The nation’s Regulatory Authority for Energy has announced it will conduct its third joint auction for wind and solar PV projects in May 2021

Solar panels

Under Greece's first renewable energy auction held in April 2019, 86% of the awarded capacity was for solar PV projects (Credit: Wikimedia/US Air Force)

The renewable energy auction scheme in Greece is continuing to spur growth in solar PV installations, says an analyst.

The nation’s Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) has announced it will conduct its third joint auction for wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) projects in May 2021.

And according to data and analytics firm Global Data, the renewable energy auction scheme will continue to “significantly change” the generation mix of the country.

 

Wind and solar PV generation expected to have increased to 35% in 2020 due to auctions

When the auction mechanism was introduced in 2018, wind and solar PV together contributed about 28% to the generation mix – but the share is expected to have reached about 35% at the end of 2020 due to the success of the renewable auctions.

Mohit Prasad, project manager at GlobalData, said: “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 2.1 gigawatts (GW) of wind-solar auction by 2024.”

GlobalData projects the share of wind and solar together, which was about 24% until 2015, is estimated to grow to about 56% by end of 2030.

It claims 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.

 

Solar PV dominating renewable energy auction tenders in Greece

Apart from the technology-specific auctions, the nation 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. Meanwhile, out of the seven projects that were successful in the auction, six of them – aggregating 378 megawatts (MW) – were solar PV.

The technology secured the majority share again in April 2020, when the country announced the result of its second mixed wind-solar tender.

Out of a total of 503MW, solar PV projects worth 350MW were shortlisted, contributing 70% to the overall awarded capacity.

Prasad said: “Historically, the solar PV market in Greece was driven by feed-in-tariffs (FiT) – but 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. The country witnessed 2.6GW solar PV installation until the end of 2015 and solar PV contributed 13% to the generation mix.”

Up until 2018, GlobalData notes that the country’s solar PV installation was 2.7MW, with just 61MW of solar PV installations being added over a period of three years – which is why Greece introduced the renewable energy auction scheme in July 2018 to increase the growth in solar PV installations.