May 1 (Renewables Now) - Greece will hold separate auctions for 300 MW of wind and 300 MW of solar power capacity on July 2 in line with a plan to reduce the cost of renewables through competitive bidding.
The solar auction is divided in two categories, one of 70 MW targeting systems no bigger than 1 MW, and one of 230 MW for solar parks of between 1 MW and 20 MW in size. In the wind auction, projects of between 3 MW to 50 MW can compete, shows a document released by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) on Monday. The bidding price cap for the smaller solar systems has been set at EUR 85 (USD 103) per MWh, for the bigger solar projects it is EUR 80/MWh, and for wind it is EUR 90/MWh.
In addition to the 600 MW tendered in 2018, the country will hold similar solar and wind auctions in 2019 and 2020, and it also plans mixed tenders of 400 MW for the two technologies. Energy Minister George Stathakis was cited by Bloomberg as saying that auctions for 2.6 GW of renewables would attract EUR 2.5 billion to EUR 3 billion in investments.
Greece has a target of producing 18% of its energy from renewables by 2020. At end-2016 that share stood at 15.2%. The European Commission (EC) in January okayed the Greek government’s plans for the auction-based scheme for renewables and high-efficiency cogeneration, in support of its climate targets.
A pilot tender held by the RAE back in 2016 has shown that competition can significantly reduce the cost of boosting Greece’s renewable energy capacity. Other countries in Europe and globally have shown that contracts for wind and solar power can be struck at rates comparable and even lower than these of new conventional energy thanks to tenders.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.21)