Applications for new renewable projects licenses in Greece rose once again in February, after a drop in October, thus leading to optimism about the country’s 2030 goal and increased competition in the auctions to follow.
Specifically, according to data published by Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), 221 applications for renewable projects were submitted for a total capacity of 3.2 GW, versus 127 applications and 960 MW in October. It should be noted that investors have the opportunity to submit applications three times per year.
There were 73 applications for photovoltaics (1.9 GW), among them a 300 MW project in Thessaly and a 250 MW project in Central Greece.
For wind energy there were 70 applications for 1.1 GW in total, of which wpd’s 147.5 MW project in Eastern Macedonia-Thrace is the largest.
There were also 66 applications for small hydropower plants, 7 for hybrid power plants and 5 for biomass-fueled plants with total capacities of 52.8 MW, 124 MW and 18.5 MW respectively.
Changes in the licensing procedure
In 2021, the Greek energy ministry introduced a change in the licensing process. In order to prevent the hoarding of applications by non-investors and speculators, it decided to increase the letter of guarantee to EUR 35,000 per MW, which led to a drop in new applications in October.
This time around, the new applications are considered more viable than before and their rise is seen by the ministry as an important step into securing competition in the auctions to follow.
First auction under new regime to be announced soon
For this year, the energy ministry aims to auction 1 GW and the first mixed auction for 600 MW was planned for March, but now it is expected at a later time. Another interesting auction to take place this year is for 200 MW of renewables with storage, the first of its kind in Greece.
Market is worried about new delays in renewable energy projects
The war in Ukraine has created great uncertainty about the global economy’s prospects this year, which affects calculations about supply and demand in renewables. At the same time, the recurrence of COVID-19 in China has led to lockdowns of cities and industries, which are expected to once again disrupt supplies for renewables, especially photovoltaics, since the country is the largest producer globally.
In the past, there were delays in the supply of Chinese solar panels in Greece and elsewhere, which led to the postponement of projects amid a pursuit of deadlines determined by contractual obligations. It remains to be seen whether the sector has more resiliency this time around in order to face this new threat more efficiently.