Country: Greece

You can find hereafter a list of negative measures that have been adopted or are about to be adopted that may affect the development of PV, for more information on these measures please contact the national association, contact details are available here

March 2014 - Retrospective measure: cuts in the FiTs

In March 2014 the Greek government imposed permanent retroactive cuts (average 30%) on existing FiTs for already operating PV plants. These retrospective cuts affected almost all existing PV plants including the residential ones. The aim of this measure was to balance the so-called Special RES Account which had an annual deficit of ca. €0.5 billion. On top of these permanent cuts, PV investors were forced to return part of their 2013 income. Depending on system category and size, 20% to 37.5% of the income raised in 2013 had to be returned back to the Electricity Market Operator. To compensate for these negative measures, an extension of the duration of relevant contracts was given for 7 more years (during this extra 7 years period, the systems will be compensated with electricity market prices or alternatively with 90 €/MWh).

Legislation: Adopted in March 2014 by the Greek Parliament.

November 2013 - Introduction of new energy tax 

A new “Security of Energy Supply Tax” on revenue generated by energy producers was adopted in November 2013. This new tax will finance the so-called “Services for Load Interruption”, which aim at offering lower electricity prices to industrial consumers.

The idea is that those industrial consumers who voluntarily accept load interruptions whenever needed, will be eligible to lower prices, regardless of whether there will be interruptions or not after all. Load interruption has a meaning when the TSO has no adequate load available to cover excessive demand. In Greece there is no mid-day peak anymore due to the PV capacity installed so far. So, during the hours when PV is feeding to the grid, there is practically no way to have a need for load interruption. Nevertheless, PV and other RES are asked to carry an unduly burden through this new tax.

Furthermore, the tax is not imposed on the amount of energy fed into the grid but on the income raised by the producers. It is obvious that PV is the big loser through this mechanism, while lignite and other fossil fuels will pay relatively less. According to the new law, all producers will have to pay 2%*income*Var_Coefficient. This coefficient will be decided by a separate Ministerial Decision and will be higher for RES and lower for fossil fuels. Rumours say that the coefficient will be 2 for RES, thus bringing the tax to 4% of total income for RES producers.

Legislation: Adopted on November 1st 2013 by the Greek Parliament

May 2013 - Retrospective measure : Tax on revenue

A tax on revenue generated by renewable energy systems was adopted in November 2012 and was then amended in May 2013 as part of new austerity measures. The tax on existing solar power plants was between 25% and 42%, and aimed at helping The Electricity Market Operator (LAGIE) reduce its deficit.

More specifically:

• PV systems installed before 2012 have been assigned a tax of 25%,

• PV systems built from January 1st 2012 that receive a FiT calculated according to the Law 3734/09, article 27A between February and August 2012 onward were taxed at 34%,

• PV systems built from January 1st 2012 that receive a FiT calculated according to the Law 3734/09, article 27A before February 2012 were taxed at 37%,

• PV systems that receive a FiT calculated according to the Law 3734/09, article 27A before August 9th 2012 and connected after July 1st 2013 were taxed at 40-42%,

• Revenue generated by other types of renewable energy systems, including wind, biomass and hydroelectric, were taxed at 10%.

The tax excluded rooftop systems with a capacity <10 kWp, as well as PV systems built from January 1st 2012, that receive a FiT calculate according to the law 3734/09, article 27A after 9th of August 2012.

A complaint has already been filed by Greek and foreign investors with the European Commission against this retrospective tax on income generated by RES installations.

Legislation: Adopted on May 9th 2013 by the Greek Parliament

April 2013 - Retrospective measure: Cuts in the FiTs

The Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA) adopted further amendments on the FiTs for PV systems claiming that they were necessary in order to ensure the sustainability of the incentive scheme and the reduce the deficit of the Operator of the Electricity market(LAGIE). The new FiTs are valid from June 1st 2013 and are applied retrospectively to PV plants installed since February 2013. For ground-mounted and rooftop installations reductions of over 40% has been signed off, while the tariffs will keep reducing gradually in the future.

As a result, the cuts in the tariffs put an end to the robust and sustainable development of the Greek market in 2012.

Legislation: Adopted on April 30th 2013 by the Greek Parliament

August 2012 to March 2014 - Suspension of authorization procedures for new PV projects 

In August 2012, the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change put on hold authorization procedures for new PV projects. The suspension was finally lifted in March 2014. In the meantime, the market has decreased considerably from an impressive 1 GWp in 2013 to practically zero in Q1-2014. According to the new regulations (in place as of April 7th 2014), up to 250 MWp of new PV systems will be eligible for feed-in-tariffs (FiTs) every year in the period 2014-2020. Adding the capacity which will be compensated through a newly introduced net-metering scheme, the overall new PV capacity till 2020 is expected to be ca. 2 GWp. So far, Greece has a cumulative installed capacity of 2.6 GWp.

More specifically:

- Up to 200 new MWp per year (for the period 2014-2020) will be eligible for FiTs.

- A tender scheme may be applied for part of these 200 MWp per year, although details are not set yet.

- An extra 300 MWp of PV projects, already licensed under a fast track scheme during the previous years, will also be eligible for FiTs till 2020.

Legislation:  Adopted on August 10th 2012 by YPEKA (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change) and lifted in March 2014.

 

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