The future of photovoltaic (PV) electricity in Greece looks very bright indeed, at least according to projections of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). They presented their view of the Greek PV market at the second Photovoltaic Mediterranean Conference held in Athens on the 19th-20th April 2007.
Greece has several good reasons to embrace solar technology. The country has rapidly rising CO2 emissions, which the introduction of PV systems on a large scale should help to mitigate. Moreover, Greece has an excellent climate for solar systems. PV systems could help meet the summer afternoon peak demand due to air conditioning systems. The country also has a large number of islands which are not connected to the main grid and whose populations peak during the hot summer months due to tourism.
The driving force for the Greek PV market is LAW 3468 on RES and highly efficient CHP, in effect since 27th June 2006. This law stipulates a generous feed-in tariff for grid-connected PV systems of € 0.45/kWh and €0.50 kWh for off-grid systems. Greece also provides investment subsidies of up to 60 percent of the investment cost. With these incentives in place, the government projects that the installed PV capacity will grow to 700 MWp by 2020.
The feed-in tariffs are already more than half a year old, but the industry is still in its startup phase. The main reason for this is that the government has yet to decide how long the feed-in tariff will be guaranteed. Other barriers are the lack of clarity of the support measures and certain legislative limits in the building sector. Moreover, domestic applications are at a disadvantage since individuals have to form a company to benefit from the financial incentives.
If the above barriers can be overcome in the near future, the EPIA predicts a bright future for the PV industry in Greece. They expect that the installed capacity in 2020 could well exceed the target of 700 MWp by two or three times. EPIA even expressed concern that the Greek PV market could grow too fast. If new market entrants, with little or no experience, fail to deliver high quality and reliable installations, this could harm the reputation of the technology and in the end prevent sustainable growth for the sector.Log in to post comments