July 2011 update

A new ministerial decision officially in place after April 2011 has further simplified authorization procedures for PV systems, clarifying issues related to permits needed by Urban Planning authorities. This new decision however has re-introduced further barriers for systems installed on historic buildings and heritage areas thus blocking installation of small rooftop systems in those cases. 

December 2010 update

After the introduction of a new RES Act in mid-2010, a series of Ministerial Decisions followed in autumn, which further simplify the authorisation procedures for PV. More specifically:

  • New applications for large PV systems can now be filed to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (such applications were frozen in 2008).
  • Production (electricity generation) license is not needed for systems smaller than 1 MWp.
  • Rooftop systems of any size do not require environmental permitting any more, while procedures have become easier for ground-mounted systems.
  • Residential systems can now be installed in all regions (previous regulations excluded the autonomous island grids).
  • Applications previously excluded  (such as facades, louvers, warehouses, carports, etc.) are now feasible in the residential sector.
  • PV systems on historical buildings can now be deployed under a special authorisation procedure.
  • Installation of PV systems on prime agricultural land is now allowed with certain limitations.
  • A 150 €/kWp bank guarantee is needed for ground-mounted systems up to 1 MWp before the signing of a grid connection contract.

Following these positive changes, there was a new wave of applications and a grid connection bottleneck has been created. Getting an offer for grid connection is now the major barrier for investors.

July 2010 update

New RES law could simplify some processes for PV installations

A new RES law (3851/2010) has been set in force since June 2010. This new law is supposed to remedy some of the drawbacks of the previous authorisation processes for PV deployment. While some improvements are expected in practice, there are still some key barriers which are crucial for the future of the PV market in Greece.

Some key changes of the new law are described below:

  • The initial authorisation stage of getting a ‘Production license’ is no longer necessary for systems up to 1 MWp. However, developers cannot apply for a Production License in the case of new ground-mounted projects with a capacity over 500 kWp (or 1 MWp within designated industrial areas). According to the law, a special Ministerial Decision is needed by latest September 4th 2010, which will dictate if, when and how such systems will proceed. This Ministerial Decision will be based on the 2020 targets for each renewable technology which sets a cap for each technology including PV (2.2 GWp by 2020). The result of this regulation is that new large scale ground-mounted systems cannot proceed at the moment. As a consequence, a black market for permits has been developed, as many people having applied in the previous years and having a ‘Production License’ in their hands are keen to sell it in high prices to desperate newcomers who cannot enter the market.
  • An environmental permit is no longer necessary for rooftop systems and PV in designated industrial areas.
  • Tariffs for PV remain the same with the exception of systems installed on islands with autonomous grids where tariffs were reduced by 10%.
  • The new law shifts priority from ground-mounted systems to rooftop ones.

April 2010 update

The change of the government in Greece in autumn 2009 has triggered changes in the legislative framework for renewable energy. A new renewable energy source law is expected in May 2010. HELAPCO has used the early experience of the PV LEGAL project to draft proposals for this new upcoming legislation. Most of these proposals are related to legal-administrative barriers with the aim to reduce the authorization burdens. There are no concrete results as yet, but results are expected soon. From the drafts of the law, it seems that there will still be a lot of room for improvement. The further outcomes of the PV LEGAL project will be very useful in the near future as more changes are needed.