Latest developments of offshore wind farms in Greece
Rokas| Energy & Natural Resources – Greece
(Article by Panagiota Maragkozoglou, Associate, published in the Energy & Natural Resources Newsletter of the ILO on December 11, 2023)
In July 2022, the Greek regime in force regarding the offshore wind farms
(OWFs) was established by the enactment of Law No. 4964/2022 which
promoted a specific legislative framework for the OWFs development. This
Law is considered a landmark for the installation, development and
operation of OWFs which is expected to significantly contribute to
development of renewable energy sources (RES) in compliance with the
objectives set by the new Greek National Energy and Climate Plan.(1)
Pursuant to this framework, the state-owned Hellenic Hydrocarbon and
Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA) is authorised to
perform the research, exploration and determination of the OWF Organised
Development Areas (ODAs) and of the OWF Installation Areas (IAs), as well
as for the assignment of the research and exploitation rights of OWF
projects within the ODAs. HEREMA is also responsible for the drafting of
the national OWF Development Programme (the Development Programme)
that sets out the main guidelines for the planning, development, siting,
installation and exploitation of OWFs and includes the potential ODAs. The
Development Programme is subject to a strategic environmental
assessment (SEA) procedure conducted by HEREMA.
The technical studies undertaken by HEREMA should determine the terms
for project development within the ODAs and propose the IAs within them.
Each technical study will be subject to a SEA procedure. Following the
respective public consultations, the ODAs are approved by presidential
decrees. Two months after the issuance of each presidential decree,
HEREMA should organise the submission of applications for research
licences to be granted to interested parties. Within two years from the
expiration of the first submission cycle with respect to the above
applications, HEREMA should launch public consultations regarding the
IAs of each ODA.
The Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water (RAAEY) should
organise competitive tendering procedures for the granting of operating
aid to OWF projects developing into the ODAs within four months from the
issuance of a decision by the Environment and Energy Ministry
determining the distribution of the IAs. Each OWF investor that holds a
research licence for an ODA will be entitled to submit an offer for any IA
therein. The successful bidder for the licensing, development and
exploitation will be determined by the lowest bid price (in Euros per
megawatt hour) for the compensation of the energy produced by such
OWF Project. Subsequently, OWF investors must submit an application to
RAAEY for the 30-year Special Projects Producer Certificate that can be
extended by an additional 30 years.
Αccording to the Law,(2) an OWF can either be secured to the seabed or
floating. It is known though that the bottom-fixed OWFs are not always
feasible, thus the latter mechanism is preferable for the greatest possible
exploitation of the Greek rich wind potential. However, since complications,
(eg, the premature level of this technology and of the market conditions)
characterise the OWF development, a fact that does not invalidate the
pivotal position they possess in the country’s energy objectives, the Greek
authorities intend to develop such projects under a pilot form at first.
Οn the contrary, the pilot fix-based OWFs in the area of Alexandroupoli with
600 megawatt capacity(3) follow a different pilot procedure according to
the plan of European Union regarding the called “acceleration areas” (or
“go-to-areas”). The amendments proposed under the REPowerEU plan and
incorporated in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED III),(4)
included the introduction of those areas with lower environmental risks
suggested by the member states as areas appropriate for the development
of RES projects using relevant technologies and contributing to the
respective target of 2030 and per consequence areas following simplified
On 31 October 2023, HEREMA announced that the draft Development
Programme, along with its SEA, has already been submitted to the
Environment and Energy Ministry, and that it includes 25 ODAs of an
estimated minimum capacity of 12.4 gigawatts. The majority of these
areas will be recommended for floating offshore wind technology.
An additional step will be the approval of the Development Programme and
the above study by a joint ministerial decision. In addition, the issuance of
the respective presidential decrees for the determination of the ODAs is
expected within a year, a step considered crucial for the granting of the
ODAs research licences to interested investors.
However, it is expected the necessary studies within the ODAs to be
conducted in a centralised way by HEREMA and the extracted data thereof
to be uploaded in data rooms for use by interested investors, thus
rendering this procedure a useful tool for the thriving of a safety climate in
investments. The competitive procedures for the concession of the IAs to
the successful bidders are expected in 2026.
In parallel, at the end of November 2023, HEREMA granted two research
licences for the pilot fix-based OWFs in the area of Alexandroupoli, since
the respective procedure regarding the acceleration areas is differentiated
in comparison with the one set out for the rest ODAs.(5)
For further information on this topic please contact Panagiota
Maragkozoglou at Rokas Law Firm by telephone (+30 210 361 6816) or
email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Rokas Law Firm website can be
accessed at www.rokas.com.
(1) The National Energy and Climate Plan, which has been submitted to the
(2) Article 65 paragraph 11 of Law No. 4964/2022.
(3) Article 174 of Law No. 4964/2022, as applies.
(4) Directive EU/2023/2413.
(5) Article 174 paragraph 16 of Law No. 4964/2022, as applies.