First Greek Renewable Energy Auction Awards 277 Megawatts For Wind & Solar

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Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy announced on Wednesday the results of its first-ever renewable energy auction, in which it awarded a total of 277 megawatts (MW) to wind and solar technologies.

The auction conducted by the Authority was divided into three categories — solar PV plants of up to 1 MW, solar PV plants between 1 MW and 20 MW, and wind power projects between 3 MW and 50 MW. In the end, a total of 53.48 MW was awarded to solar projects up to 1 MW, 52.92 MW to solar projects between 1 MW and 20 MW, and 170.92 MW worth of wind projects.

The lowest bid was for €62.97 ($73.6) per MW-hour (MWh) for the second solar category. The weighted average price for the smaller solar category was €78.42/MWh for the first category with a lowest bid of €75.87/MWh; for the larger solar category the weighted average price was €63.91/MWh with a lowest bid of €62.97; and for the wind category the weighted average price was €69.53/MWh with a lowest bid of €68.18/MWh.

George Stathakis, Greece’s Minister of Environment and Energy, said that the auction resulted in a price reduction for solar PV projects of around 20% compared to the country’s pilot tender in 2016, and a price reduction of over 35% for wind projects.

“In upcoming competitions in the coming months, we expect further cost reduction, given the strong interest from both domestic and foreign investors,” Stathakis said, adding that the country’s first renewable energy auction highlighted that it was possible to lower its environmental footprint without placing a burden on energy costs.

The auction was warmly welcomed by Europe’s renewable energy industry, as well.

“It’s very good to see Greece has implemented an auction system,” said Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer for Europe’s wind energy trade body, WindEurope. “The prices for wind are lower than expected, which shows the industry is regaining confidence in the Greek market and anticipates costs reductions in the short term when these projects will achieve financial closing and contracting. It also shows wind should play a significant role in decarbonising Greece’s energy system. These projects will unlock new investments in the Greek economy and create jobs in the supply chain.”

“But Greece is not there yet,” Tardieu added. “Wind deployment can get even cheaper and Greece can benefit even further from recent major progress in wind technology. For this, improvements need to be made to lower the risks and costs of capital. We need to see clarity on renewables spatial planning, plus further visibility on wind deployment volumes, particularly post-2020. We call on the Greek Government to include ambitious commitments on wind – onshore and offshore – in its national energy & climate plan that it will need to submit by the end of 2019.”

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Joshua S Hill

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