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Economy

Small Solar Projects in Sun-Rich Greece Shut Down in Grid Crunch

Just as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece would be a leading figure in fighting climate change and using renewable energy sources, the country's distribution operator can't even connect house rooftop solar power systems.

That was because network capacity has reached its limits and priority is being given to bigger projects, leaving homeowners who want to put solar panels on their roofs to take advantage of the country's abundant sunshine to wait.

The state-owned Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO) is waiting for offers on Sept. 4 for a 49 percent stake in the business after long delays, said EnergyPress, leaving small solar power project developers stuck.

Despite a significant increase in the capacity for processing investor requests, mainly for photovoltaic units and energy communities or cooperatives, the response time remains very long from the state, the report added.

The distribution operator DEDDIE said it has rejected all solar requests in 40 percent of the country, including Western Macedonia where coal is king and still the main source of providing electricity to Greece in the 21st Century.

In the rest of the country, 90 percent of applications for small photovoltaics get rejected, a disincentive for investors Greece has been seeking to help rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In some areas, there is no room even for rooftop solar power plants as the New Democracy government has excluded solar power plants from the massive new round of its program for energy renovation of buildings, which appears to be related to the grid overburden, the news outlet also added. 

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