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Greece

Greece

Greece & Cyprus - Finance shortfall hinders progress

GREECE: Wind power development in Greece during 2013 took place against an increasingly familiar backdrop: lack of finance from the country's banks and strong competition from solar in the renewables sector.

High winds… The Greek government has approved licences for 219MW in the Cyclades islands (pic: Titanas)
High winds… The Greek government has approved licences for 219MW in the Cyclades islands (pic: Titanas)

According to the Greek electricity market operator LAGIE, cumulative wind capacity at the end of 2013 stood at 1,810MW with 57MW installed in 2013. Windpower Intelligence has a slightly higher figure — 1,865MW with 116MW added during the course of last year.

Greece's EU 2020 target of 7.5GW from wind power remains in place for the moment, but industry observers expect it to be reduced shortly. Solar PV, which has already surpassed its 2020 target of 2.2GMW, will probably take up the slack, reducing the wind target by 1.8GW.

Greek legislation supporting onshore wind power is relatively stable, and policies introduced in 2013 are speeding up the administrative and approval processes. But the wind sector has been hit by a 5.5% cut in the feed-in tariff and a 10% extraordinary tax on revenues.

The environment, energy and climate change ministry (YPEKA) approved licenses for 23 new wind farms totalling 888MW in late 2013. Nine of these projects (218.5MW) are located in the Cyclades, an island group in the Agean Sea with very high wind potential but no significant developments so far.

YPEKA has also initiated a EUR 400 million project for a grid interconnection of the islands, which should encourage further installations, some it potentially offshore. Greece currently has no offshore wind and inadequate legislation to promote it.

Cyprus

The island's installed wind capacity remains stuck on 147MW, with no new installations during 2013. The economy is not in the crisis mode of last year, but the banks remain dry of cash, and there are administrative and logistical weaknesses that hinder wind development. However, the Cypriot Energy Regulatory Authority has produced a study according to which Cyprus could install up to 300MW of wind capacity under the current electricity grid.

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