European Commission approves €2.3bn renewables incentive plan by Greece


The European Commission has approved the €2.27 billion, three-year incentive program planned by Greece to drive the deployment of more renewable energy generation capacity.

The commission yesterday announced the contracts-for-difference (CfD)-based system is not in breach of EU state aid rules.

Under the terms of the incentive regime, joint solar and wind power auctions will be held at which developers will compete to secure permits for generation facilities by bidding the lowest ‘strike price' they will accept for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. With the clean electricity to be sold on the retail market, developers will receive a premium payment to bridge the gap when the strike price they agreed is higher than the wholesale electricity price. When the strike price is lower than the retail price, developers will refund the difference to the state. The CfD premium payment contracts can be offered for up to 20 years.

The program is set to run until 2025 and the Greek government hopes it will drive 4.2 GW of renewables generation capacity.

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While onshore wind and PV project developers will bid competitively to establish a strike price, generation projects based on biogas, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower, concentrated solar power, and geothermal technology will receive a standard tariff, determined by the state and linked to the technology used and its estimated costs.

Announcing the green light for the Greek scheme yesterday, the commission said the EU member state would hold joint solar and wind power auctions but may separate the technologies if one form of generation is too dominant.

The article published on the commission website also stated, without providing any further explanation: “Greece plans, also, to finance projects located outside Greece.”

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