Program for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Non-Interconnected Islands in Greece Approved – Commentary

On 21 December 2021, the European Commission approved under EU State aid rules a €1.4 billion incentive scheme to promote the deployment of renewable electricity on 47 islands (including Crete) in Greece.(1) The 29 autonomous and non-interconnected island power systems in Greece (covering 47 islands) will be covered by the scheme until their eventual connection to mainland Greece. The program will be partly funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Fund, disbursed as part of Europe’s post-Covid recovery plan.

As a result of the program, the above power systems will be supported by hybrid power plants, which generate and store both solar and wind electricity. The program aims to displace around 80% of the electricity production in these 47 islands, which currently depend on diesel and oil. As indicated by the Commission, the addition of storage facilities to the renewable electricity production units is necessary to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the electricity system of these islands, due to the saturation of the networks. Through this program, Greece aims to support 264 megawatts of new renewable electricity capacity by the end of 2026.

The Commission assessed the scheme and concluded that it was proportionate and limited to the minimum necessary. It also complies with EU state aid rules and does not unduly distort competition in accordance with the European Green Deal. The aid was deemed necessary to contribute to the expansion of solar, photovoltaic and onshore wind energy in the Greek islands, as well as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing oil and diesel installations.

For more information on this subject, please contact Mira Todorovic Symeonides or Konstantinos Ntallas at the Rokas law firm by telephone (+30 210 361 6816) or by e-mail ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Rokas Law Firm website can be accessed at www.rokas.com.

Endnotes

(1) Case No. SA.58482.

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