In 2019, Greece was one of the two leading EU countries for solar thermal installations. This method proved to be cost-effective, with a minimum of 60% of hot water share coming from this source. In other countries with ample sunlight using solar energy to provide hot water is becoming more popular. Figure. 5 shows the Top 20 Countries based on the capacity Added in 2019 in the solar water heating collector segment. Greece was placed in the ninth rank in 2019. This method can reduce electricity use and natural gas imports which in turn will cause a reduction in CO2 emission in general.
These two facts indicate that capturing solar energy has become more popular in recent years in Greece and this will open up a door of opportunities for the entrance of new PV-based technologies, such as floating photovoltaic (FPV), agriculture plus photovoltaic (agrivoltaic), or other innovations to meet a larger portion of electricity demand in it.
Solar and Wind Share of Total Generation (%)
Greece has the seventh largest electricity generation from solar and wind combined, as visible in figure 7, with more than one-fourth share. Increasing and integrating more renewable energy sources in the power sector also improves power system flexibility.
Electricity Prices and Average PV Tender Tariffs
In 2019, the prices of electricity for the households and the industry were $195.8 per MWh and $104.5 per MWh, respectively. The July 2019 auction saw the average PV tender tariff reach €0.06278/kWh, which was 9.37% lower than the starting level of €0.06926/kWh.
Energy Production, Consumption and CO2 Emission in Greece
In 2017 Greece had a population of around 11 million people, which produced 7.2 Mtoe energy (million or megatonnes of oil equivalent). The energy consumption of the nation was 60.4 TWh and CO2 emissions were 63.2 Mt. Energy consumption and CO2 emission per capita were 5.616 KWh, 5.88 T CO2 respectively in 2017 in the country.
Potential of Greece for Floating Solar, Hybrid Plants
The rapid increase in harvesting solar energy in the power sector and the huge untapped potential of hydropower reservoirs in Greece, has made floating photovoltaic (FPV) installations an available and suitable option to make Greece greener in its electricity mix is the utilizing water surface behind the hydropower reservoirs. This option is in line with the country’s climate change targets and is also cost-effective to ensure the reliability of its power sector, improving power sector flexibility, as well as generating localized job opportunities. Currently, SINN Power is carrying out a hybrid project in Heraklion in Crete. The usage of this project will be a “complete off-grid energy solution” for communities that live near the coast by 2024 and to deploy it in other Greek islands. The following section highlights some of the benefits of combining FPV with hydropower.
Benefits of Combining Hydropower and Floating Solar Power Plants
- No cost for groundwork or buying and renting property.
- These two systems complement each other. In dry seasons with less water flow correspond to periods of high solar insolation and vice versa.
- Higher power generation by hydropower dam or reservoir due to the less water evaporation.
- Reducing the Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for the FPV power plant owing to the existing grid infrastructure.
- Being cost-effective due to the making synergy in the water-energy nexus even if the subsidies drop significantly down under an insufficient government budget.
- Complementing the hydropower electricity generation due to the seasonal variants of stored water in dam/reservoir (more sustainable electricity generation).
- Leading to a much more reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- A suitable solution for areas where there is a land-scarcity issue (islands).