Greece is one of Europe's most promising emerging markets for photovoltaic (PV) products and services with an estimated market volume of 1.2 billion dollars by 2015. Market potential is expected to grow considerably in the next 3–5 years, for all three categories of small (up to 20kWp), medium sized (100–150 kWp) and larger capacity PV systems. Currently, around 200 MWp of PV systems are operating in Greece. By the end of 2013, the aggregate PV systems’ installed capacity is projected to reach levels of approximately 780 MWp. As of end of December 2010, projects for 320 MWp of PV systems have received construction licenses.
Greece has made a stated commitment for greater usage of renewable energy sources (RES) in total domestic electricity production, from 8.4 percent in 2002 to 20.1 percent by 2015. Solar Photovoltaic Energy is among the top green energy policy priorities of the current government. The Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (GMEECC) has recently ratified a new law (Law 3851/2010) which, along with the relevant Ministerial Decrees issued in the summer of 2010, revises the existing legal framework and facilitates the development of renewable energy sources applications. Actually, an E.U. report titled, “Photovoltaic 2010”, had suggested that Greece has sufficient solar resources to meet one-third of its energy requirements using PV. The E.U. funded NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) 2007–2013 financially supports the diffusion of usage of RES in the Greek energy market, in accordance with the targets set by the National Renewable Energy Action Plan. http://www.ypeka.gr/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=CEYdUkQ719k%3D&tabid=37
Manufacturers of PV components, silicon feedstock and wafers, solar cells and modules, and other photovoltaic components, machinery or systems have major opportunities to sell their products and to expand their business in Greece.
Greece’s mainland and islands receives approximately 3,000 hours of sunlight per year, and solar energy measures almost 1,900KWh/square meter. The favorable tariffs combined with an increase of energy demand on the islands and the rural areas, together with the high consumption of energy during the summer tourist period, have been the main drivers of PV systems in Greece. However, there have been signs of energy demand falling which could be related to the economic crisis to some extent.
Another issue of concern surfaced last month which in from an announcement by PPC officials that their grid is operating at such a capacity so that in some areas of Greece they will not be able to take-in additional PV energy suppliers. The deregulation of the Greek electricity market in February of 2001, along with the recently established laws 3468/06, 3734/09 and 3851/10 regarding RES, have provided a general framework regarding investments on small, medium and large capacities of both commercial and residential PV installations. More specifically the new legislation has addressed issues such as the levels of potential subsidies, the procedures for acquiring installation and electricity production permits, the levels of feed-in tariffs etc. The above has resulted in considerable interest by U.S. and other foreign firms to assist Greece in transforming its energy production capabilities. Market sources indicate that the value of the expected investments in renewable solar parks is expected to exceed 1.2 billion dollars by the year 2015.