New low solar price in Greece but capacity falls short again as parliament passes €100m EV subsidy package

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The latest round of renewable energy tenders in Greece saw wind outshine solar, the former almost hitting its 481.45 MW generation capacity target while solar fell well short of the hoped-for 482 MW, with only 142 MW allocated.

Solar projects up to 20 MW in scale were eligible for Monday’s clean energy tender but the requirement to hold electricity generation and grid connection licenses again ensured the technology was under-represented. By contrast, some 472 MW of wind farms were allocated in an exercise which attracted bids for 748 MW of capacity in projects which could be up to 50 MW in scale.

The tender did, however, produce a new record low price for Greek solar power of €0.04584/kWh, for a 10 MW project planned in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece. That tariff undershot the previous mark of €0.04911, agreed for a 200 MW facility under development in the mining region of Ptolemaida.

The authorities will hope the introduction of a new, digital licensing regime – which will apply to the next tender – will drive up the number of solar projects eligible to participate. The incumbent permitting regime at one point led to a 6 GW backlog of licensing applications and an estimated 18-month waiting time for generation licenses.

Winning projects

Germany’s ABO Wind, despite its name, was the biggest winner in the PV auction, scooping up more than a third of the allocated capacity across five projects in Igoumenitsa, each of around 10 MW capacity. The German renewables developer was behind the new record low solar price alongside tariffs of €0.04585, €0.04586, €0.04587 and €0.04883/kWh.

EDF-owned Heliothema secured two 11.9 MW solar farms in Thiva, central Greece, for €0.053/kWh, and domestic company Metka-Egnatia, part of the Mytilineos Group, landed four projects with a total capacity of around 11 MW. Of the 39 successful solar project bids, the highest power tariff was €0.06245/kWh for an average €0.04981. The 15 successful wind project bids had energy prices ranging from €0.05386 to €0.0577.

EVs cash hand-outs

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The Greek parliament has also passed an electric vehicle subsidy (EV) package which will refund up to €6,000 of the purchase price of cars, motorbikes and bikes.

Under the €100 million bill voted through last week, drivers will be able to reclaim up to 20% of the non-VAT purchase price of electric cars costing up to €30,000 and 15% of the cost of more expensive cars, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Drivers will also qualify for €500 towards the cost of installing EV charging points at home. Electric motorbikes will qualify for a 20% subsidy and electric bikes 40%, with a €6,000 subsidy cap across the board. Disabled people will qualify for extra subsidy under the scheme, including for the purchase of electric wheelchairs.

Charging network

In tandem with the e-mobility subsidy package, minister for infrastructure and transportation, Kostas Karamanlis, told parliament: “This year, the number of EV charging stations will reach about 2,000, about 12,000 in 2025 and 25,000 in 2030.”

The most geographically spread charging network in the nation at the moment is run by the Blink Charging Hellas joint venture formed by U.S.-based Blink Charging and Greece’s Eunice Energy Group (EEG). The network, which currently offers a charging point every 50 km, is one of the few in Europe to be powered entirely by renewable energy.

Blink Charging Hellas manufactures its Blink tech chargers in Greece and EEG subsidiary We Energy – the nation’s first 100% renewables electricity provider – supplies the power.

This copy was amended on 03/08/20 to indicate the Blink Charging Hellas EV charging network is the most geographically spread in the nation, rather than the largest. The article was further amended to indicate ABO Wind set the new record low price for one, rather than two of its five solar projects and that it lodged a second cheapest tariff of €0.04586, in addition to the other three tariffs previously listed.