Attorneys in Greece – Lawyers in Athens & Thessaloniki

Why Investing in Photovoltaics in Greece is Worthwhile

Kosmidis & Partners, attorneys

Partnering international businesses in Greece

Why photovoltaics are worthwhile in Greece

In Greece photovoltaics have become one of the most attractive and lucrative investments for many groups other than just Greek citizens. This investment opportunity is accessible to anyone in Greece and, more importantly, everyone can enjoy all the advantages and dividends achievable from this investment in Greece to the same extent.

Who wouldn’t want to secure a long-term, regular, monthly source of income, which

is financed by the one-off contribution of all the investment costs at the start of the project, and in return guarantees earnings for at least 20 years on a continual monthly basis,
is associated with relatively low maintenance costs over the entire life span,
neither demands that one deploy one’s own workforce in order to operate the enterprise, nor requires the appointment of personnel,
does not require the entrepreneur’s permanent presence or on-site management …

The answer is photovoltaics in Greece

It all starts with what Greece is generally first and foremost associated with – sunshine. The secret lies in using sunlight for conversion into energy. More specifically electricity is produced from sunlight and the electricity is sold to the Greek electricity authority at fixed purchase prices agreed in advance. The strong sunshine in Greece guarantees that the investment will be a success and in the process makes it easy to make money.

Unlike other countries, Greece still offers the highest input payments. This is especially clear if one takes newcomer France as an example, where the input payment of €0.40 is far below Greece’s prices. Here the input payment is between €0.40 and 0.52/kWh.

The process provided by law in Greece for acquiring a generation permit has also proved itself. You can obtain detailed information on the licensing process and the most frequently asked questions at Setting up photovoltaic plants in Greece. The initial difficulties which have occurred in other places have been acknowledged and other solutions already chosen, in order to avoid the sometimes fatal impact on development of the project. In other countries, for example, investors and project operators thus gained a generating licence, proceeded to install the photovoltaic plant, only to find after installing the plant that the local authorities had refused to let them conclude the input contract on the grounds that the connection requirements were not fulfilled, or the connection costs were disproportionately high compared to the investment. The consequence was that after a major investment contribution it was ultimately impossible to bring the project to fruition. In Greece the statutory licensing process has taken into account and accordingly eradicated these risks, in order to avoid irreparable consequences and loss for the investors and project operators. According to prevailing legislation there is the obligation in the abovementioned cases to obtain what is known as a connection quotation. This represents an indispensable requirement for realisation of the project and must be obtained before the installation permit is granted. Consequently within this framework there is a review of whether the connection requirements are fulfilled at the desired installation site. This requirement is intended to ensure that no installation permits are granted without the connection possibilities being present.

This requirement represents just one of the peculiarities of pertinent Greek legislation intended to guarantee investors the greatest possible degree of certainty of realising the investment. Basically the Greek process, determined and regulated by the pertinent national laws, is characterised by transparency, certainty and efficiency. In particular as a result of the amendments to the legal provisions in the last three years, the licensing process under discussion has been improved, simplified and accelerated to the benefit of the licence holder and investors. The Greek regulatory authority, the RAE, has also made a not inconsiderable contribution to this result.

A total of 900 MW are to be approved for Greece in the near future. This far from exhausts the quotas and the resulting investment opportunities are clear to everyone

It must also be indicated at this point there is also the possibility for investors of achieving very lucrative profits in the long term with only small personal investment. This opportunity exists even in the case of very small plants which, and this is especially important, are not even subject to a licensing process. A small array with a 20 kW plant ensures average annual earnings of €17,000 and thus monthly profits of €1,200 to 1,500. Over a 20-year term, the investment capital will be redeemed in 5-7 years, so that pure profit is achieved from this point, for at least another 15 years.

A very great advantage which naturally makes investment in a photovoltaic project in Greece particularly attractive, is the grants under the Investment Incentives Law 3299/2004 plus amendment distributed by the Greek government. Up to 40% of the investment can be covered by government subsidies. And the possibility of financing 35% of the total investment sum with a bank loan leads to an investor having to furnish merely 25% of the investment sum as equity. The following links – development of electricity generation from renewable sources and electricity generation from regenerative energy sources – provide detailed information on many frequently asked questions regarding electricity generation incentives in Greece. Consequently maximum equity of no more than €30,000 is required for a small 20 kW plant. Of course this figure can be even lower depending on the costs required for the specific project. In this context the possibility of the investor obtaining exemption from value added tax for all module and material costs should not be overlooked either. Tax exemption is granted by the competent tax office. Overall it is therefore worth operating photovoltaics in Greece. And as the sun never sets on Greece, everyone can have their place in the Greek sun …