Greece should aim for more ambitious wind energy target, authority notes

Greece should aim for a more ambitious wind energy objective in its National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030, WindEurope’s Head of Advocacy & Messaging Joël Meggelaars has remarked following favorable results achieved at Greece’s second RES auction for the year, staged a week ago.

Onshore wind secured almost 160 MW of capacity in Greece’s recent second renewables auction for the year. The prices were competitive, coming in within a range of €55–65/MWh.

This price level is lower than in Greece’s first onshore wind auction in July, where onshore wind prices ranged between €68-72/MWh.

“These are impressive results. The average price level is even lower than in the last French and German onshore auctions. The fact that prices have come down is a signal of confidence from investors in the outlook for wind energy in Greece. The high level of competition and the participation of big investors with large wind portfolios in Greece and the wider region has helped to create downward pressure on prices,” Meggelaars noted.

Nine wind projects, all holding environmental and grid connection licenses and located in Greece’s north and central regions, secured capacities at last week’s session.

“These results are a clear sign that wind can deliver affordable electricity to Greek consumers and businesses,” the WindEurope official noted. “Ambition and deployment outlook will help Greece to attract new investments, enjoy further cost reductions and create local economic benefits.”

However, permit costs for wind farms in Greece remain an issue and need to be simplified, Meggelaars stressed.

“The winners in this auction already anticipated these costs as they began developing their projects almost a decade ago. The Greek government should look at simplifying permit procedures and also give more transparency on the length of time needed for environmental assessment, spatial planning and grid connection procedures.”

Regulated electricity prices ‘impeding clean energy package’

Regulating retail prices impedes the successful implementation of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, a unique opportunity that would empower European energy consumers, Eurelectric, Europex, WindEurope and EFET (European Federation of Energy Traders) have warned in a joint statement.

The package promises to empower consumers through a combination of measures, such as efficient price signals, certified comparison tools and easy switching, the four associations noted. Should retail prices continue to be regulated in some member states, the benefits brought by the Clean Energy Package would be severely weakened, they stressed.

Retail price regulation is also a serious obstacle to competition among electricity supply companies, the groups noted, as this reduces the incentive of companies to become more efficient and discourages the emergence of new market participants, they explained.

In addition to their negative impact on retail markets, regulated prices also distort the functioning of the wholesale markets, limiting and partly undermining the price formation process, ultimately leading to higher electricity costs for all consumers, the associations noted.

Regulated end-user prices aim to protect household – even non-household – consumers from energy costs increases but the pricing methodology often lacks transparency and can prove counterproductive, the associations stressed.

Also, the phasing-out of regulated prices does not imply the end of fixed-price contracts, the associations specified, adding that electricity suppliers will continue to offer such contracts.