Greece has an estimated population of 10 million. The country’s economy collapsed in 2008 due to the debt it owned the European Union. After experiencing a nine-year financial crisis, Greece’s economy is recovering and its GDP had grown by 1.505% in 2017, the first positive economic growth since 2008.
The promising signs of growth in Greek economy are also shown in an increase in foreign direct investment and improvement in credit rating. In 2018, the country attracted EUR 3.64 billion of foreign direct investment, a 15% growth compared to 2017. Moody’s, a credit rating agency, also raised the credit rating for Greece to B1. Though the rating grade is still low, the rising economy will lift its credit score in the future.
The climate in Greece is Mediterranean, with summers that are usually dry and winters rainy. The annual solar radiation is around 1800/kWh per square meter.
Greece’s renewable energy market had stagnated due to debt crisis and economy recession, but thanks to the foreign aid and economic reform, Greece has undergone economic revival in recent years. The government is therefore committed to developing renewable energy again.
In addition to generating 20% of power from renewable energy resources by 2020 as stipulated by the EU, Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy seeks to source 32.3% from renewables by 2030 under the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs) to spur the development of renewable energy.
Under the impact of debt crisis, Greece’s renewable energy market stalled and saw a slack demand for solar. The wind sector also experienced a decline amid persistent demand.
To meet its renewable targets, the Ministry of Environment and Energy passed Law 4414/2016 in August 2016. The scheme is designed to support the renewable energy sector through feed-in tariff, net-metering, and auction mechanism. Among the renewable energy mix, solar and wind will lead the way. See below table for policy summary:
As mentioned above, the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) announced in 2018 that it will issue tenders for solar and wind projects with a combined capacity of 2.6 GW between 2018 and 2020. See below table for auction timeframe and progress:
In 2018, the capacity addition reached a new high of 41 MW. The solar capacities were installed mostly by projects awarded through auctions as well as some projects from net-metering scheme.
As the projects that were auctioned off last year are expected to start installing systems this year, demand will rise to a higher level than in last year. The market is also going to revive.
According to PV InfoLink’s China customs database, the shipment volumes of module stood at 28 MW for January through April this year, surpassing the aggregate volume of 2018. Some of the module imports are likely to be used for projects awarded last July and December.
Though the current shipment volumes are moderate, module demand is expected to grow in the years to come with anticipated demand from awarded projects as well as the 1 GW of capacity to be allocated for 2019 through 2020.
With Greece’s economy returning to growth, the renewable energy sector was also rejuvenated. Based on the policy roadmap, Greece will mainly push for the adoption of solar through auctions instead of FIT scheme. In terms of demand, the awarded projects and those that are set to be auctioned off will push up demand over 2019 through 2020. The solar market is also expected to see revival this year.
Moreover, the volumes of module shipped between January and April this year have exceeded the total volumes last year. Most of the imported modules are expected to be used for projects awarded through tenders, and demand from which is expected to rise continuously this year.
Looking ahead, there’s a great potential for solar in Greece following the economic recovery. With 1 GW of PV capacity set to be allocated through procurement between 2019 and 2020, Greece is expected to experience a rise in module demand.
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