Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy is planning a series of decrees, actions and interventions for the second half of 2022 to accelerate renewables growth, including four auctions.
The ministry’s General Secretary Alexandra Sdoukou said the new law for the simplification of the licensing procedure solves many long-standing problems for the sector, however that additional efforts are required.
Regarding the licensing framework, a new regulation will be published within a few months. Also, the new digital platform that will interconnect licensing bodies around the country is underway in order to accelerate investing times for renewables.
When it comes to renewable energy auctions, the ministry plans to conduct four tenders in the remainder of 2022, specifically two joint wind and solar auctions for 1,000 MW and 600 MW, one 100 MW auction for small PV of up to 1 MW, and a pilot auction for 200 MW of wind and solar combined with energy storage. At the same time, the ministry is in talks with the European Commission in order to potentially increase the capacity of the pilot auction.
The first auction will take place in September. It is planned as a joint tender for 1,000 MW with a technology level set at 30%, which ensures that each technology acquires at least as much of offered capacity. Interested investors will be able to submit their applications until August 5, while price ceilings are set at EUR 54 per MWh for photovoltaics and EUR 63 per MWh for wind farms.
It should be noted that investors in renewable energy taking part in the auctions are compensated through a special renewables account maintained by the Renewable Energy Sources Operator and Guarantees of Origin (DAPEEP). The account is supported by income from sources such as CO2 emission auctions and consumer surcharges. Producers acquire a specific reference price in auctions for a period of 20 years, according to the latest law.
Also, renewables are not yet fully participating in the Greek balancing market, but their balancing cost is mostly shouldered by the rest of the market players. Renewables only have partial participation through so-called entities of cumulative representation, in which groups of renewable plants are bundled and represented in the market.
Sdoukou: The result will be felt one year from now, when the market is going to be in a much better place than before
Apart from the auctions, the ministry plans to publish by September a decree on newly available capacity in the distribution network of congested areas. According to the general secretary, it will be increased by 86 MW in Peloponnese, 45 MW in the Cyclades islands and 180 MW in Crete. Together with new electricity interconnections, total space for renewables is expected to reach 2,200 MW in Crete and 730 MW in the Cyclades.
Another issue of importance is the much awaited ministerial decree that will set priority criteria for renewable connections in the transmission grid. It is expected to be published sometime before the end of summer.
Last but not least, the ministry is focusing on the repowering of renewable energy plants that are reaching the end of their lifetime. It calculates that projects expiring so far have reached 230 MW, while until 2030 they are expected to reach 1.5 GW.
The results of the said moves and renewable energy auctions will be felt one year from now, when the market is going to be in a much better place than before, according to Sdoukou.
New offshore wind regulatory framework published
The ministry’s much awaited regulatory framework for offshore wind has been submitted for public consultation after a delay of over a year.
The first auction for offshore projects is expected to take place near the end of 2024, while the country’s goal is to install 2 GW by 2030.
According to the new framework, the Greek state will specify marine zones for the development of offshore wind through the Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management Company (HHRM). Afterwards, there will be technical studies and the level of maximum and minimum capacity per zone will be set.
Potential investors will be able to express their interest for each zone and applications will be submitted in cycles taking place every six months before the auctions may take place.
Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator, IPTO, will be in charge of the connection of offshore farms to the grid and each investor will undertake the cost of the cable connecting the project to an offshore node.