energy law afoot
News, 4 December 2009
Greece's new renewables law will cut bureaucracy to unlock hundreds
of stranded renewable energy projects, Environment, Energy and Climatic
Change Minister Tina Birbili said on December 3. The draft law, to
be submitted soon to public consultation, will cut licensing times
for renewable energy projects to eight to ten months from three to
five years, Birbili said during a televised cabinet meeting.
"There is tremendous investor interest, but too much bureaucracy," Birbili
The backlog of projects waiting for approval has a total capacity of
about 57,000 megawatts, which is about 50 times larger than the number
of projects operating, she said.
Addressing an Economist conference on the green economy on December
2, Birbili said that the bill will include arrangements on the licensing
of electric power production units from renewable energy sources, changes
in the special land planning framework prepared by the previous government,
terms on the construction of energy transport networks and on the familiarisation
and participation of local societies in the undertaking.
Prime Minister George Papandreou has said that he wants to see Greece
produce 40 percent of all its electricity from renewable sources by
2020. At present, the country relies on lignite, a polluting form of
coal, to cover the bulk of its energy needs. Currently, Greece produces
just over 3 percent of its energy from wind and solar power.