New era for solar in Greece - but still challenges

5/28/18, 2:03 PM -

Recently Greece announced to auction 2.6 gigawatt of solar and wind. Georgios Lentzas, Regional Sales Manager Greece & Cyprus, Fronius Hellas is sharing his expectations about the further PV market development.

Greece is boosting solar and wind with auctions, but there are still some challenges.
Greece is boosting solar and wind with auctions, but there are still some challenges.

Greece is preparing to auction 2.6 gigawatts of solar and wind projects until 2020, starting this July. Is this an important step to accelerate the renewable and solar market from your point of view?

It definitely is. After five consecutive years of stagnation and eight years of financial crisis in our country, the Greek solar and wind market is about to restart signaling a new era. This constitutes a development of fundamental importance for the Greek economy and also towards our national commitment to the 2020 and 2030 renewable energy targets. Having as Greece now a decade of experience in the RES markets and with global prices still galloping downwards, it is expected that the second phase of the solar and wind market will show a more sustainable and stable way of growth.

How important was your Greek business so far and what are your expectations?

Greece is an important market for Fronius and we provide inverters in the local market since 2008. We respect the Greek market a lot and we treat it in the long term perspective as Fronius always does in any market that gets involved. As a proven sign of our long term business orientation in Greece we further developed our presence and infrastructures by establishing a Greek subsidiary  company in 2016 during a very difficult period for the local PV market and for Greece as a country as well. We hold locally a warehouse for service spare parts that in combination with our exceptional local technical support allows us to provide service in outstanding fast times of one to two days only. The portfolio of our high quality products that fit perfectly in the challenging climate conditions of Greece in combination with the highest inverter uptime levels that we can guarantee for our inverters, secure the highest possible yields over the lifetime of a PV system. This makes us very optimistic for a very successful presence in this new auction PV projects.

Georgios Lentzas, Regional Sales Manager Greece & Cyprus, Fronius Hellas.

Where do you see still some bottlenecks?

The timeline of the first auction allows less than 6 weeks for the investors to prepare and fully develop their candidate projects so as to submit their applications for participation. A new solar project, even a small one ranging between 0,5 to 1MW, is very difficult to have all the required licensing steps completed within this period of time in order to participate in the auction. Furthermore, the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy has imposed a rule of a very high competition level of 75% on the top of the capacity that will be finally offered in the auction. For example in order to reach in the first auction of July the maximum capacity of 300MW a minimum of 525MW in PV projects will have to apply and participate in the auction.

Are there enough qualified installers? How do you train them? With how many installers are you cooperating?

The Greek market has already an existence of ten years with more than 2.6MW deployed so far. All these experiences in constructing and providing service in PV systems have significantly increased the technical knowledge and the skills of installers. We as Fronius provide regularly all these years trainings and webinars in the market so as to help further from our side to the skills enhancement of the installers. We are cooperating today with the most of active installers in Greece.

Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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