Wind power

Electricity derived from the wind is known as wind power. This power is considered “sustainable” and is included among the “clean” sources; that is energy sources that do not produce or emit pollutants. Wind power currently constitutes a technologically mature, economically competitive and environmentally-friendly energy option.

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Applications

There are various wind power applications, addressed to both individuals and companies. Wind turbines can be installed

  • on available land (known as parks);
  • on residential or corporate sites, in two ways:
    • either as independent or hybrid systems for electricity generation,
    • or as domestic and commercial systems that can be connected to the power grid, supplying it with surplus green energy and providing additional income to their owner;
  • on offshore facilities, which are yet another profitable option, an application implemented only few kilometres from the coastline where the winds are even stronger.

Advantages - Environmental Benefits

The benefits arising from the exploitation of wind power include:

  • The local environment is not burdened with dangerous airborne pollutants;
  • Cheaper unit cost (kWh) compared to power produced from the combustion of oil or natural gas;
  • Job creation.

In order to gain a better understanding of the environmental benefits of wind power, it is noted that each kWh produced by wind parks, as opposed to conventional fuel, implies the avoidance of one kilogramme of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere (based on the current energy mix in Greece). In addition, it entails reduced emissions of other dangerous pollutants (such as suspended micro-particles, nitrogen oxides, sulphur compounds, etc.)

A common 1.5 MW wind generator produces, on average in Greece, 4.5 million kWh per year, thus preventing the emission of 4,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide i.e. the amount absorbed by 600 hectares of forest or 300,000 trees.

Institutional Framework

Currently, there is quite a good set of incentives for wind parks while Law 3851/2010 on RES has simplified the licensing procedure significantly. According to law 3851/2010, the sale price per kWh produced is guaranteed for 20 years.

For the moment, the installation of low-capacity wind generators by private entities has not been foreseen. In other words, even the installation of a small residential wind turbine requires the establishment of a company in order to sell electricity to the grid .

For general information about wind parks and small wind turbines, interested parties should contact the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change (RES department), HWEA (Hellenic Wind Energy Association) and CRES (Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving). For the licensing of wind power projects in particular, interested parties can contact the following competent services;

  • The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) for production licenses;
  • The Town Planning services for the approval of small-scale projects;
  • The Region for the approval of the environmental terms (plant size exceeding 100kW) or exemption from such terms (plant size up to 100kW); Investors should contact the same department for trial operation of wind parks with a capacity exceeding 100 kW (not required for smaller plants);
  • The PPC and LAGIE (Operator of Electricity Market) for wind plant connection contracts and sale/purchase contracts.

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