Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
Greece has a substantial wind resource. The areas of highest potential are the Aegean islands, southern Euboea, eastern Peloponnese and Thrace. Wind power's penetration in the autonomous grid of Crete is, at greater than 10%, amongst the highest in the world (with strongly increasing trends). However, the windiest areas tend to be sparsely populated and to have inadequate transmission facilities.
During the 1990s, deployment was slow, with capacity only growing from about 19 MW in 1992 to 40 MW in 1998.
Until the late 1990s the majority of the wind power capacity was owned by the Public Power Corporation (DEI). The Liberalisation of the Electricity Market Law together with the EU Directive for Greece to supply 20.1% of its electricity from renewables by 2010 have helped to provide the impetus that the development of the wind sector needed.
The years 1999 and 2000 saw high growth in the rate of installation (175% and 107% respectively), since when growth has averaged some 22% per annum. By end-2005 installed capacity had risen to 573 MW and by end-2006, to 746 MW, representing 1 028 turbines. However, as the Hellenic Wind Energy Association suggests, there is much room for improvement and a long way to go before meeting the Government's current target of 3 372 MW by 2010.
The bureaucracy and delays in constructing the grid connections are gradually being overcome with the help of legislation. Law 2941 passed in 2001 removed restrictions on many of the locations for renewable energy projects, simplified licensing procedures and ensured the easier construction of nationwide grid connections. Following the start of liberalisation of the electricity market in 1999, acceleration of the process was enshrined in Law 3175 of 2003. Also during 2003, Law 1726 defined the process for the approval of environmental conditions for renewable developments. A new law (3468) appertaining to the procedure for licensing of renewable energies was passed in mid-2006. Regarding wind, it set out Feed-in tariffs for the wind energy projects in the interconnected grid, wind energy in the non-interconnected grid and offshore wind. Additionally, it listed a three-stage process for licensing: the Production Licence stage which incorporates wind measurements; the Installation Licence stage to cover the relevant administration (including Environmental Impact Studies) and the Operation Licence stage.
Currently, the largest share of capacity is located in eastern Macedonia and Thrace with 29%, followed by Sterea Hellas and Euboea with 27%. Crete represents 17%, the Peloponnese 14%, while the north and south Aegean, Thessaly, Ionion and Attica together account for the remaining 13%.
Wind power R&D is promoted by the Ministry for Development and by a number of public bodies (technical universities, the Centre for Renewable Energy Resources - CRES) and, to a lesser extent, DEI. The MEGAWIND research project, coordinated by CRES and co-funded by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme, is concerned with the development of megawatt-size turbines for high-wind complex-terrain sites.