ECONOMY

Opportunity for power self-sufficiency

Households will be able to install solar energy equipment to cover their power needs with relatively few bureaucratic procedures in a move that will promote renewable energy sources (RES) and ease the strain on the country’s power grid in summer, the Development Ministry said yesterday. Households will be able to install photovoltaic systems – a technology that converts solar energy into electricity – for their own consumption and sell any excess electricity produced to the Public Power Corporation at a guaranteed rate of 0.55 euros per kilowatt for the next 25 years. The rate will be applicable for installations completed by the end of 2011 and will be adjusted for inflation each year. «Greece is the first country in Europe in terms of solar powered hot water systems. In the next few years, we want Greece to be in first position also for photovoltaic systems,» said Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis. No approval from the town-planning office, the tax office or regulatory authorities will be necessary to install the RES equipment, according to the minister. Examples given by the ministry show that an average household will need to install a 5-kilowatt photovoltaic system to meet its annual power needs in an investment that will require about 25,000 euros and a space of approximately 80 square meters. A ministerial decision is expected to be signed in the next two weeks that will clarify details.