New renewable energy law provides feed-in premiums and introduces tender schemes for PV

Last update Sep. 2nd 2016

A new RES law (L.4414/2016) was voted by the Greek Parliament in August 2016. The purpose of this law is to develop a new support scheme for renewable energy sources (RES) power plants, consistent with the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020 (Official Journal of the European Union 2014/C 200/01).

The new policy framework abandons the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy in favour of a feed-in premium scheme for systems over 500 kWp. In practice, this means the new PV power plants will be participating in the energy market and will be given a variable premium, on top of the standard market price for the generated green power. The amount of the premium for renewable power plants will depend on some market variables (e.g. the system’s marginal price) and a tariff set via competitive tenders. The feed-in premium will be valid for 20 years. The new law does not apply to Greece’s non-interconnected islands.

PV systems with a capacity of 10-500 kWp are now in theory eligible for a feed-in-tariff. However, current FiTs (2016) are quite low (57 €/MWh) and do not guarantee viable investments. The Greek government is going to present new FiTs for small scale PV in early 2017.

First 40 MWp pilot PV tender

Following recommendations from the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), Greece’s energy minister will be able to call a tender for new renewable energy installations. In regards to 2016, the new law states that there will be a pilot tender for solar PV systems only. The PV capacity to be tendered will be at least 40 MWp, according to the new law. PV projects smaller than 1 MWp, that are successful during the pilot tender, will be obliged to be connected to the grid in the following 18 months. PV farms larger than 1 MWp will be given 24 months. Projects larger than 10 MWp are not eligible to take part.

The maximum bidding price for projects >1 MWp is €94 per MWh, while projects ≤1 MWp can bid up to €104 per MWh.

Net-metering for systems <500 kWp

Meanwhile the Greek authorities have introduced legislation to facilitate net-metering for solar PV arrays, allowing installations up to 500 kWp.

The Greek net-metering scheme (active as of mid-2015) is applicable to all solar PV systems that aim for self-consumption, thus expands to both rooftop and ground-mounted systems.
The upper limit for residential net-metering PV installations in Greece’s mainland grid is set at 20 kWp. However, in commercial applications where the required load exceeds 20 kWp, the new scheme allows for net-metering for installations that exceed the 20 kWp limit and reach up to half the power consumption of the consumer. In this case, net-metering systems can reach up to 500 kWp.

Moreover, for either governmental or non-governmental not-for-profit organizations (e.g. universities and hospitals), the net-metering law allows for PV installations that cover an organization’s electricity needs fully. In this case too, a net-metering PV installation cannot exceed 500 kWp of capacity.

Regarding Greece’s autonomous electricity grids (e.g. islands that are not interconnected to Greece’s mainland grid) the upper limit for net-metering installations is set at 20 kWp. An exemption to this rule is the island of Crete, where consumers can install systems up to 50 kWp.

Energy compensation for net-metering owners is taking place on an annual basis.

The country’s new renewable energy law also approves virtual net metering for specific investors. Thus, city and regional councils, schools, universities, farmers and farming associations will be allowed to develop solar PV projects up to 500 kWp (and other renewable projects) a considerable distance away from the place of the actual power consumption.

You can read a detailed memo on the new RES law here