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SEF – Anti-development, ineffective and destructive for the purchase of the first package of measures for photovoltaic solar thermal

If one wished to kneel the photovoltaic market and lead it to the crisis, he would not have chosen better measures than those announced on 10/8 by Deputy Minister PEKA A. Papageorgiou, the Association of Photovoltaic Companies points out.

The first package of measures (soon to be followed by Parliament, which requires legislation), not only fails to do what promises, but also leads to dangerous paths in the photovoltaic market in our country, threatening thousands of jobs work.

The ministry’s decisions face the assumed “huge deficit in the Special Account because of chronic problems and misconceptions.” However, with the exception of the activation of a measure decided in 2010 with Law 3851/2010 and not applicable to date (ERT resource transfer to the RES Special Account), all other measures do not directly relieve the Special RES Account, since they concern future investments that would best be realized after 2-3 years.

The decisions of the Deputy Minister of the Hellenic Telecommunications Union (IPPC) suspend the submission of new requests and the examination of outstanding requests for photovoltaic (with the exception of households and those under the fast track procedure, because the deputy minister does not have the corresponding authorization from the Parliament), arguing that there are already many mature the implementation of which will lead to the achievement of the 2020 targets. If this argument were to be the case, the winding-up procedure should also be suspended for wind power, for which the validity of the applications to RAE However, RAE continues (and rightly) accepts applications for wind, knowing that only a small percentage of applications will eventually be realized. The same is true of photovoltaics, especially now that the financial tightness does not allow the implementation of most applications.

This decision by the Deputy Minister of Peace only favors licensing, enriching some of the perpetrators and unnecessarily raising the investment costs, leaves untouched the few investors who favored the fast track, as opposed to the thousands of small and medium-sized investors affected, discouraging any foreign investor who would like to invest in the country. Of course, this absurd measure does not in any way contribute to the relief of the RES Reserve Account, as the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change says. This is also due to the fact that the implementation of some direct corrective measures, such as those recommended by the Association of Photovoltaic Companies (submission of a letter of guarantee for all RES, reduction of the 18-month “lock” of the tariff, etc.) uninterrupted photovoltaic growth in 2013 can have a neutral effect on consumers’ electricity bills, and from 2014 onwards it may lead to a continuous reduction (including the ETEMAR charge). The question then arises as to who is ultimately benefiting from the suspension of licensing.

Some decisions by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance (PEKA) have literally been written in the foot, creating inequalities between investors, and raising major questions, both in terms of their purpose and their legitimacy. It is typical that the Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy suspends the licensing procedure for several power megawatt projects submitted in mid-2010 (and the Network Operator did not promote illegally for two years despite the clear requirements of Law 3851/2010 for examination of the queries within four months) and allows for the continuation of larger-scale projects that have submitted applications to RAE more than one year later and have been licensed to produce, thus bypassing each order of priority and defining any concept of equality between investors. Thousands of investors are now entitled to appeal lawfully against this decision, claiming both the costs they have incurred so far, as well as loss and loss of earnings due to the persistence of the competent authorities to circumvent the law.

With the aim of rationalizing the market, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy of the Republic of Cyprus has made unprecedented reductions in guaranteed prices for new and pending photovoltaic applications (which in the meantime virtually suspended all of them!) That have not yet signed a sales contract with the Officer of the market. And while, as the YPEKA press release states, “the cost of supply and installation for the development of photovoltaic systems between January 2012 and August 2012 has dropped by about 14% for PV installations on roofs, about 10% B plants up to 100kW and approximately 11% for photovoltaic plants above 100kW “, the reductions imposed are respectively 46.8%, 26.4% and 33.7% respectively, compared to those decided only 6 months ago ! With the new energy sales prices and country financial data, most of these investments are unsustainable, since their yields are lower than the borrowing rate and have negative cash flows in the first decade and, of course, they do not “yield satisfactorily revenue “as provoked by the YPEKA press release. We wonder if Mr. Papageorgiou himself, who prides himself on being a market man, would ever invest in such terms. If on the market that previously served, gas, investors are willing to have negative cash flows for several years before seeing even one euro gain.

The irony is that the new guaranteed sales prices are 14.3% -35% lower than those suggested by RAE on 3/8. And here comes a major political question. Why does the SWR Deputy Minister so provocatively ignore the Energy Regulatory Authority? And why, for a month, it has struck the market with rumors and leaks when everything was pre-determined on the first day that it took office? Mr Papageorgiou did not take into account either the nuggets of the proposals put forward by the market players and avoided essential dialogue limited to formal meetings with the eyes of the world’s eyes.

As if not all of this, Deputy Minister PEKA threatens the market and with a new package of measures, this time tax-deductible in operating projects. And in this case, he provocatively ignored the industry’s proposals for equivalent measures, but that would not put the future of the photovoltaic market in our country to an adventure.

The storm of negative developments is complemented by the proclamation of the Peloponnese as an area with a saturated network, which means that all new planned investments, including even small domestic systems, are suspended (since there was no relevant clarification to exclude them). However, the saturation of the network is related to large-scale projects and unjustly excluding small domestic photovoltaic systems, but even medium power projects. As shown by a study of AUTH on behalf of the Association of Photovoltaic Companies, the capacity of the networks in terms of the penetration of the photovoltaics is significantly higher than the one arbitrarily and unscientifically calculated by the Operator, resulting in the undesirable regions being declared as saturated for photovoltaics while not in practice. We note that 10% of photovoltaic companies are based in the Peloponnese, and with this decision thousands of people are driven to unemployment.

If something really threatens with the decisions of the Deputy Minister of Peace, there are thousands of jobs, says the Association of Photovoltaic Companies. The photovoltaic industry has until now been the only potentially growing branch of the economy and the largest employer in the field of green energy. It maintains 25,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and contributes to public finances and insurance funds by € 600 million per year. That is why the recent decisions of the Deputy Minister of Peace are deeply underdeveloped and send a wrong signal at a time when the country needs growth and jobs.

All the above were premised on the liquidity problems in the electricity market. While it is now clear to everyone that these problems are inextricably linked to the many and big distortions in the electricity market, lately they have virtually invested almost exclusively in photovoltaics and the real actors responsible for the crisis (who are not others producers and suppliers of electricity with pollutant fossil fuels). For these latter, we have not seen and heard no measures, even though the distorted and scandalous subsidies to fossil fuels reach € 1.5 billion a year.

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