NEWS

Legislation but little action

The first law on renewable energy sources was passed in 1985, but nothing was done in the following decade due to a lack of incentives. In 1994, Law 2244 was passed, instituting a framework for encouraging investments in the sector, but for the next four years again nothing was done, chiefly because of obstacles raised by the Public Petroleum Corporation (PPC). Instead of playing a leading role in introducing green energy, PPC currently obtains just 0.3 percent of total installed power and 0.03 percent of its electrical production from renewable sources. Some small steps have been taken since 1998, but Greece remains far short of its goal of covering 12 percent of its energy requirements and 21.1 percent of electrical power from renewable sources by 2010. Greece and Portugal are the only countries in the formerly 15-member European Union that will not achieve this goal, which would save the equivalent of 1.2 million tons of petroleum per year. Such achievements need support, and in Greece renewable sources of energy are charged a VAT rate of 19 percent, compared to just 9 percent in Italy and France and just 5 percent in Britain.