From April, Greek households and farmers will be able to apply for public pandemic recovery funds to cover the purchase and installation of small PV arrays and energy storage systems, according to a recent statement by Greek Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas. Households will be able to obtain up to €16,000 each, while farmers can request up to €10,000 to cover such costs, said Skrekas, noting that the incentives will vary according to considerations such as capacity and the income levels of applicants.
Households and farming operations can install up to 10.8 kW of PV capacity and 10.8 kWh of battery storage. For residential users, battery installations will be considered mandatory, and must not have less capacity less than the photovoltaic arrays. However, farmers applying for subsidies will be free to decide on their own whether they wish to install batteries.
Rooftop and ground-mounted systems will be eligible for the subsidies. The program will also cover summer homes, but each applicant can claim funds for just one residential installation.
Greece’s new solar-plus-storage scheme has a €200 million budget, which stems from the country’s post-pandemic recovery plan. Of this, €35 million of funds are for vulnerable households facing energy poverty. About €85 million will be allocated to families with annual incomes up to €40,000 and single-person households with annual incomes up to €20,000. Families with annual incomes higher than €40,000, or individuals with incomes higher than €20,000 will claim funds from a €50 million subsidy pot. In addition, the government has established a separate €30 million subsidy pot for farmers.
The new scheme can cover between 20% to 65% of PV system costs, depending on the subsidy pot. For batteries, the first two subsidy pots will cover 100% of battery purchases and installation. The third and fourth subsidy pots will cover 90% of the battery costs. There is also a 10% subsidy bonus for disabled Greeks, single-parent families, and families with many children.
The subsidy levels show that the government is very keen on battery installations. One of the main reasons for this is the grid’s struggle to accommodate new renewable power capacity.
Greece’s distribution grid operator, Hedno, has stopped accepting new requests to connect plants to its network since last year, and this is not set to change any time soon. The only exceptions to this are net-metering installations, for which Hedno has freed up about 2 GW of grid space. The 2 GW of grid space is available for small PV systems up to 10 kW in size, and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. About 40& of this will be offered to residential net-metering systems, while 30% of it will be given to small commercial PV systems. The remaining 30% will be allocated to agricultural PV projects.
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Another reason for the scheme’s lavish support for batteries is the government’s aim to maximize the self-consumption element of net-metered systems. Solar-plus-battery systems will only be able to inject power to the grid when both the site consumption and the charging of the battery are met. Similarly, the government says if a solar system does not generate enough power to cover a site’s needs, the user will only be able to buy power from the grid when the battery is empty. All solar-plus-storage systems supported by the new subsidy scheme will be obliged to operate under this business model for the first five years.
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