System change in Greece
Greece has a new renewables law. The act, which was approved by parliament in August, will require all renewables plants with a power purchase agreement signed on or after 1 January 2016 to trade the power they produce on the electricity market. Remuneration will consist of the revenue from electricity sales and a sliding feed-in premium. Plants approved before this date will be subject to the old support scheme, receiving fixed guaranteed feed-in tariffs – provided they go online by 30 June 2018 (for wind power, small hydro and biomass) or 31 December 2017 (for all other renewable energy sources). Model contracts for the new support scheme are expected to be published in October. Exemptions from the new regulations will apply to wind farms below three megawatts (MW), all renewable plants below 500 kilowatts (kW) and projects featuring new and innovative technology. These plants will continue to receive the current fixed feed-in tariffs.
To compensate for the additional costs of market participation, such as those arising from output forecasts, the law provides for a fixed management premium in addition to the remuneration. The management premium, which echoes the German model created by the 2012 revisions to the Renewable Energy Sources Act, will amount to EUR 3 per megawatt hour (MWh) for wind projects of up to 10 MW, and EUR 2 per MWh for all other projects. Auctions to begin in 2017 Furthermore, from 1 January 2017, the construction of new plants will be determined by competitive auctions. The choice of technology and the volumes to be auctioned will be specified by the energy minister on the recommendation of the country’s energy agency. Pilot auctions for at least 40 MW of PV capacity are to be held by the end of 2016, subject to a cap of 10 MW per project.
The system change is a consequence of the European Commission’s state aid guidelines for environmental protection and energy, which demand a transition to market-oriented support schemes for renewables from 1 January 2016.
This is an abridged version of the article “System Change in Greece” – the full text is available in new energy issue 5/2016.