International Law

Greek Law on Investments in Renewable Energy Sources

by Christina Koliatsi

Following the European Commission's 20 per cent target for the overall share of renewable energy sources (RES) for the EU by 2020, Greece has made strides to meet that goal. Greece has harmonized Directive 2001/77/EC on power production from RES with its national Law 3468/2007, recently amended by Law 3851/2010 (the "Renewables Act"). The new Law 3851/2010 is extremely optimistic about the contribution of electrical energy produced by RES to the gross electrical energy consumption. It aspires to give Greece nation-wide electricity from RES, up to 40 per cent until 2020.

Legal Regime on Permits for the Production of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources. The main steps to follow in order to produce electricity from RES and enter into a power purchase contract are described below. The Renewables Act and subsidiary legislation provide that for the production of electricity from RES the following permits are required.

Power Production Permit

The Power Production Permit (PPP) is granted by the Regulatory Authority of Energy (RAE). The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECC) is also entitled to conduct a check for legitimacy within twenty days of receiving the file. This self-initiated check means, in practice, that the MECC is entitled to cancel the license issued by the RAE, in case the license has been issued in breach of the applicable law. The license is granted on the basis of certain criteria provided by law, such as:

National security;

Public health and security protection;

Safety of the installation and equipment;

Energy efficiency of the project;

Maturity of the procedure for the realization of the project;

Existing studies regarding the ability to realize the project and connect it to the grid;

Security or ability to secure the right to use the land on which the project will be installed;

Ability of the applicant to realize the project is based on its financial, scientific, and technical sufficiency. The process entails selecting the adequate financing instrument, as well as identifying the private capital of the applicant;

Protection of clients and ability to offer services for common utility; and

Protection of the environment and compliance with the Special Framework for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development for RES.

The PPP is valid for 25 years and can be renewed for an equal period.

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Christina N. Koliatsi is a partner in the Rokas International Law Firm. She specializes in finance, energy law, company law, environmental law, and industrial property law. She has extensive legal expertise and has acted as advisor to energy, construction, and commercial companies.