SEF – Typhoon “Papageorgiou” scans photovoltaics

Elevating for existing investments and catastrophic for those planned for 2013, the Association of Photovoltaic Societies describes the arrangements that the Deputy Minister of Peace A. Papageorgiou urgently placed in Parliament and incorporated into the Memorandum-3 bill, even though they were not even the demands of the Troika.

More specifically, the SAE states:

“For the second time, after the first” hit of the 15th of August “, the deputy minister chose to ignore the market and avoid dialogue, citing an emergency for the salvation of LAGIE. For the second time in five months, the only measures presented by the deputy minister concerned only photovoltaics and were all negative. Chat about other technologies, absolute silence for the main actors of the crisis in the electricity market that should be sought in the notorious “PPC hat” and the distortions of the wholesale. For the second time, he ignored the suggestions of the market and RAE, such as the proposal for a guarantee on all RES, which would clear the landscape in the commitment of precious electricity.

The proposed arrangements impose an unprecedented extraordinary contribution of 25% -35% on the turnover of photovoltaic (other than domestic), leading many investors to be unable to repay loans to the Banks and eventually bankrupt. It should be noted that photovoltaics are in any case burdened by a tax (corporate and dividend) of 40% on profits, raising total taxation to unrealistic heights and making many investments unsustainable.

It is clear that the YPEKA does not understand the rules of operation of the market and that is why it is led to leveling measures that will degrade as much trust has been left to prospective investors in the difficult times we are in. Beyond the self-evident arguments against any mandatory retroactive measure and against any extraordinary measure attempting to address a permanent issue, a horizontal tax like the one promoted will lead to further distortions and injustices, since many projects that may currently enjoy the same tariffs have been implemented with significantly different costs, while some received subsidies from the development.

The imposition of the special levy was not even a request from the Troika, since the European Commission has repeatedly opposed the application of retroactive measures. His opposition to the imposition of an extraordinary contribution to photovoltaics has recently been reaffirmed by Commissioner Oettinger. In his reply to the Association of Photovoltaic Companies (24-10-2012), the office of Commissioner Oettinger states:

“We understand that the Greek government does not reject the idea of ​​taxing photovoltaic power stations despite repeated and clear reports by the European Commission that such measures are retroactive changes to existing investment aid schemes. Such retrospective measures should, in our view, be avoided at all costs, as they undermine investors’ confidence. ”

The second retroactive measure concerns existing contracts for projects that could be implemented by law in January 2014. By abolishing signed contracts, these projects must now be completed and connected to the network at the latest mid March 2013, which is impossible for most of them.

When last August, Undersecretary of Peace was freezing licenses for new photovoltaic projects, there was at least the hope in the market that there will be available old projects to be implemented in 2013. Now the market is driven to sudden death before the spring of 2013. With it in unemployment thousands of photovoltaic workers.

In spite of their four-month gestation, the proposed provisions are written literally in the leg without consulting the market, while the individual arrangements (defensively long deadlines for the manager to complete the connection projects, negligible compensation to investors in the event of delays in linking the projects) , make the projects non-financed by the Banks and, of course, have nothing to do with the allegiance of the “LAGIE salvation” invoked by the YPEKA.

Of these profoundly underdevelopment regulations, the public is finally losing out, since public revenues of hundreds of millions will be deprived of tax on the turnover of photovoltaics that are now being canceled. Lost comes the environment as the clean energy of photovoltaics will be called to cover polluting units. Consumers are long gone, since, as international experience has shown, the large penetration of photovoltaics ultimately leads to lower costs in the wholesale energy market and therefore lower consumer burdens.

Yes, the electricity market needs to be restructured. It needs to remove distortions, it needs more rational planning. The real market problem is not the money that consumers give to clean energy. It is the money they give to support an outdated and polluting energy model that continues to depend on lignite and oil.

As the prime minister of the country is in the name of development, the YPEKA promotes highly anti-developmental arrangements. Despite the growing financial crisis, the photovoltaic industry has until recently been one of the few sectors of the economy that was developing and creating new jobs. Photovoltaics in Greece now employ 20,000 people and maintain 30,000 more jobs in the wider economy due to consumption stimulation. This “success story”, we have to defend it and protect it, not condemn it to withering and disappearing.

The Association of Photovoltaic Companies urges the Prime Minister, even at the last hour, to consider the damage to the national economy and employment. He calls for the withdrawal of the unconditional and reasonable imposition of photovoltaic levies and any mandatory retroactive measures such as the drastic reduction in the time given to investors to implement de facto projects.