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Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) has announced that the country will conduct its third joint auction for wind and solar photovoltaics projects in May.

The renewable energy auction scheme is expected to continue to significantly change the generation mix of the country.

In 2018, the year the auction mechanism was introduced, wind and solar PV together contributed around 28% to the generation mix. The share is expected to be around 35% at the end of 2020 and the increase can be attributed to the success of the renewable energy auction.

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Greece

The share of wind and solar growth is in line with the country phasing out coal-fired power plants and striving to achieve its target to become carbon neutral by 2050, say analysts at research firm GlobalData.

Mohit Prasad, project manager at GlobalData, comments: “The renewable energy auction scheme has spurred the growth of solar PV installations in Greece. According to GlobalData, at the end of 2020, the technology is expected to contribute 15% to the country’s overall energy mix, which was 13% before the introduction of the auction scheme.

“The scheme is now expected to significantly change the generation mix of the country, with a target of an additional 2.1GW of wind-solar auction by 2024.

“As per GlobalData, the share of wind and solar together, which was around 24% until 2015, is estimated to grow to around 56% by end of 2030. This is in line with the country phasing out coal-fired power plants and striving to achieve its target to become carbon neutral by 2050.”

Apart from the technology-specific auctions, the country has been conducting joint auctions covering wind and solar PV projects since 2019.

Under the first auction held in April 2019, 86% of the awarded capacity was for solar PV projects. Furthermore, out of the seven projects that won in the auction, six – aggregating 377.78MW – were of solar PV.

Not only that, but solar PV secured the majority share again in April 2020, when the country announced the result of the second mixed wind-solar tender. Out of a total of 502.94MW, solar PV projects worth 350MW were shortlisted, contributing 70% to the overall awarded capacity.

Prasad continues: “Historically, the solar PV market in Greece was driven by Feed-in-tariffs (FiT) – that scheme closed on 31 December 2015. Post-closure, the market was stagnated as an incentive scheme was not in place for large-scale solar PV installations.

“According to GlobaData, the country witnessed 2,607MW solar PV installation until the end of 2015 and solar PV contributed 13% to the generation mix.”

Until 2018, the country’s solar PV installation was 2,668MW, with just 61MW of solar PV installations being added over a period of three years. In order to spur the growth in solar PV installations, the country introduced the renewable energy auction scheme in July 2018.