Greek PV installations rise

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In the Hellenic Electricity Market Operator’s monthly renewable energy sources bulletin, it was announced that 53 MW of photovoltaics had been installed in May – the most installed in a month in 2012. In comparison, January saw 43 MW installed, February 22 MW, March 31 MW and April 39 MW. Meanwhile, at the start of 2011, just 163 MW of photovoltaics had been installed in Greece, with this figure rising to 439 MW by December.

Overall, it is believed that 2012 will be a pivotal year for photovoltaics in Greece. Alexander Zachariou, president of the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (Helapco) has said that between 600 and 700 MW worth of projects are expected to be completed this year.

However, in its recently released renewable energy, medium-term market report 2012 – market trends and projections to 2017, the International Energy Agency remarked that while there is "great" potential in Greece, photovoltaics has been slow to take off, "mainly due to a difficult policy environment in which permitting is not streamlined". It added, "Private rooftops have been largely taken over by solar water heaters, for which procedures are less tedious."

It nevertheless believes "significant" photovoltaic growth could come from the planned €20 billion 10 GW Project Helios, if both the technical details and financial viability can be proved. pv magazine subscribers can read more about the Greek solar market in the May edition of the magazine.