RES framework to be reviewed

The government is studying possible amendments to the regulatory framework governing the development of renewable energy sources (RES) in response to serious problems arising in the implementation of proposed investment schemes, Development Minister Christos Folias said yesterday. Speaking at an event organized by the Institute for Energy in Southeastern Europe and the Hellenic Bank Association, Folias said his suspension last week of the investment subsidization program for photovoltaic (PV) systems aimed at launching a scrutiny procedure of the more than 3,000 licenses granted by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to decide which ones really met the prerequisites. The issue, which has arisen from a bottleneck of applications for PV systems caused by very strong incentives as well as problems that have stalled the operation of wind parks totaling capacity of 1,200 megawatts, was discussed at a ministry meeting on Monday. Folias said he is also in consultation with other ministries for a concerted effort to lift disincentives in the development of RES in general. He added that an information campaign will soon be launched on issues of RES and energy saving, with a view to Greece meeting the European Union-set target for production of 20 percent of its energy requirements from RES by 2020, and the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions. Terna Energy CEO Giorgos Peristeris, who represented the Greek Association of Renewable Energy Sources Power Producers, said about -2 billion worth of investments in RES remained in limbo due to bureaucratic obstacles and the lack of zoning plans. As first steps toward improving the prevailing negative climate in the sector, Peristeris urged the setting of rules that will allow transparency in the formulation of the daily marginal price at which private producers sell their power to the system, equal access of all investors to fuels, and the representation of more investors on the board of the central power distributor (DESMHE). He charged that ministries, except that of Development, were «persecuting» environmentally friendly forms of energy, and questioned whether Greece will be able to meet the targets set for 2020. «Each year, we have the addition of 200 MW to the system, which means that we need 16 years to attain the targets.» Peristeris said.

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