The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy has released the long-awaited legislative framework for energy storage, renewable energy licensing, as well as floating photovoltaics for public comment. The basic objectives of the new renewables licensing and also energy storage system, according to an official statement, are as follows:
- Reduce the average renewable energy licensing time from five to fourteen months.
- By 2030, develop energy storage facilities with a capacity of at least 3.5 GW.
- Expand the grid’s ability to accommodate more renewables and improve net metering.
The changes are anticipated to have a significant impact on the country’s 2030 goal, which seeks for renewables to account for 35% of primary energy and 70% of electricity generation. Because all operations will be performed online, the number of documents necessary will be considerably reduced, and they will be created concurrently rather than sequentially, the framework offers simplification, digitization, and speed to procedures.
According to the government, this will enable Greece to achieve its objective of 25 GW of renewable energy by 2030, up from the present 8.62 GW. A significant reduction in the number of times renewables must be licensed. When it relates to licensing, the new framework incorporates the following changes:
- There are now only five licensing steps instead of seven.
- The average time is cut in half, from 5 years to fourteen months.
- The number of documents required has decreased from 91 to 54.
- Existing license amendments are made easier.
In addition, investors now have a certain milestone to meet in order to complete their projects on time and within budget. Competent governmental entities and grid operators are no longer required to review all required documents because they will be reviewed by third parties like lawyers.
Investors’ economic credibility is verified by submitting a letter of assurance during their request for grid space rather than during their commitment, which reduces the number of applicants. Previously related and serial actions and licenses, such as connection periods and installation permits, are now distinct and parallel.
The ministry has established a one-stop service that will oversee the full licensing process. A digital platform would also integrate all of the many subsystems and databases of all organizations in order to improve communication and instant touch with investors.
There are two types of energy storage projects.
Without including pumped storage facilities, the aim for energy storage is established at 3.5 GW by 2030. Energy storage projects with a capacity of 1.5 GW are projected by 2025, including 800 Megawatts (MW) to 900 Megawatts (MW) in batteries plus 700 Megawatts (MW) in pumped storage facilities.
The following are the major developments in energy storage brought about by the new law:
- Improve the energy storage plant licensing process.
- Implement renewables-plus-storage policies that can absorb electricity from the transmission and distribution grids.
- Measures to ensure that existing licenses and applications are compatible with the new framework.
Storage projects are divided into two groups under the new framework: those that just use storage and those that combine storage with renewables.
The project may operate in the second category by supporting renewables and not drawing energy from a grid, in this case, it is going to be granted a producer’s permit and a tariff similar to any other renewable initiative. On the other hand, enterprises that may draw electricity from the grid will be granted a special producer’s permit and will not be charged a tariff.