Greece cuts solar subsidies by 12.5%
Greece announced cuts in solar subsidies, the Ministry of Energy, Environment and Climate Change said in a statement.
"In today's difficult economic environment, it is necessary to ensure the viability of the financing mechanism in order to secure the operation of the units already installed and to develop new ones," the ministry said in a statement.
The subsidies will be cut 12.5% to €292.08 per megawatt hour for solar coming online from February 2012 and generating more than 100 kilowatts. By August 2014 the rate will drop every six months to €203.20 per megawatt hour.
Solar installations in Greece have grown from 198MW in 2010 to 580MW at the end of 2011, which is on target to exceed the Mediterranean country’s target of 1500MW by 2014, despite recent cuts in subsidies. Cash-strapped Greece, which has ample sunlight and wind, has been trying to attract renewable energy investment by offering 20-year supply contracts at generous, guaranteed prices.
Greece and Germany have also discussed an ambitious solar investment programme – Helios – which could make Greece a major solar powerhouse in the region. Meanwhile, Greece’s wind-powered electricity capacity in Greece rose more the 23% in 2011, the Hellenic Wind Energy Association said. Installed capacity rose to 1,626.5MW in 2011 from 1,320.4MW in 2010, it said.