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HomeBlogGreece's photovoltaic additions in 2023 reach 1.59 GW

Greece's photovoltaic additions in 2023 reach 1.59 GW


The Greek government does not have an agency that regularly publishes energy statistics for all technologies and support programs. As a result, different agencies often publish reports covering different segments of the market, creating confusion about installed electricity capacity in the country.


One example is that of Greek renewable energy operator Dapeep, which states that Greece will have 1,183,000 kilowatts of new PV capacity installed in 2023, dominated by ground-mounted systems. However, its report does not include installed capacity through net metering schemes and energy community programs.


The Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (Helapco) published a separate report in February stating that the new PV capacity installed in Greece in 2023 will be 1,574.7 MW.


This week, Helapco said it updated its data to include a 16 MW net metered PV plant installed last year at Athens International Airport. The 16 MW solar farm is the largest net-metered captive PV project in the country.


Helapco said Greece added 1,591 MW of solar capacity last year, bringing the country's installed PV capacity to 7,105 MW. This is the largest solar capacity added in Greece in a single year. In 2022, 1.36 gigawatts of new PV capacity was added.


The capacity additions include systems supported by premium tariffs through competitive bidding, small systems up to 500 kW each compensated through feed-in tariffs, net metering systems, energy community projects, and PV projects that participate directly in the electricity market without the support of subsidies.


Helapco said that solar projects operating through commercial power purchase agreements (PPAs) have not yet been installed in Greece. The Dapeep report states that 183.7 MW of PV capacity will participate directly in the electricity market by the end of 2023. Dapeep does not publish a detailed list of these projects.


Helapco stressed the importance of the net metering market. According to its report, Greece added 257.1 MW of new net metering systems last year, the largest spike in net metering installations since the program was launched a decade ago. Most of the new systems were installations larger than 1 MW. At the end of last year, Greece operated 472.9 MW of net-metered PV capacity.


Psomas said the program faces the same problems that the new program encountered last year. For example, a lack of flexibility on the part of project managers meant that many projects had to resubmit applications. Delays in grant payments discouraged some consumers from adopting the program. However, various policy changes have addressed these problems, and half of the program's budget has already been spent.


"Experience shows," says Psomas, "that it takes one to two years for a new program to find its groove." We (Helapco) expect to install about 60 MW of new photovoltaic capacity in the next few months, which amounts to about 9,000 additional new solar installations."


Another report by Athens-based policy organization The Green Tank says that by the end of 2023, the energy community will have 14 MW of PV capacity operating through net metering. Based on the number of applications submitted in 2023, this segment of the market is expected to grow significantly in 2024 as well.


The report states that in December 2023, more than 1 GW of PV projects were installed by energy communities outside of net metering programs. Most of these energy communities are operated by companies that can build projects up to 1 MW with stable feed-in tariffs.


Helapco's data show that by 2023, solar projects in Greece will cover 18.4 percent of the country's electricity demand, which Helapco says represents the highest penetration of solar in the country's electricity mix in Europe.


The Greek transmission system operator also said the country's renewable energy system, including large hydroelectric plants, met 57 percent of the country's electricity demand last year, up from 50.12 percent the year before.


Psomas said that Greece’s €200 million ($215.3 million) subsidy program for small solar-plus-storage systems in the residential and agricultural sectors, launched in March 2023, added 1,795 such systems, or 11,89 MW (12,66 MWh) of capacity.

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