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Greece's rewewable energy market drawing large foreign players

The creation of a consortium with the aim of developing a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Greece was announced by CeroGeneration (Cero) and Wattcrop. Cero is owned by Macquarie's Green Investment Group portfolio that has invested about 30 billion euros in green projects.

New players from abroad are showing interest in Greece’s energy market. Indicative of the activity in the sector is the recent entry of CeroGeneration but also the absolute dominance of Lightsource BP in the tender held by energy regulator RAE held in May. As announced, the creation of a consortium with the aim of developing a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Greece was announced by CeroGeneration (Cero) and Wattcrop.

Cero is a company owned by Macquarie's Green Investment Group portfolio that focuses on photovoltaic, wind farms and has invested about 30 billion euros in green projects, with more than 8 GW under development and 150 projects all over Europe. Wattcrop, respectively, is a Greek company founded in 2019 with the aim of developing renewable energy and storage projects in Southeastern Europe and the United Kingdom, with offices in Ptolemaida and London. Cero and Wattcrop will initially develop Wattcrop's existing portfolio, which exceeds 480MW of pre-construction production projects. The consortium aims to develop projects of at least 750 MW within the next four years, with the main goal of exploiting the rapidly growing market of PPAs (bilateral contracts) in Greece.

Respectively, Lightsource BP, a leading company in the field of RES in Europe with the participation of the oil giant of BP, secured 140MW in the recent joint tender held in May, ie 40% of the total auctioned power, locking in an average price of 38.5 euros per MW. These projects are part of the 640MW of projects to be acquired by Lightsource BP from Kiefer TEK, making it one of the largest solar energy managers and investors in the country. Together with the 140MW that were secured in the recent auction, Lightsource bp for the next 24 months, plans to execute projects with a capacity of over 200MWp. This is an investment of about 160 million euros which will create more than 300 jobs. By 2024, 6 tenders are planned that will give a total of 2.1 GW of renewable capacity at a time when the country has set a goal of penetration of RES in the system that will reach 67% by 2030. It is estimated that for RES projects, photovoltaic parks, offshore wind farms will be allocated in the coming years with at least 450 million euros coming from the Recovery Fund.

Storage units

At the same time, European groups are showing great interest in energy storage projects in combination with RES projects, but recently there has been problems arising in the development of such projects. There were complaints from the largest European associations recently, accuse Greece’s Energy Ministry that with the amendments included in the bill on waste management, storage projects associated with RES will freeze until December 31, 2021. In particular, WindEurope said in a statement that no public consultation had taken place before the bill was passed, while CEO Giles Dixon said: "Retroactive changes to already approved projects are extremely worrying and go against the European directive on RES. The government risks overshadowing investment security in Greece, threatening the success of the energy transition."

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