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Newsletter May 2010


Energy at the Forefront

The robust interest in Greece’s energy market is producing a flurry of activity in energy production, manufacturing, new aeolic parks, new government programmes and policies, as well as new legislation designed to streamline the RES licensing procedure.

Central to the development of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in Greece is new legislation expected to be introduced soon that will accelerate the licensing procedure and considerably reduce the number of steps needed to obtain a license. Greece is committed to enhancing the procedure for doing business and to eliminating steps that add time unnecessarily.

In addition, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Tina Birbili announced the subsidization of photovoltaic installations and the connection of the subsidy with the guaranteed price of kilowatt for solar energy. This development should significantly impact the growth of the photovoltaic sector in Greece, which has one of the most attractive solar profiles in Europe.

In addition, the program to upgrade the energy efficiency of buildings is progressing, that is to be followed by an energy conservation program in homes, with subsidies for making structural improvements.

Major Developments
Endesa Buyout
Greece’s Mytilinaeos Group announced on March 17 its intention to acquire full control of Endesa Hellas SA, Electric Energy Production and Trading Company. Endesa Hellas SA was an investment by Spain’s Endesa.

Exel Group and the Green Economy
In northern Greece, the bioclimatic producing unit of the Exel Group, which in Kilkis has built one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the Balkans and Southeastern Europe, aims to take full advantage of “green development” and Greece’s green economy. Exel Group CEO, Mr. Stavros Triantafillou, said that the construction of the plant was based on the fact that Greece will inevitably speed up its pace in expanding RES, with an emphasis on the photovoltaic sector. It is estimated that by 2020, 12% of energy produced to meet the annual needs of the country will derive from photovoltaic systems, which translates into needed investments amounting to 14 billion Euros. Exel Solar, in the expansion of RES, is entering the “green race” with a new unit which, at full capacity, will produce 70 MW annually. This 15-million Euro investment is equipped with the most advanced technology, securing 20%-30% lower production costs. To date, the first of seven photovoltaic parks have been completed and delivered by the Exel Group in Greece, in Molaoi in  Laconia (142 KW). The company’s goal is to produce 70 MW annually by the end of 2012, reaching the production capacity of Exel Solar.

New Aeolic Parks
Two new aeolic parks totalling 50 MW are about to be constructed by Terna Energy Group. According to the Group, the first park of 30 MW will be located in Boeotia.  The second park, of 20 MW, will be constructed in Poland and the commencement of work signals the expansion of Terna Energy to Eastern Europe. The two new aeolic parks are expected to begin operation within the next twelve months. With these new parks the total output of Terna Energy will reach 302 MW.

RES Fees
The new President of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Dr. Nikos Vasilakos, considers it fair to have the fee for RES range from 2.5 to 3 Euros per KW starting 2011, versus 0.30 Euros of today.

RES Pipeline
In February applications submitted to Greece’s Regulatory Agency for Energy (RAE) for electricity production surpassed 2,500 MW. The largest share was for aeolic parks and there was an impressive interest in hydroelectric units.

Artichokes and Sunflower as Energy Source
Electric energy equal to 40,000 KW annually will be produced by each of the three plants processing wild artichoke set up by a private company in Magnesia. The investors plan to have two more units in Karditsa soon and more than 20 nationwide. In Crete, scientists are developing biofuel from sunflower seeds, a crop that needs very little water or fertilizer. These developments and investments demonstrate the diverse source of materials that may be used in energy production in Greece

RES and Employment
RES technologies have already created more that 300,000 jobs and a turnover of 20 billion Euros, while it is estimated that the target of a 20% RES share in energy production will create almost 1 million jobs in this sector by 2020.

Sunpower in the Greek Market
Sunpower, one of the strongest players of the global photovoltaic market, is “putting a foot” in Greece.  Following the acquisition of Sunray by Sunpower for 277 million US dollars in February, the US giant will be present in the Greek market through its subsidiary Energy Ray. Sunpower is one of the largest companies in the construction of photovoltaic panels in the world, is based in California, and has a presence in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Globally, Sunpower has installed more than 200 MW and have signed contracts for another 300 MW. Energy Ray has submitted applications to generate 67 MW through its photovoltaic parks. Sunray is active in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and Israel. In all five markets Sunray develops various stages (study, applications and already licensed) of photovoltaic parks and has a total output of 1.2 GW.