Even during an economic and political crisis, Greece has reason to boast. The country installed an amazing 300 MW of solar PV in the month of January alone, a third more than was installed last year and greater than solar giant Germany at 275 MW. LAGIE, the operator of Greece’s electric grid, reported that 282 MW were from ground-mounted PV projects and 18MW came from rooftop arrays. The current solar PV capacity for Greece is 1.72 GW, and it is projected that their cumulative capacity will jump to 2.58 GW by the end of the year. So, just how did Greece accomplish this feat in a time of financial stress?
The rise in Greece’s solar PV projects is due partially to the upcoming changes in the country’s solar feed-in tariffs. Lower rates begin on March 11, inciting a rush in development. Greece’s Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks (MINDEV) also introduced a bill in February that is intended to create a friendly environment for solar companies.
The bill’s main goal would be to reduce bureaucratic red tape and fast track projects by establishing a General Licensing Directory which will act as a “one-stop shop” for investors. It allows owners of PV structures to apply for extensions as well as removing an old condition that required developers to ask permission to change PV equipment. The legislation is expected to be approved and enacted by April, which will mean that businesses will be able to alter their investments plans and change equipment as long as the total installed power does not exceed 10 percent of the existing capacity. The bill also will make licensing large projects up to 100 KW in size simpler and quicker.
Red tape aside, Greece will still have to deal with a floundering economy. However, hopefully taking advantage of ample sun and cutting-edge technology will help in the effort to get the country back on its feet.
Via Clean Technica
Images via Wikicommons users Magnus Manske and Future Perfect at Sunrise