Chinese firms barred from distribution operator sale

Conflict of interest, including in grid energy storage, a fast-growing market, has prompted power utility PPC to stop two Chinese firms interested in the prospective sale of a 49 percent stake in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a PPC subsidiary, from taking part.

State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), a strategic partner of Greek power grid operator IPTO with a 24 percent stake, and another Chinese company, still undisclosed, both participated in a market test for the DEDDIE/HEDNO privatization, indicating an interest to submit bids.

A total of 19 firms reportedly expressed preliminary interest in the sale’s market test, conducted by the procedure’s consultants.

The DEDDIE/HEDNO partial privatization’s conditions include a term barring the participation of any firms directly or indirectly related to IPTO.

The conflict-of-interest term was included in the sale’s rules as electricity network companies, whether involved in high voltage, such as IPTO, or mid and low voltage, such as DEDDIE/HEDNO, are expected to find themselves competing in various electricity market services, including energy storage.

The grid energy storage market – offering large-scale storage systems that store electrical energy during times of abundance, low prices, or low demand before returning it to the grid when demand is high and electricity prices tend to be higher – is experiencing rapid growth on a global scale.

Greece still lacks a legal framework covering this domain. The energy ministry is working on this pending issue, crucial for the country’s effort to achieve National Energy and Climate Plan objectives through greater RES penetration.

This legal framework will, amongst other matters, determine market participation and remuneration terms for energy storage units, as well as related services to be traded on the energy exchange.

PPC anticipates first-round expressions of interest from four to six consortiums for the DEDDIE/HEDNO sale of a 49 percent stake.

 

EBRD: Green projects in Greece a priority, RES-based economic recovery

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strongly interested in Greek energy market investments, Andreea Moraru, the bank’s head of Greece and Cyprus, has stressed in an interview with energypress.

The EBRD official spoke extensively on significant investment opportunities being created by the energy transition.

Since 2015, the EBRD has invested over four billion euros in Greece, participating in numerous major projects, Moraru informed, noting its recent support for power utility PPC, an investment worth 160 million euros, one of the bank’s largest, to cover customer payment volatility following the outbreak of the pandemic, exemplifies EBRD’s strong support for Greece.

The full interview follows:

What is the role of the EBRD compared to that of other banking institutions? 

The EBRD is a development bank committed to furthering progress towards ‘market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative. Our role is to be complementary to the commercial banks, to work alongside them and to support them.

Αdditionality is among the founding principles underlying our work and the particular support and contribution that the EBRD brings to an investment project which is not available from commercial sources of finance. Alongside transition and sound Banking, it is one of the three founding principles underlying our work. By ensuring that we are additional in everything we do, we ensure that our support for the private sector makes a contribution beyond that available on the market and does not crowd out other private sector actors.

Whenever we consider financing a project, we analyze whether similar financing can be obtained from private sector local banks or non-banking institutions.

Many of our markets are relatively high risk, and the private sector will only lend for short periods of time or at such high rates as to make the project unfeasible. For major new projects in the field of infrastructure, for example, longer-term financing may not be available on reasonable terms or conditions. This is where the EBRD fits in.

Additionality can also be non-financial in nature, where EBRD’s interventions contribute to better project outcomes that would not have been required or offered by commercial financiers. This can include the provision of comfort to clients and investors by mitigating non-financial risks, such as country, regulatory, project, economic cycle or political risks. Additionality may also be derived from the EBRD’s involvement in helping projects and clients achieve higher standards than would have been required by the market, such as through sharing its expertise on better corporate governance or above ‘business as usual’ environmental or inclusion standards.

Do you consider the energy sector in Greece to be suitable to contribute to the development and reconstruction of the Greek economy? For what reasons?

Absolutely. In general, the EBRD’s vision for the energy sector is of a partnership between industry, governments and consumers that delivers the essential energy needs of societies and economies in a manner that is sustainable, reliable and at the lowest possible cost.

In Greece the energy sector is embarking upon its biggest transformation yet, moving away from its reliance on lignite (c. 20% of total electricity production in 2019) to renewables and a smaller fleet of significantly less carbon intensive gas generating units. The NECP aims to achieve reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 55% by 2030 compared to 2005, planned to be achieved through: (i) decommissioning of all 4 GW of lignite-fired generation capacity by 2028 (3.4GW by 2023), (ii) 8.7 GW of new renewable generation capacity to added by 2030, reaching a total of 19 GW, and (iii) 2 GW of new gas generation capacity added for system support and security. The country remains committed to implementing the NECP as planned despite the negative impacts the CV19 crisis is expected to have on the Greek economy in 2020 and beyond.

Greece’s withdrawal from coal is a fundamental transformation that will create substantial sector and social challenges with the following broad implications: (1) constructing large volumes of low carbon generating capacity in order to ensure energy security in an increasing electrified economy, (2) reengineering the country’s transmission and distribution networks to reflect the additional penetration of distributed, intermittent renewable energy, and (3) addressing the social and economic impacts of the closure of a major part of its existing energy infrastructure, i.e. ensuring a just and inclusive transition.

We have supported many energy projects so far, especially renewables, working together with leading companies, such as GEK Terna, Mytilineos and HELPE among others.

A recent milestone is our support for the largest renewable energy project in Greece and the largest solar energy project in south-eastern Europe to date, the new solar park in Kozani. In 2017, we also approved a framework committing up to €300 million to finance renewable energy investments in the country.

The main reasons why this sector is important for the development of the Greek economy and thus our participation, is first to help the decarbonization of the country and the transition to a greener economy, as well as to strengthen local linkages and regional integration.

What is the EBRD’S philosophy about its presence in the Greek economy and especially in the energy sector?

In Greece in particular, supporting sustainable energy and infrastructure is among our top priorities. In fact supporting sustainable energy and infrastructure is one of the pillars of the newly approved country strategy. Our investment strategy in the energy sector going forward will aim at further liberalization and diversification of the energy market focusing on renewables and increased renewable energy capacity and a more diversified energy mix to promote decarbonization of the economy. EBRD could support a second phase of feasible renewable energy projects with project preparation / technical assistance and financing (biomass and biogas plants, use of waste heat in greenhouses for high value-added agriculture, electricity storage facilities, green hydrogen production plants and other forms of energy storage.

We see that it’s challenging to meet EU climate goals in Greece and our goal is to support the country with that. Our approach and philosophy is in line with the National Energy and Climate Plan and we are very glad the Greek government is committed to close all lignite plants. We need to keep this momentum, despite the current Covid-19 crisis, and turn the country greener.

One good example is our recent support for PPC (DEI). This has been one of our largest investments (€160 million) and the first time we supported the public sector in Greece. This facility supports PPC’s working capital needs at a time of customer payment volatility following the outbreak of the crisis. It also strengthens the resilience of the electricity sector as a whole by ensuring the stability of essential utility supplies and maintaining the momentum towards decarbonization.

What are the characteristics of private companies that could apply to be supported by the EBRD?

When we consider financing a project we analyze different aspects, such as how it supports the green economy, if it promotes women or youth inclusion, if it can enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the Greek economy etc. We look at the financial strength of the project as we operate according to sound banking principles. We cannot finance companies in certain sectors like defence-related activities, tobacco, substances banned by international law or gambling facilities.  As I have already mentioned, we also need to be additional.

We work in a wide range of sectors, from energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, property, tourism, agriculture to trade and financial institutions. We also support SMEs with business advice, know-how transfer and trainings.

What are your conclusions from your cooperation so far with Greek companies and institutions?

We’re very proud of all our projects in Greece so far. Since commencing our operations in 2015, the Bank has invested more than €4 billion in the country, helping respond to the financial crisis. Against a turbulent political and economic backdrop, the EBRD helped stabilize the financial sector, support private companies through export-oriented growth and lay the foundations for greater private sector participation in critical energy and infrastructure projects that have also strengthened regional integration.

We faced several challenges because of the financial crisis, but this was expected and was exactly the reason why we came to the country. Our main conclusion is that Greek companies have strong potential and very talented workforce, who we’re glad to be working with. The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly interrupted Greece’s steady recovery, but we’re confident that the country can build back better.

We have an excellent cooperation with the Greek Government whom we are supporting on a number of initiatives.  In late 2020, the EBRD joined forces with the Ministry of Development and Investments of Greece to establish a new public-private partnership (PPP) preparation facility cooperation account, following a request from the Greek authorities. We are also working close with the Ministry of Finance on development of a capital market strategy, a project supported by DG Reform.

What are your plans for the new year?

We will focus on supporting the recovery of the Greek economy, by helping with the immediate needs of the Greek businesses because of coronavirus, as well as with their long-term growth plans. Green projects, including in the energy sector, will be our priority, but we’ll also be active in other sectors. We’ll continue supporting the banking sector, too.

Do you consider the investment risk in our country increased after the great economic crisis and in the light of the current crisis due to a pandemic?

The financial crisis had a strong impact on Greece, but we recognize that the Greek economy had started recovering and growing in the recent years. It’s true that COVID-19 containment measures are likely to depress economic output and cause particular disruption to the tourism industry, reversing the economic recovery and hindering investments in the near term, not only in Greece, but also in most countries. There are still many things that need to be improved in the country to attract more investors, but we don’t consider the investment risk much higher than it used to be. The Greek economy can recover after the pandemic.

 

Wholesale prices in Greece well over European average in 3Q

Wholesale electricity prices in Greece during the third quarter of 2020 were three times over the €16/MWh European average, based on the Nord Pool power exchange, a European Commission report covering European electricity markets for this period has shown.

The report also traces the market’s 3Q rebound following a heavy slump in the preceding quarter.

Average prices rebounded at a slower pace in southeast Europe, compared to other regions, before reaching pre-pandemic levels in September as a result of weak demand and high production of wind energy and hydropower facilities, according to the Brussels report.

The average price in the third quarter rose by 43 percent, against 2Q, to €43/MWh, and was 30 percent lower, annually.

European price shifts in August moved in coordination, while the price gap between Greece and the European average narrowed significantly in 3Q as a result of the use of lignite-fired units and weak demand.

This gap vanished in September as a result of stronger wind energy output, which exceeded one TWh for the first time. As a result, prices in the region were between €46 and €47/MWh in September.

As for energy-mix developments, lignite-based production in Greece experienced a decreased share, captured by natural gas-fueled output.

In southeast Europe, the lignite-based output share contracted to 29 percent in 3Q from 35 percent in the equivalent period a year earlier; the gas-fueled sector’s production share rose to 20 percent from 18 percent; and the RES sector’s share of the energy mix increased to 34 percent from 30 percent.

Household electricity tariffs in Greece averaged €16.54/MWh (not including taxes and surcharges), while the country’s average for industrial tariffs was €10.62/MWh, the report showed.

Balancing market costs subdued for second consecutive week

Balancing market costs remained subdued for a second consecutive week, the total cost of three uplift accounts, according to official data provided by power grid operator IPTO, registering 5.87 euros per MWh in the tenth week since the November 1 launch of the target model. Its introduction prompted sharp balancing cost increases in the first few weeks.

More specifically, the uplift 1 account reached €1.39 per MWh, uplift 2 was €0.79 per MWh, and uplift 3 registered €3.69 per MWh.

According to IPTO data on the three uplift accounts during the first ten weeks of the target model, their total cost was €8.37 per MWh in the first week, climbed to €15.68, €19.45 and €20.06 per MWh in the second, third and fourth weeks, respectively, before peaking at €43.37 per MWh in the fifth week. The uplift total then plunged to €8.08 per MWh in the sixth week, before eventually falling further to levels of €5.74 and €5.87 per MWh in the ninth and tenth weeks, respectively.

Day-ahead market prices have also been low over the past two weeks of subdued balancing market costs, meaning the overall cost in the wholesale market has dropped.

Low electricity demand as a result of the mild winter weather, so far; the lockdown measures, even if not absolute; more accurate electricity demand forecasts by power grid operator IPTO; as well as increased output by RES and hydropower units, have all been cited as factors in the reduced cost of wholesale electricity.

In addition, more rational offers by producers have also contributed to the normalization of balancing market prices.

Brussels RES tool to promote member-state collaboration

A financing mechanism adopted by the European Commission to financially support new RES projects and facilitate synergies, at financial and technical levels, between EU member states is moving closer to actualization.

Late in 2020, the European Commission established a related platform and invited EU member states to express interest in the mechanism either as hosts or contributors.

According to the mechanism’s plan, contributing member states will be able to invest in RES projects in other countries. This prospect will enable contributors to become involved in projects offering greater financial returns, compared to those of domestic projects, and also invest through RES technologies that cannot be implemented at home. For example, landlocked countries will be able to invest in offshore wind farms and countries with minimal sunshine will be able to invest in solar farms.

On the other hand, member states hosting projects linked to the new mechanism stand to benefit from improved energy supply and security, grid upgrades, investments and job creation.

Also, RES output generated by projects linked to the new mechanism is planned to be equally divided by participating states, contributing to their respective energy and climate targets.

The European Commission is currently examining the prospect of also opening up this initiative to private-sector firms. Brussels, gauging the level of investment interest, has invited private-sector companies to express their interest in the mechanism by February 15.

The private sector is playing a crucial role in successfully promoting RES projects in the EU, Brussels pointed out in a statement.

PPC, RWE agreement near, aiming for RES joint venture by summer

PPC Renewables, a power utility PPC subsidiary, and RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, are striving to launch a joint venture by next summer for RES investments in Greece.

The two companies, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding last March in Berlin for exchange of technical knowhow and RES development in Greece, are looking to equally contribute for the establishment of a joint RES portfolio totaling 2 GW.

State-controlled PPC is expected to offer its approval of the agreement between the two companies within the next few days, development and investment minister Adonis Georgiadis told an online New Year event staged yesterday by the Hellenic-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

However, the details of the PPC Renewables-RWE joint venture deal are not expected to be finalized until early February, according to sources.

The two sides have already agreed on the fundamentals of their partnership agreement, RWE’s local representative Giorgos Paterakis confirmed at the aforementioned event, adding that the two companies will soon have further, and more specific, details to announce.

Georgiadis, the development and investment minister, described the forthcoming partnership as one of the country’s two biggest green-energy developments, also naming a pilot electromobility investment planned by another German company, VW, on the Greek island Astypalea.

The two companies are also looking to collaborate on decarbonization.

RES operator upgrading systems to curb bureaucracy for investors

DAPEEP, the RES market operator, is introducing a series of operating upgrades with the aim of limiting bureaucratic obstacles and subsequent delays faced by renewable energy producers.

Forthcoming upgrades include automatic tax updates, certifying no pending tax payments, for parties interested in developing RES projects.

The operator, as of January 1, has already introduced an online signing procedure for RES contracts and their deliveries.

As a result, the time needed by the operator to sign new RES contracts through the digitized procedure has been slashed to a maximum of five days from an average time of 79 days recorded in September last year, when the operator’s current administration took over at DAPEEP.

In addition, a personalized profile system offering investors updates on their monthly RES production figures will soon be made available by the operator.

The operating upgrades were recently presented by DAPEEP’s chief executive Yiannis Giarentis during an online conference staged by POSPIEF, the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Photovoltaic Producer Societies.

Numerous RES applications to miss cut under new framework

New criteria being prepared for the eligibility of RES project applications is expected to lead to the disqualification of thousands of investment plans next summer, when a new framework for the sector will be implemented.

The total capacity represented by older and newer RES project applications, along with producer certificates and production licenses, currently exceeds 100 GW, a completely unrealistic figure for the Greek market.

This capacity sum will be slashed when the new criteria, incorporating new spatial terms and a series of restrictions concerning environmental protection rules, come into effect.

The current framework to be replaced stretches back to 2009 and was based on the RES technology of the time, now overtaken.

Excess applications are currently occupying capacities that could be offered to RES investment plans possessing greater maturity and purpose.

Over the years, the country’s RES investors have found themselves trapped in an environment that has lacked clarity as a result of too many rule revisions and proposals, as well as differing policies implemented by a succession of administrations.

Swift action taken for Saving at Home subsidy platform issues

The energy ministry is making technical improvements to an online platform accepting subsidy applications for energy efficiency upgrades of buildings following reports of a severe imbalance in the processing of bids.

‘Saving at Home’ subsidy program applications submitted by larger-scale professionals of the building industry, such as big civil engineering firms, are being processed collectively and making it through the system, blocking out, as a consequence, bids lodged by individuals or smaller professional firms.

Newly appointed energy minister Kostas Skrekas has ordered swift action for functional improvements of the platform after being notified of the imbalances by ministry officials and the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE).

Also, the minister has decided to delay, by two weeks, the starting date of the platform for the remainder of regions around the country still not serviced.

New minister, just appointed, has issues to resolve in 2021

Kostas Skrekas, just appointed new energy minister as part of the government’s cabinet reshuffle, in place of Costis Hatzidakis, who has headed the ministry for a constructive year and a half, faces a series of pending energy-sector matters that remained unresolved in 2020. They need to be addressed as soon as possible. Developments and conditions this year will be pivotal for these matters.

Skrekas was previously deputy minister for agricultural development and food.

Also in 2021, a year during which takeovers and mergers are seen occurring in the retail electricity and gas markets, rivals will continue battling for market share gains. The target model’s launch two months ago has brought about new conditions, strengthening the positions of vertically integrated suppliers.

The need for a normalization of the target model’s new markets stands as the energy ministry’s most pressing task at present. A sharp rise in wholesale electricity prices as a result of soaring balancing market costs has deeply unsettled the market, impacting the standings of non-vertically integrated suppliers, as well as industrial enterprises and consumers, who face rising bills.

Market coupling with Bulgaria’s day-ahead market, scheduled to take place within the first three months of the new year, is the next step of the target model, a procedure designed to harmonize EU energy markets and promote competition.

New energy-intensive industrial tariffs also need to be set soon. Though essentially a matter concerning state-controlled power utility PPC and Greece’s industrial players, the cost of industrial energy is crucial for Greek industry, carrying particular political and economic weight.

Also, Greece has little time left in its negotiations with Brussels for a framework to offer third parties access to PPC’s lignite-based generation. This issue is no longer as crucial as it once was because the country’s lignite output has been drastically reduced. Even so, it remains important for independent suppliers.

A number of energy-sector privatizations could be completed this year. Gas utility DEPA’s two new entities, DEPA Infrastructure and DEPA Commercial, electricity distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, and a tender for a tender for the development of an underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) in the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in northern Greece are all on this year’s privatization list.

In renewable energy, the ministry needs to take decisions within the first few months to clarify terms regulating the sector. RES investment interest is currently high. Steps still need to be taken in an ongoing effort to simplify RES licensing procedures, while a legal framework must be established for energy storage, offshore wind farms and hydrogen use.

 

Target model decision needed in 2021, Elpedison chief points out

The new year will demand a decision from authorities and market participants on whether a true target model for the electricity market is desired, Nikos Zahariadis, chief executive at Elpedison, has pointed out in an article published by energypress as part of a feature on 2021 prospects.

The market was caught by surprise during the launch of the new electricity market in the final weeks of 2020, the official pointed out. Balancing market costs rose sharply during this period.

Most authorities and participants were expecting a different development, including a solution for the market’s chronic “missing money” problem, as well as a drop in retail electricity prices, Zahariadis noted, expressing belief that the new year will present an opportunity, even for the unprepared, to adjust to the new conditions that will ultimately enable the new energy market to operate without restrictions and showcase its advantages.

However, the new market, even when it has matured and stabilized, will still pose threats, especially for players seeking to keep distinctly separate retail and production portfolios, as protection against price manipulation has stopped functioning since the launch of the target model, he pointed out.

Looking towards the future, a gradual prevalence of the RES sector is discernible, as long as economically feasible energy storage technology is developed, Zahariadis projected. Until then, the grid will rely on natural gas-fueled power stations, the only flexible solution available at present, he added.

As for the natural gas sector, two unrelated events late in 2018, the first being an expansion at the Revythoussa LNG terminal facilities that enables bigger tankers to dock, and the second, a drop in LNG prices, have brought about permanent change in the Greek market, the Elpedison official noted.

Market players responded swiftly with LNG imports, prompting gas price reductions along with concurrent electricity price reductions. Also, the first steps were taken towards the establishment of a Balkan hub for transboundary LNG sales, Zahariadis noted.

More gas market opportunities will be offered in 2021 through the TAP project’s functioning, the company official pointed out.

Elpedison has played a leading role in sector developments, capitalizing on opportunities by importing significant LNG amounts and capturing a key position in the wholesale gas market, Zahariadis added.

The completion of equipment procurement tenders for a new 800-MW combined cycle power station, a project that will enable Elpedison to double its production as of 2023 and gradually increase sales to higher levels, stands as the company’s biggest challenge in the new year, he noted.

Solid Fitch Ratings grading for PPC paves way to bond issue

American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has delivered a favorable review of power utility PPC that enhances the company’s credit image and takes it a step closer to capital markets.

The credit agency has not only added PPC to its catalogue of companies reviewed, but also given the utility a BB- rating, noting that a firm outlook lies ahead. This status is twice as good as a B rating offered by S&P in November.

It enables PPC to begin examining the prospect of borrowing through a bond issue for the first time in six years.

The Fitch Ratings grading has been embraced at PPC’s Athens headquarters, as it not only seals a perfectly successful year but also puts in place a solid foundation for an even better year in 2021.

Interpretations of the outcome by some analysts remain cautiously optimistic. These analysts believe consolidation of PPC’s improved standing must wait for the release of its financial results for the year. Favorable news on the forthcoming 49 percent privatization of subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, will also further enhance PPC’s image, they pointed out.

PPC’s integrated business structure, dominant market position, long-term sustainability as a result of strategic repositioning, as well as favorable energy sector reforms from 2019 to the present were key factors in the favorable Fitch Ratings grading.

PV market faces severe shortage, higher prices and shipping costs

Solar panel supply has dried up in the Greek market, as is also the case throughout Europe, creating difficulties for PV investors, big and small, who are seeking to develop solar parks ahead of RES auction deadlines or to secure non-auction tariffs.

The solar panel market shortage has been attributed to a significant increase in PV installations, both globally as well as in China, essentially the world’s sole PV producer.

Investors already committed to tariff contracts are subject to major solar panel delivery delays, while others now making efforts to purchase equipment needed to develop their solar parks are unable to find delivery dates any sooner than the third quarter of 2021.

Besides the market shortage of solar panels, shipping containers from China have also been hard to come by, possibly as a result of a sharp increase in the trade of electronic goods during the pandemic, prompting higher transportation costs.

Solar panel prices have also risen considerably, compared to levels last summer, which has caused business plan issues for prospective green-energy producers.

China has announced a five-year PV installation plan to run at an annual rate of 65 GW from 2021 to 2025. Also, global PV demand is soon expected to reach 200 GW, annually.

Quite clearly, solar panel production, for the time being, cannot meet demand. This shortage is expected to last until at least the end of the first half in 2021.

 

 

 

RAE preparing to grant its first energy storage system licenses

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is preparing to grant its first ever licenses for battery energy storage systems following a related board decision last week.

The authority opted to base its decision on a rule from 2000 concerning electricity generation units as specific legal framework for installations of such energy storage systems does not exist.

RAE was prompted to move ahead with this licensing plan following interest by investors for installations of large-scale battery energy storage systems. Also, the new target model markets have shown a need for a flexible national grid.

“Markets are sending messages that illustrate a need for flexible units,” RAE president Thanassis Dagoumas pointed out.

The development of a new legal framework designed specifically for battery energy storage systems would have taken many months, the RAE chief noted, explaining the authority’s decision to move forward by utilizing the rule from two decades ago on electricity generation units.

“We analyzed avenues taken by regulatory authorities in other countries for the creation of their frameworks and determined that they have not addressed the subject in any uniform way,” Dagoumas said. “Some see these storage units from the perspective of production while others relate them to production and consumption.”

Terms soon for last mixed RES auction to be staged under old framework

A ministerial decision on the terms, conditions and scheduling of one last mixed RES auction for solar and wind energy capacities to be held under the current legal framework is expected within the next few days.

A capacity of 350 MW will be offered to the auction’s participants early in 2021. It remains unclear if the capacity on offer will be evenly distributed for the solar and wind energy sectors.

Once the ministerial decision is delivered, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will officially announce the auction.

Investors will be given more time than usual to obtain supporting documents needed for auction participation as a result of the extraordinary lockdown-induced conditions, sources informed.

The session’s 350 MW to be offered represents the remaining capacity from auctions in 2020.

The energy ministry has submitted an application to the EU for an extension of competitive procedures concerning RES projects until 2024.

The new auction model is expected to incorporate improvements based on increased competition through more active target model participation and price reductions benefiting consumers, while also ensuring a clear-cut framework for RES producers.

Western corridor transmission line work blocked again by monastery

A small fraction of remaining work on a strategically important western-corridor expansion plan for a 400 kV transmission system reaching Megalopoli, central Peloponnese, needed to facilitate green energy investments in the wider region, has once again been stopped as a result of objections raised by nuns at a nearby monastery in the Kalavryta area.

Completion of this project, budgeted at 110 million euros and being developed by power grid operator IPTO, would unlock green-energy investments worth millions.

However, the installation of two remaining transmission towers, at a 500-meter distance from the monastery, has essentially been blocked for 14 months by its nuns, citing construction of the towers, requiring between 60 to 80 days, would visually harass and impact the monastery’s tranquility. The project is 98-percent complete.

IPTO construction crews went back to work on November 25, only to swiftly prompt the reemergence of the monastery nuns, who used vehicles to block bulldozers from performing their tasks. The project contractor filed a law suit against the nuns on the very same day.

Two days later, the nuns retaliated with legal action of their own, which resulted in a temporary order from a local Court of First Instance requiring all work to stop until December 16, when the issue will be examined.

JinkoSolar sole PV firm given top rating for credit quality in Chinese market

JinkoSolar, one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, is the sole PV company to be given the highest AAA rating for credit quality in the Chinese market, the company has announced in a statement.

This highest rating stands as recognition of market quality credit management capabilities and levels of a company, through a comprehensive evaluation of company credit, quality assurance capabilities, market operation capabilities and other
indicators, conducted by the China Association for Quality (CAQ).

With this recognition, JinkoSolar sets a new company milestone and benchmark for the rest of the PV industry in terms of user satisfaction and quality management, it noted in the statement.

Leveraging the company’s leading intelligent manufacturing process and product quality, JinkoSolar has become a highly respected name in the global PV industry, it added.

JinkoSolar has been awarded numerous international quality certifications, and its outstanding reputation has contributed to
positioning Chinese manufacturers as some of the most dominant players in the global PV industry beyond China.

Based on its product innovation, supply stability and a well-established global service network, JinkoSolar has been ranked first in terms of global shipments for four consecutive years.

“We will continue to focus on the R&D of our core technologies, and upgrade and optimize production lines to improve the quality of our PV products,” said Kangping Chen, Chief
Executive Officer of JinkoSolar. “In order to further promote development towards grid parity, we will focus our efforts on product iteration and continue to bring premium quality products to our global customers that will reduce costs and improve system efficiency. In the future, we will continue to assume the responsibility of a leading PV company, bringing to
market more optimized PV products, and strongly support the global transformation to clean and green energy and drive the high-quality development of the global solar industry.”

JinkoSolar 182mm module, offering advantages, the mainstream choice

The JinkoSolar 182mm module will be the mainstream choice thanks to the advantages in low power loss, better compatibility, cost optimization scheme and better reliability, the company has asserted.  

With the arrival of the photovoltaic comprehensive parity era, how to minimize LCOE becomes the main concern for the PV industry. To some extent, improving the power generation by increasing the size of PV module has become a sort of consensus in PV industry. How can standardized large-size modules reduce the cost of the whole industrial chain in the development process of grid parity or grid at a low price?

Recently, JinkoSolar, Longi and JA Solar jointly held the conference “Customer Value Focused – Advanced PV Technology for Better LCOE” and had an in-depth discussion with industry experts and industrial chain partners. An internal agreement has been achieved in the conference that 182mm modules will achieve more marketing opportunities.

The High Reliability of JinkoSolar 182mm Modules

Through a large number of reliability tests, 182mm modules demonstrated to have a proven high reliability in production process. During process of cost reduction and power promotion, how can 182mm size ensure the module reliability? Leo Yu, Senior Manager of Global Product Management at JinkoSolar CO. Ltd., commented: “The excellent results of 182mm modules under the extended IEC reliability test showed that thanks to 182 modules the entire power plant can maintain a regular operational performance in the period of our warranty, ensuring the PV project profitability.”

JinkoSolar understands that the power plant system has high requirements for module power warranty, which will have a direct impact on the plant revenue. Great module reliability can effectively ensure long-term stable power generation performance and the excellent power warranty of 182mm module can meet the requirement of clients. Leo Yu said: “JinkoSolar ensures 2% degradation for the first year and 0.45% from the second to the thirtieth year. With regards to mechanical loading, working temperature and risk of hot spots, the 182mm module is proved to be a product with a long-life cycle.”

The significant power generation loss reduction of 182mm module

182mm and 210mm modules have been well known in the market as large-size high-power modules. Compared to 210mm panels, 182mm modules can significantly reduce the power generation loss which is also caused by cable loss and operating temperature. As the experts said, the reverse current control will have a great impact on the hot spot temperature of the module. So, the strict quality control will also enable 182mm products s to have long-term excellent reliability.

The guarantee of 182mm module delivery

182mm panel has been proved to have great delivery reliability in terms of the module size and the adaptability during the installation.

For the transportation of 182mm modules, the risk of crack and breakage would be increased with a larger module size. The lodging risk would also be increased during the vertical container transshipment. Module manufacturers did the module reliability test and transportation reliability test after unifying the width of 182mm module as around 1130mm, which is determined by the height of the container door, to ensure that there would be no problem during large batch transportations.

Furthermore, the industry data has pointed out that the container utilization ratio of 182mm module is better than 158/166 module’s. For 182mm modules, the loading capacity in each container could be 10-20% more than the average and the relative capacity could be increased by over 15%. With regards to the installation of 182mm panels, the module size and weight unified by panel manufacturers make the whole installation process of 182mm module possible to be handled by only two workers.

Excellent system compatibility of 182mm module

The compatibility of 182mm modules has gotten a lot of affirmation. Nowadays, many inverter suppliers have already started the volume production of compatible products for 182mm modules. Chris Gan, Solution Technical Director, Smart PV Sales & Services Dept, at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., mentioned that: “Huawei Smart PV 196kW inverter, which we launched this year, could be fully adapted to 182mm modules.” Meanwhile, Tiger Zhang, Vice President at Sungrow Renewable Energy SCI.& Tech CO., Ltd. has introduced the group series inverters, centralized inverter and combiner boxes which could match 182mm modules.

Concerning the mounting system, many module mounting suppliers can offer products compatible with 182mm modules. Eric Kuo, Director of Technical Product Management at Nextracker Inc. said: “The situation that mainstream mounting products were designed to match 156&158mm modules has already been changed. Since last year, more and more modules have changed size. As a tracer supplier, we always cooperate with the whole PV industry to do products iteration and update. For example, this time we have already developed a product which could match 182mm panels, but we will be ready to promptly provide the best solutions for new products in the future.” Huang Chunlin, Deputy General Manager of New Energy Engineering Institute at Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited pointed out that the compatibility and the technology of mounting systems for 182mm modules, especially tracker system, are highly reliable in areas with high wind speeds.

Low power cost optimization scheme of 182mm module

182mm module has gradually realized mass production and become the lowest power cost optimization scheme in the market by the advantage of high reliability, high production efficiency, great auxiliary material supply and high power generation.

First of all, the reduction of power generation losses caused by cable loss and working temperature demonstrates the advantages of 182 modules in cost reducing. Leo Yu, Senior Manager of Global Product Management at JinkoSolar, mentioned that “182mm modules can reduce the cable loss by 0.21% compared with 210mm modules. This will have a great impact on the entire power plant. A reduction of 0.21% on cable loss will increase the IRR by 0.15% and reduce the LCOE by 0.21% during operation of power plant. The working temperature of the 210mm module is 6 degrees higher than that of the 182mm module. The resulting power generation loss reached nearly 2%, and this 2% needs to be made up by 0.1 yuan/watt from EPC cost.”

The mounting system cost counts 19% of the EPC costs, which means that a change in mounting system cost will have a great impact on the BOS costs. In the term of tracker cost, the longest length designed by mainstream mounting system manufacturers is about 100 meters. The 182mm module can be connected up to 3 strings on each track and the length is about 96 meters, and the 210mm module cannot achieve that length. The cost of tracker control system with the 182mm modules can be reduced by 0.015 yuan/W compared with the 210 modules, since 210mm module cannot achieve the maximum length which can be supported by the tracker.

Moreover, 182mm modules have also significant advantages in terms of labor and transportation costs. The labor cost is divided into three parts, which are cost of tracks installation, trenching and field leveling costs. By measuring, for 120MW DC project in A class of light resource areas in China, the difference of labor cost between 210mm module and 182mm module is about RMB 800,000. In terms of transportation, compared with 158mm/166mm module, the wattage and utilization rate of each container of 182mm modules is higher, and the average wattage of a single container can be increased by 10%-20%.

In general, as a mature PV product, 182mm module has become the mainstream choice among clients of PV module market thanks to great advantages such as low cable loss, low internal loss and many others.

 

Big month for PPC begins with 9-month results, business plan

December promises to be a big month for power utility PPC on a number of fronts, beginning with the corporation’s announcement tomorrow of profitable nine-month results.

The results will be followed by the presentation of PPC’s  updated and ambitious business plan for 2021 to 2023 on Wednesday, and the launch, on Thursday, of a market test concerning the privatization of a 49 percent stake in distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a PPC subsidiary.

In addition, PPC is also awaiting a response, imminently, from the European Commission on a compensation request linked to the utility’s plan to withdraw its lignite-fired power stations sooner than planned.

PPC may also opt to head to capital markets in December.

The power utility’s nine-month profit to be announced tomorrow, including operating profit in 3Q for the fourth quarter in succession, has been attributed to lower natural gas and wholesale prices as well as the utility’s diminished use of lignite. These latest results should pave the way for an EBITDA figure of over 900 billion euros.

Natural gas prices have been low in 2020, but higher price levels are expected in 2021.

PPC will present its updated business plan at Wednesday’s Investor Day, rescheduled as an online event amid the pandemic. It will involve the participation of dozens of Greek and foreign analysts.

Besides a RES energy-mix share of between 15 and 20 percent, the three-year plan will also feature a more aggressive commercial policy, electromobility and digitalization initiatives, as well as the DEDDIE/HEDNO privatization.

Enel 2030 vision in 2021–2023 strategic plan: A Decade of opportunities  

The Road to 2030 

Over a decade of profound transformation, the Group is placing at the core of its strategy the acceleration of the energy transition, alongside sustainable and profitable growth to create significant value shared with all stakeholders and attractive returns for shareholders over time.

Group Ordinary EBITDA is expected to increase at a 5%-6% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (“CAGR”) while Net Ordinary Income is expected to increase at a 6%-7% CAGR between 2020 and 2030.

The Group expects to mobilize investments of 190 billion euros in the 2021-2030 period, boosting decarbonization, electrification of consumption and platforms to create sustainable shared value for all stakeholders and profitability over the medium and long term.

The Enel Group’s leadership position in the industry and its journey towards becoming a fully digital company enable the implementation of two business models: the traditional one, called “Ownership”, where digital platforms are a business enhancer supporting investment profitability, and the “Stewardship” model, which catalyzes third-party investments in partnership with Enel or where platforms are a business generator.

The Group plans to directly invest around 160 billion euros, of which over 150 billion euros through the Ownership business model and around 10 billion euros through the Stewardship business model, while further catalyzing around 30 billion euros from third parties.

As for the investment planned under the Ownership business model:

  • Nearly half will be devoted to Global Power Generation, with Renewables totaling around 70 billion euros, which are expected to lead to around 120 GW of installed capacity by 2030, 7 times higher than the approximately 45 GW currently installed. This will be accomplished by leveraging on a growing pipeline of more than 140 GW, alongside a worldwide platform-based Business Development, Engineering and Construction as well as Operation and Maintenance model;
  • Around 46% is expected to be deployed in Infrastructure and Networks, to address quality and resiliency improvements, new connections and infrastructure digitalization, resulting in a Group Regulated Asset Base (“RAB”) of some 70 billion euros in 2030 and over 90 million end users 100%-digitalized through smart meters, leveraging on an unparalleled scale of operations, the highest digitalization expertise and a distinctive intellectual property value;
  • The remaining amount relates to Customers and is expected to lead, by 2030, to a steep increase in customer value. The Group will enable electrification, accelerating customers’ path to sustainability and energy efficiency, combining traditional offerings with “beyond commodity” services. This business will leverage on the largest customer base worldwide, digital platforms and a growing integrated portfolio of offerings.

As for the investment under the Stewardship business model, the Group is expected to invest, approximately, an additional 10 billion euros, while catalyzing around 30 billion euros from third parties, enabling an overall amount of some 40 billion euros of investments, mainly related to Renewables, alongside Fiber, e-transport and flexibility.

The Group will reach an 80% reduction in direct CO2 emissions versus 2017 (Science-Based Targets initiative, SBTi-certified) and contribute to the creation of over 240 billion euros of Gross Domestic Product in Enel’s countries of presence through local investments in generation and electrification.

The 2021-2023 Strategic Plan

The Group plans to directly invest around 40 billion euros, of which around 38 billion euros through the Ownership business model and around 2 billion euros through the Stewardship business model, while further catalyzing 8 billion euros from third parties.

More than 90% of Enel’s consolidated investments will be in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). In addition, according to Enel’s initial calculations, between 80% and 90% of the Group’s consolidated capex will be aligned to EU Taxonomy criteria for its substantial contribution to climate change mitigation.

The growth rate in investments versus the previous plan is expected to be around 36%.

As for the investment planned under the Ownership business model:

  • More than half is dedicated to Global Power Generation, with around 17 billion euros to Renewables, which will lead to an overall installed consolidated renewable capacity of 60 GW by 2023 (+33% versus 2020). The Group will further accelerate decarbonization by adding renewable capacity that will more than offset thermal decommissioning. As a result, the Group’s Scope 1 CO2 emissions are set to decrease by more than 30%, from 2020 to 2023, positioning the Group on track to achieve its 2030 science-based decarbonization target of 80% greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission reduction versus 2017, in line with the 1.5°C pathway scenario;

Around 43% is expected to be deployed in Infrastructure and Networks. Capex acceleration is expected to drive the Group’s RAB up by 14% versus 2020, reaching around 48 billion euros in 2023;

  • The remaining amount relates to Customers. The value of Business to Customer (“B2C”) clients is expected to increase by around 30% and that of Business to Business (“B2B”) by around 45%, thanks to the elimination of regulated tariffs, mainly in Italy, and to the electrification of energy consumption trends that will call for “beyond commodity” services.

As for the investment under the Stewardship business model, the Group is expected to invest, approximately, an additional 2 billion euros, while catalyzing around 8 billion euros of investments from third parties, therefore enabling an overall capex of around 10 billion euros, mainly related to Renewables, alongside Fiber, e-transport and flexibility.

The outcome of these investments will show, across all businesses, double digit growth in the three-year plan period. Managed renewable capacity is expected to reach around 8 GW in 2023, more than double versus 2020. Additionally, with Enel X, the Group aims to increase the number of electric buses by more than 6 times to around 5,500 units in 2023, as well as to grow demand response capacity to 10.6 GW (+1.8 times versus 2020) and storage capacity to 527 MW (+4.2 times versus 2020). Finally, in 2023, Enel X is expected to reach around 780,000 public and private charging points made available worldwide (+4.5 times versus 2020).

At Group level, Ordinary EBITDA is expected to be in a range between 20.7 and 21.3 billion euros in 2023, implying a 5%-6% CAGR. Net Ordinary Income is expected to be in a range between 6.5 and 6.7 billion euros in 2023, implying an 8% to 10% CAGR, thanks also to the continued optimization of Group financial management – particularly through an increase in sustainable finance, which will account for around 50% of total gross debt in 2023 – leading to a lower cost of debt.

Enel has set up a simple, predictable and attractive dividend policy for the period. Shareholders will receive an increasing guaranteed fixed Dividend Per Share (“DPS”) over the next three years with a target of 0.43 euros/share in 2023, translating into a CAGR of approximately 7%.

Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel said: “With this new Strategic Plan we are setting a direction for the next 10 years, mobilizing 190 billion euros in investments to pursue our goals in a decade full of opportunities. To realize this vision, we can leverage on our clear leadership in the utility sphere across three main elements, all driven by an innovative platform-based model. First, as a ‘Super Major’ in the renewable sector, we operate the world’s largest private generation fleet. Furthermore, we have an unparalleled global network system, where the platform-operating model drives improvements in quality, resiliency, efficiency and flexibility. Last but not least, we count on the largest customer base worldwide to which, through our business platforms, we provide innovative services and integrated offerings. Throughout the decade, we will strengthen the creation of sustainable shared value for all stakeholders, which is also embedded in an attractive remuneration for our shareholders.”

Producer certificate rule soon, financing OK for RES license one-stop shop

A new regulation facilitating the issuance of electricity producer certificates for RES and CCHP (Combined Cool Heat and Power) projects, in place of production licenses, as part of a wider RES licensing simplification effort, will be implemented within the next few days, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou noted during a presentation of a new online platform developed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the producer certificate procedure.

The new regulation will come into effect on time to enable a new round of RES license applications staged by RAE to proceed as planned between December 1 and 10, the ministry official reiterated.

In addition, various RES sector criteria, including ones concerning project spatial coverage matters, have been fine-tuned, the intention being to promote, not reject, project plans, Sdoukou noted.

Rule revisions have also been made to further protect RES project ownership, she added.

The new RAE platform, the result of a sustained effort, promises to serve as an investor-friendly tool, Sdoukou said.

The energy ministry official also informed that green-fund financing has been approved for an integrated information system to be co-developed by the ministry as a one-stop shop covering all RES project licensing procedures.

Grid upgrade restarts, enabling Peloponnese RES development

A strategically important 400-kV western-corridor grid upgrade project reaching Megalopoli, central Peloponnese, to greatly increase electricity transmission to and from the Peloponnese, enable further development of RES facilities and gas-fueled power stations in the region and ensure voltage stabilization for the country’s southern grid, is now nearing completion following a delay of more than a year prompted by objections from a nearby monastery in Kalavryta, northern Peloponnese.

Contractor crews have now returned to work without resistance from nuns at the Kalavryta’s Agion Theodoron monastery, who previously objected, contending the construction activity, half a kilometer away, impacted the monastery’s tranquility.

Work on the project, budgeted at 110 million euros, had been brought to a standstill for nearly 14 months. The project contractor estimates construction of the project’s two remaining transmission towers will require between 60 to 80 days.

Overall, the project was blocked for a total of 12 years before work finally began in 2018 for completion in 2020.

 

New round for RES producer certificates to open December 1

The energy ministry is expected to introduce, within the next few days, a new regulation enabling the issuance of electricity producer certificates for RES and CCHP (Combined Cool Heat and Power) projects, in accordance with recent legislation that has eliminated production licenses as part of an effort to simplify the RES licensing procedure.

The new rule will come into effect on time to enable a new round of RES license applications staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to proceed as planned between December 1 and 10, energy ministry officials have informed.

The upcoming round for new RES license applications, via an online platform developed by RAE, will be the first in over a year following a freeze imposed by the authority so that it can process a backlog of older applications.

RAE has now worked through the older applications and issued production certificates to eligible applicants.

Processing of the new applications will be based on the new rules, designed to improve and simplify licensing procedures and help the country attain its renewable energy objectives.

RAE will present its new online application system today through a virtual event. The system, described as user-friendly, is expected to boost transparency and drastically reduce previous bureaucracy.

Natural gas-fueled generation reaches energy-mix record share of 56.64%

The energy mix contribution of natural gas increased to a record-level share of 56.64 percent in October, a latest energy exchange monthly report has shown.

This significant rise in the energy-mix share of natural gas – to a level never before reported since the full liberalization of Greece’s electricity market – has been attributed to a major slowdown of power utility PPC’s lignite-based generation.

Natural gas-fueled power stations operated by power utility PPC and independent producers further consolidated their place in the energy mix standings, stretching further ahead of other fuel categories.

October’s 56.64 percent energy-mix share captured by natural gas broke this fuel’s previous record of 53.76 percent, registered in August. The natural gas energy-mix share had dipped slightly to 51.74 percent in September before rebounding for October’s record-breaking result.

A year earlier, the natural gas energy mix share was below 50 percent, at 49.86 percent, while lignite’s share was at approximately 22 percent.

Returning to the latest energy-mix figures, natural gas was followed by the RES sector, capturing 33.86 percent, lignite’s share shrunk further to 4.25 percent, and hydropower followed with a 3.21 percent share.

PPC’s lignite-based generation could rise slightly in coming months to cover telethermal needs.

The role of natural gas in the ongoing energy transition towards renewable energy dominance is expected to play a pivotal role for the grid’s sufficiency and security.

PPC’s upcoming Investor Day event on strength of good news

Power utility PPC plans to go into early December’s rescheduled Investor Day, an online event organized by the corporation for its presentation of an updated 2021-2023 business plan to international analysts, on the back of favorable developments, including yet another profitable quarter, the fourth in a row, as well as new business openings.

PPC had originally planned Investor Day for last March, in London, but was forced to postpone and reshape for an online version as a result of the pandemic’s outbreak.

A year earlier, PPC was struggling, but the succession of positive quarters has lifted the company into a confident higher flyer.

Its updated business plan will feature more specific goals of greater ambition for the three-year period. They are expected to include a RES market share target of between 15 and 20 percent and capacity of over 1 GW, as well as fresh news on the company’s digital transformation, electromobility effort, commercial policy, and, possibly, an even swifter withdrawal plan for the company’s lignite-fired power stations.

Just days ahead of the Investor Day event PPC will announce a series of favorable developments, namely an initial securitization deal collection of 150 million euros; a higher EBITDA figure for yet another quarter; the launch of a privatization procedure to offer 49 percent of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a subsidiary; and, on December 1, financial results for the nine-month period, including a profitable third quarter.

PPC is also expected to announce a further workforce reduction plan and employee shifts from lignite units headed for closure. Earlier this year, the power utility reported a 10 percent payroll cost reduction for the first half.

 

Small fraction of PV connection term applications making cut

Just a fraction of RES connection term applications result in installed capacity as one in three applications for small-to-medium solar energy projects are being approved, on average, according to unofficial data provided by regional authorities of distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO.

RES market players are well aware of this high percentage of rejections, and, as such, consider recent energy ministry measures affecting 500-KW PV projects and energy community projects to be unacceptable.

Worse still, the lockdown’s impact on public services has made it more difficult for RES investors to obtain necessary supporting documents from regional services, forestry authorities and other agencies in order to submit complete connection term applications to DEDDIE/HEDNO as well as power grid operator IPTO by an approaching December 31 deadline.

The combined effect of the aforementioned factors is causing a significant contraction of the small-to-medium solar energy market, sector officials have noted.

DEDDIE/HEDNO has requested more flexible operating terms, in terms of geographical jurisdiction, from the energy ministry to hasten its processing ability. At present, the operator examines connection term applications on a broad regional level but also wants more control at a narrower provincial level.

This would effectively enable swifter approval of connection term applications by RES investors in provinces where capacity is available. Investors would be spared of bureaucratic processing at a regional level.

Speaking at a recent energypress conference, a DEDDIE/HEDNO official noted the operator estimates all connection term applications it has received will have been processed by next summer.

 

Conditions set for new energy efficiency category subsidies

Four new categories included in the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades at existing properties (photovoltaic systems with net metering; energy storage systems; vehicle recharging units; energy management systems) will only be made available for program applicants if older energy-saving categories (window frame replacement; external wall insulation; heating-cooling systems; hot water supply) are incorporated into applications and, in addition, elevate the energy status of residencies by at least three categories, according to a guide just released by the energy ministry.

The new program will feature offer energy efficiency upgrade subsidies of up to 85 percent and will be made available to virtually all property owners as income-related criteria will be relaxed. For example, families with annual income totals of as much as 120,000 euros will be eligible.

Greater subsidy amounts will also be made available for applicants following an increase of a previous 25,000-euro upper limit to 50,000 euros.

Professionals want more time ahead of energy upgrade offer

Civil engineers and architects, citing inevitable lockdown-related obstacles, are calling for a delay in the launch of the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades and energy independence system installations at existing properties.

The Technical Chamber of Greece, the official technical advisor of the Greek state, could offer an opinion today or tomorrow on whether a delayed launch is necessary.

The energy ministry has not ruled out new dates, in various regions, for the launch of the subsidy program’s platform.

At present, the program is scheduled to start on November 30 in Crete, the north Aegean and the south Aegean. A December 2 starting date has been set for east Macedonia and Thrace. The starting date for west Macedonia is December 4 start and December 7 for central Macedonia. The dates for all other regions are: Thessaly – December 9; Epirus, Ionian Islands – December 11; Wider Athens area – December 14; mainland Greece, Peloponnese – December 16; western Greece – December 18. A January 11, 2021 starting date has been set for apartment blocks.