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Page added on October 29, 2009

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Greek red tape traps green energy

Greece, one of Europe’s most windy and sunny countries, risks missing its green energy targets and losing billions of euros in investment because of bureaucratic obstacles.

Greece’s new socialist government has a target to produce one fifth of the country’s energy from clean sources by 2020, said George Peristeris, Chairman of the Association of Renewable Electricity Producers.
“This target is feasible, provided the government goes about it seriously today, as we speak,” Peristeris told Reuters in an interview. Greece now produces just over 3% of its energy from wind and solar power, according to Greenpeace.

The government is set to unveil a law to boost the renewable energy sector next month.

But red tape, legal confusion and local protests have been dogging the industry for years. Authorities sit on a pile of more than 1,000 unprocessed applications for green energy projects, 90% of which concern wind farms.

“Licensing is a real pain, it takes incredibly long,” Peristeris said. “About 2.5 billion euros in Greek and foreign private capital is just sitting there, asphyxiating.”

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