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Greece Embraces Solar

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Greece amends photovoltaic law to encourage growth for the industry.
A new law introduced in Greece amends legislation originally approved in 2006 to regulate and incentivise the photovoltaic industry in the Mediterranean country.



Although the country has tremendous solar potential, it has been criticized recently by some in the industry, including solar maker Sharp, for bureaucratic hurdles that may be holding back development of the renewable resource.



The new PV law abolishes the unofficial cap of 0.8 (gigawatts) GW that was set by previous decisions. It also sets a deadline for issuing permits. By the end of 2009, all applications that have been submitted--more than 3 GWp--must be dealt with and approved or rejected.



The new law also separates a program for rooftop PV with different feed-in-tariffs (FIT) guaranteed for 20 years. Details of this program will be announced later this year.



The law also sets new feed-in-tariffs, guaranteed for 20 years. FITs will be adjusted annually for inflation, though they will remain unchanged for the next two years.



There will be a regression of FITs as of August 2010. However, one can sign a grid connection agreement thus locking the FIT before this deadline, and then get another 18 months to finalize installation. In practice, this means that FITs remain unchanged till early 2012.



The new tariffs will start at EUR 400 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in February for 100 kilowatt peak systems and EUR 450 per MWh for systems less and equal to 100 kilowatt peak on the mainland.



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