ATHENS – Despite one of the sunniest climes in the world, Greece only in recent years has turned more toward developing wider spread use of solar power, accelerating now in a rush to wean off dependence on Russian oil and gas in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
The Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (Helapco), Greece told PV magazine it connected 1. 36 gigawatts (GW) of new sun powered capacity to the grid in 2022 as Greece was looking for alternative, sustainable sources while at the same time forced to go back to coal-fired plants to generate electricity.
Of this, 341.5 megawatts (MW) was connected to Greece’s transmission grid and about 1020 MW was connected to Greece’s distribution grids, the report said, with Greece also looking further to more wind power.
These figures are preliminary because Greece is yet to officially announce the number of its new PV deployments for 2022, said the site, noting that the country’s renewable energy sources operator, Dapeep, has only published data covering the period until the end of September 2022.
That showed Greece installed 932 MW of new photovoltaic capacity in the first three quarters of 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic was waning and health measures eased to attract tourists, addings to energy needs.
It doesn’t include installations under net metering, which are announced separately by the country’s distribution grid operator Hedno.
Helapco’s more complete statistical look at the PV market shows that net-metered systems comprise only a small fraction of the 1.36 GW of newly installed solar.
Greece’s mainland grid connected 109.4 MW of net-metered PV, while Greece’s small independently operating stand-alone networks added a further 1.4 MW of net-metered PV capacity.
Commercial net-metered system installations more than doubled that of residential systems, the government wanting to boost the residential segment with a generous subsidy package to get more households to use solar panels and reduce the need for electricity plants.
The newly-installed PV capacity for 2022 is at least three times more than the 422 MW of new photovoltaics added in 2021 and comprises systems awarded premium tariffs via competitive tenders, small solar farms up to 500 kW that are entitled to feed-in tariffs, and net metered systems, the report added.
Helapco said that of the new systems connected to the grid, 200 or about 20 MW are connected to low voltage, 1,602 systems or about 890 MW are connected to medium voltage. and about 341.5 MW are linked to high voltage.