wind parks are expected to emerge as the favored technology as a result of the great depth of Greek seas.

The current proposal at the minister’s office entails the staging of tenders even for preliminary research, an approach that has been adopted by other EU member states.

But this could change in favor of a model preferred by market players, through which offshore concessions would be made available to investors following related applications for preliminary research such as wind velocity measurements.

 

Finalized support framework plan for hybrid RES units on islands in Brussels

The energy ministry and the European Commission have completed talks for a support framework concerning hybrid RES units on non-interconnected islands. The finalized Greek proposal for the plan, based on the agreement, is expected to be forwarded to Brussels this week, energypress sources have informed.

This development resolves yet another pending issue regarding the support framework for green energy investment. The new framework for new RES auctions has already been announced and forwarded to Brussels by KEMKE, the finance ministry’s Central State Aid Unit.

Brussels set competitive procedures as a condition for its approval of a new hybrid RES support framework. However, some exemptions have been made.

The energy ministry, for example, will be able to avoid competitive procedures for tariffs when mixed auctions are intended for very small islands such as Erikousa, Gavdos, Antikythira or Othonoi, where the requirements of the local grid do nor create appropriate reference-price conditions for prospective projects.

The ministry will also be able to implement an alternative formula for the implementation of pilot projects concerning RES projects that promise high penetration in electrical systems. The island Agios Efstratios (Ai Stratis), southwest of Lemnos in the northern Aegean, is one such example. RES units are expected to cover over 85 percent of the small island’s annual electricity needs.

Assessment of June cycle producer certificate bids by end of month

The assessment by RAE, the Regulatory Authority of Energy, of RES production certificate applications submitted to the June cycle is progressing and should be completed by the end of September, energypress sources have informed.

Barring no complications, such as overlapping RES property issues, applicants should receive related emails by early October requesting payment of producer certificate fees to DAPEEP, the RES market operator. Successful applicants will be given 20 day-periods to pay this fee.

A total of 743 applications for RES units representing a total capacity of 17.4 GW were submitted to RAE for the June cycle, the authority has announced. Solar energy units, totaling 302 and representing 12.8 GW, were the cycle’s dominant RES technology, followed by wind energy units, reaching 290 in total for 4.2 GW.

Meanwhile, RAE is preparing to establish a 35,000-euro letter of guarantee as a prerequisite for applications, this measure’s objective being to limit applications to RES investors with serious intentions.

The authority launched a brief public consultation procedure on Friday. It concludes tomorrow, paving the way for the energy ministry’s draft bill for the letter of guarantee measure’s implementation.

 

Longer wait for small-scale PV investors in desaturated areas

Investors behind new small-scale PV units planned for Crete, the Peloponnese, Evia and the Cyclades, now desaturated following recent measures, will need to wait until around November, at least, to submit applications for connection terms as a pending ministerial decision needed for the launch of a DEDDIE/HEDNO distribution network operator platform accepting applications is not expected any sooner than October, energypress sources have informed.

As a result, investors behind small-scale PV units planned for Crete, the Peloponnese, Evia and the Cyclades, areas where RES capacity has become available following a legislative revision ratified in July, will need to wait for a longer period than had been originally announced.

Besides launching the applications platform, the pending ministerial decision will also provide details on letters of guarantee to accompany applications, as well as any other information or supporting documents.

July’s legislative revision made available 86 MW in the Peloponnese, 45 MW in the Cyclades, including 15 MW for net metering, 40 MW in Evia, and 140 MW in Crete, including 40 MW for net metering.

Maximum capacity levels of 400 KW have been set for PV units in these areas, except for Evia, where the limit is 1 MW.

These projects will secure tariffs based on an official price catalogue for non-competitive procedures. The energy ministry does not plan to make any revisions to this price list in the near future, meaning small-scale PVs that are operating or have declared a readiness to operate between March 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, will secure feed-in tariffs at 63 euros per MWh.

Mytilineos begins work on PPC Renewables 200-MW solar farm

The Mytilineos group’s Renewables & Storage Development Business Unit (RSD) has begun work on the development of a 200-MW solar farm in Kozani, northern Greece for PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary.

The project will be added to two smaller solar PPC Renewables farms, each offering a capacity of 15 MW, which have already been completed by their respective developers, Mytilineos and GEK TERNA, for an overall capacity of 230 MW, Greece’s biggest solar energy facility under construction at present.

Mytilineos was declared preferred bidder last December in a tender staged by PPC Renewables. Parliamentary approval of the agreement in April paved the way for the contract’s finalization and commencement of work.

Mytilineos has been tasked with the design, installation and delivery of the solar farm, as well as its connection with two 150kV-cpaacity substations.

The project’s development cost was reduced to 83.7 million euros through the tender, down roughly 30 percent from an initial budget of 110 million euros, taking the facility’s energy production cost to 42,000 euros per MW, one of the most competitive rates in Europe.

The solar farm, to occupy approximately 500 hectares, will be comprised of bifacial panels with single-axis trackers. The RES facility will have an annual production capacity of 352 GWh, capable of covering the needs of approximately 75,000 households.

PPC Renewables, at a RES auction, has secured a tariff of 49.11 euros per MWh for the project’s output.

The project’s delivery has been given a 42-month period. PPC Renewables is striving to increase its installed RES capacity to 500 MW by the end of 2022.

 

Operator network boost for 1,750 MW in new RES entries

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO will use Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds to cover a considerable proportion of an investment for capacity boosts at certain existing low and medium-voltage substations around the country to facilitate the entry of new RES units.

The capacity boost at these substations, it is estimated, will enable grid entry for new RES units with a total capacity of approximately 1,755 MW.

This prospective RES addition represents nearly 40 percent of the 4,640 MW in new RES unit entries planned for the achievement of National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) RES penetration goals.

This DEDDIE/HEDNO investment will cost close to 30 million euros, of which 12 million euros will stem from the RRF.

Substations in the Peloponnese and Epirus, northwestern Greece, will be boosted by 250 MVA. Substations in the wider Athens area will be boosted by 100 MVA, such facilities in central Greece will be boosted by 200 MVA, and Macedonia and Thrace units in the north will be boosted by 250 MVA.

All project contracts are expected to have been finalized by the fourth quarter of 2023, while the projects are scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2025.

 

PPC Renewables, RWE joint venture to be launched October

A joint venture agreed to by PPC Renewables and RWE Renewables, respective subsidiaries of Greek power utility PPC and German power company RWE, will be launched in October with the objective of developing solar farms with an overall capacity of up to 2 GW in Greece over the next three to five years. The investment plan is worth over one billion euros.

As previously reported, the two energy groups will each contribute 1 GW in solar parks to the joint venture, with RWE Renewables holding a 51 percent share of the company.

The partners intend to begin developing RES facilities by the first half of next year. PPC Renewables has made progress with licensing procedures for the majority of its projects planned for the western Macedonia region in northern Greece. These prospective units will be included in the joint venture’s portfolio.

The joint venture’s projects are expected to create some 1,000 jobs during development.

 

IPTO begins offering connection terms for group RES applications

Power grid operator IPTO has begun offering connection terms to group applicants behind small-scale solar energy projects, a development that enables direct transmission system access for these groups, sparing them of the need to enter via the distribution network.

According to sources, a first group application received connection terms from IPTO about three weeks ago, while a further two groups of small-scale PV units had secured their direct access to the transmission system by the end of last week.

More small-scale group applicants are expected to soon be given their connection terms.

 

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.

 

 

 

Grid saturation forcing operator to block RES term applications

The grid’s medium-voltage capacity has reached its limit in many parts of the country, according to related information published by DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, forcing it to reject the overwhelming majority of new RES project connection-term applications.

Medium-voltage grid capacity is currently fully saturated in areas covering 40 percent of the country, including western Macedonia, in the country’s north, a lignite-dependent area planned for decarbonization.

RES connection-term applications in these areas lacking grid capacity are all being rejected. In other parts of the country, where limited grid capacity remains available, nine in ten RES applications are being rejected by DEDDIE/HEDNO, creating issues for prospective investors.

The problem primarily concerns smaller-scale RES investment plans not possessing the capacity to connect to the grid via IPTO, the power grid operator.

The saturation problem’s extent is even preventing the installation of roof-mounted solar panels in some parts of the country, according to one source.

The subdued potential, at present, of the latest Saving at Home program offering subsidies for energy efficiency upgrades at properties has been partially attributed to the grid’s lack of capacity for new RES installations.

 

ELPE leaves onshore licenses, upstream stagnancy deepening

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) has announced a decision to withdraw from two onshore licenses, Arta-Preveza, in Greece’s northwest, and Northwest Peloponnese, adding to a series of recent negative developments for the country’s hydrocarbon aspirations, increasingly stagnant.

The ELPE decision is a result of the country’s ongoing energy transition towards a low-emissions economy, reflecting the upstream industry’s global contraction.

ELPE is striving for a 30 percent carbon emissions reduction by 2030 and becoming carbon-neutral by the end of the decade.

Like most upstream companies around the world, ELPE is turning its business interests to the RES sector and repositioning to reduce its exposure to CO2 emissions.

The ELPE decision to surrender its two onshore block licenses follows a recent decision by Spain’s Repsol, with Energean, to return to the Greek State exploration and production rights to an Etoloakarnania block, in the country’s northwest.

Repsol, seeking to limit its upstream exposure, has decided to withdraw from its hydrocarbon interests in Greece, as well as a further 13 countries of 28 in which the company is active.

Repsol has also left its interests in an Ioannina onshore block, in the northwest, leaving Energean alone in this venture, the country’s sole onshore license. Repsol also withdrew from its offshore Ionian Sea block, a 50-50 venture with ELPE.

 

Cyclades grid interconnection project entering fourth stage

The fourth stage of a grid interconnection linking the Cyclades with the mainland is set to continue following the completion of a tender for the installation of a substation on Santorini.

Power grid operator IPTO yesterday announced the preferred bidder for cables to be installed between Santorini and Naxos.

A new substation for the interconnection linking the southwest Cyclades of Santorini, Folegandros, Milos and Serifos is scheduled for autumn.

New tenders for cables and substations concerning Folegandros, Milos and Serifos will be announced in autumn, officials noted.

The schedule for the southwest Cyclades’ entry into the country’s high-voltage system remains unchanged at 2024.

Besides the four aforementioned islands, six other islands in the wider region, Anafi, Kimolos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Kythnos and Thirasia, will also get to benefit from stable, lower-cost and eco-friendly electricity supply through medium-voltage links being developed, or to be developed, with other islands.

The wider investment plan’s completion will bring to an end the need for high-polluting and high-cost units being used for localized generation on islands.

The completion of the Cyclades grid interconnection is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 100,000 tons in the first year, alone, while public service compensation costs included as surcharges in electricity bills to subsidize higher-cost generation on islands will be reduced by approximately 90 million euros, annually. Also RES capacity in the Cyclades will increase to 332 MW.