Wind-energy sector threatened by stagnancy amid revisions

The Environment and Energy Ministry appears to have accepted a request from local wind-energy sector authorities seeking a postponement of at least six months to the introduction of the institutional framework concerning Greece’s new RES support plan.  The ministry will need to submit a request to the European Commission.

Tight deadlines concerning revisions for Greece’s new RES support plan have had a negative impact on the wind-energy sector’s growth prospects.

According to energypress sources, the ministry plans to submit its request for the postponement once various other procedures required by Greek officials have been completed.

It remains unknown whether the Greek ministry’s request will be accepted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. This will greatly depend on the wider developments concerning how extensively EU directives for the RES sector have been implemented in other EU member states.

EU directives stipulate that RES institutional frameworks of member states will need to be based on tenders as of January 1, 2017.

A request for a six-month delay by Greece is expected to be accompanied by a commitment for the staging of a tender, as a pilot program, within the first three months of 2017, for the installation of wind-energy capacity. A tender offering at least 40 MW of photovoltaic capacities is expected to be held concurrently, as scheduled in the ministry’s draft bill.

“Experience has shown that the response rate to such revisions is catastrophically slow. We hope we are proven wrong but fear that, in a best-case scenario, the first tender will be staged after the summer of 2017 if the Greek Government decides to stage tenders,” ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, stated in its contribution to public consultation procedures for the new RES support plan, while noting that deadlines concerning RES technologies and tenders to be staged are non-realistic. “This means that if all goes well, new contracts, following tenders, will not be signed until 2018,” the association added.