Solar Panels in Athens

Forums Dealing with Greece Practicalities Solar Panels in Athens

This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  jodevizes 2 years ago.

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  • #158707

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    Hi, I guess the price of electricity is going to rise, whether the company stays in govt hands or gets privatised as it is a reliable revenue stream. Does anybody know a reliable (and preferably cheap) company in Athens that installs solar panels. I am hoping that the place I eventually buy will have solar water heating but a company that does that as well would be a help.

  • #195358

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    Also, is anybody using solar panels? Are they cost effective?

  • #195359

    Shazzie
    Participant
    Oracle

    is anybody using solar panels? Are they cost effective?

    We had solar panels for the hot water installed when we bought our house 5 years ago.

    To date we’ve always had hot water on demand enough for 4 people to shower consecutively.
    When we rented a house, the electricity bills were between 200 and 300 euros every 2 months.
    Apart from lights,TV and cooking we had nothing else to run up a bill except heating the water.

    Our bills now are around 70 to 100 euros so the solar panels save us about 70 euros a month.
    We’ve already recouped the initial outlay for installation, so now we’re in profit.

  • #195360

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    Thanks for that. When I was in Greece, I did see a lot of solar water heaters but very few electricity panels. I wonder if there is a reason for that, apart from the fact that if you are going to supply your surplus energy to the grid you need to change your meter and other complicated stuff. Although Teslar in California has invented a new type of battery that can store solar electricity but I think that will cost more than you will save.
    Given the financial problems, putting up electricity is a guaranteed way of collecting revenue that, for main the part, cannot be avoided.

  • #195361

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Mmm not answering your question but……

    You may find this website http://helapco.gr/en/pv-news-and-regulations/ useful .

    I would not wish to second guess what may happen in the future, there will be many factors that influence how viable returns will be such as the political/financial changes that may come to pass. As an example any Credit probably would pu up installation costs but might be outdated by electricity costs increases! Who knows!

    In general, as far as I am aware, you can install grid connected systems and get the Feed In Tariff (up to 20Mwp systems on the mainland – more than enough for domestic needs where 4Mwp is more typical) or install off grid (stand alone) systems that can have battery backup/storage with commonly available gel (sort of like a non leak lead acid battery bank) for continuous power output and then get no FIT. Generally you can have one system or the other though it is technically feasible to combine them.

    There are hoops to jump through to ensure a system and it’s installation is compatible with criteria for claiming FIT in most EU countries. I have no experience of those for Greece (see link above) but cannot imagine they will not be required there – e.g. you may need to use an accredited installer – but there may well be the Greek “flexibility” if you know the right person :))

    Payback time needs to take into account the potential lost gain if you invested the cash outlay elsewhere so this will add a few years to the time. However there are other considerations such as ethical ones, continuity of power availability ( grid goes off gridconnected pv availability goes off!) ,electricity potential price rises, changes to FIT, and more………..I would just do your research and go for it but would try and opt for the technically more challenging and more expensive dual type with battery storage if a supplier can be found

  • #195362

    Shazzie
    Participant
    Oracle

    A friend of ours did put up his own panels and most of the wiring etc.
    He then had to get an accredited engineer for the final connection to the grid, in order to meet the condition of the contract to sell the electricity back to DEI.

    They are still getting income from the panels, however, the original contract they had with DEI, was summarily cancelled by DEI and a new contract issued with the tariff reduced by nearly 40% !!
    They have joined forces with others in the same position to seek legal remedy without success.
    Not sure what this spells for the future, but surprise surprise that there is no comeback for this supposedly illegal change to their contract. reb_popo

  • #195363

    KP
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    @Shazzie wrote:

    ……….. Not sure what this spells for the future, but surprise surprise that there is no comeback for this supposedly illegal change to their contract. reb_popo

    Illegal? Illegal? What qualifies as ‘illegal’ in Greece Shazzie? 😕 Especially where the government is involved…. only what they say is ‘illegal’ is such and what might be ‘illegal’, will not really be illegal tomorrow if they decide so… but it could be illegal again the day after if it suits them!

    If there is any recourse, it can only be found in the EU courts, but the problem then tends to be that even people who have won cases against Greece in Brussels can be waiting for the money they were awarded by the courts years later! :

  • #195364

    kiwi
    Participant
    Aristotelic

    I remember there was a huge fuss about a year ago by people investing and borrowing large sums of money to fill their unused fields with solar panels, and they were getting great returns at first. Then the Government changed the rules and there was quite a big tax on them and a turnaround by DEI and a lot of these people have been left with large loans they can’t now service because the idea was that the panels paid for the loan, and left a surplus.

  • #195365

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Now you see, Shaz, that in the UK all the work has to be done by an accredited installer and a certified system of panels etc. In Greece, from your example, diy is fine provided you get the correct piece of paper. …for a small gratuity no doubt ?

    Could it be DEI took exception to the diy approach as the whole system/ installation did not comply with all those ‘flexible’ rules :roll:

  • #195366

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    I would not trust a large company nor a govt where they are paying me for anything, that is why I am looking at solar panels that run with a battery system so that I can store the electricity from the day, to use at night. Just depends on the start up costs.

  • #195367

    kolofarthos
    Participant
    Homeric

    Jo, no trust is required just take advantage!!

    Ignoring Greece specifics here:
    Irrespective of using a grid tied or off grid system there are many technical considerations and others.

    With grid tied systems there are many suppliers of off the shelf systems and mass production of all the elements so cheapest solution. FIT is available so makes for a reasonable investment and return and free power even if FIT is no longer available or reduced in value. There are downsides such as no power at all if the grid goes down, not even from your own panels owing to safety limitations – such as preventing your 240v being sent back to the grid and electrocuting workers! So relatively cheap, no more reliable than the grid, weakest link inverter life of probably 10+ years.

    Stand alone off grid systems do not suffer from the grid outages but need lots of battery storage and this is reasonably sizeable and an extra cost possibly as much as double the grid tied system. However there are other considerations to ensure for example battery life you need to oversize to prevent big discharges ( reduced life) and even with supposed maintenance free batts you need to ensure they are frequently fully charged rather than run part charged. So, in case of heavy use or low solar output there is often an independent means of power source (generator, grid, other green source) to ensure top up or oversized oversize panels to ensure even under adverse conditions full charge is achieved. Can your prospective property provide that other source or extra panels? You will not get any FIT and need to ensure design power meets all you consumption needs at all times and hence will be ‘bigger’. (With grid tied it does not matter if you do not generate enough power for your own consumption – financial aspects excepted) so not really a financial investment and you pay heavily for your free power.

    If off grid really is the option I was to choose and I could afford it then for a bit more a hybrid system is possible and then you can get the best of both worlds!

    Perhaps you first need to calculate your power need? Cooking, aircon, possible no water heating required, and then all domestic appliance you may wish, iron, TV, freezer, lighting, audio, power tools… and how much time each will be used. You then have a basis for lookingd at costs; €5k, €10k, €20k or more. You can buy a lot of leccy for €20k !!! unless you need to pay for power line installation in a remote location!

    Trust this gives you some prompts for thought, lots on the net just search “grid tied off battery hybrid solar PV” and you will get many non specific info sources about renewables.

    Greece specific? Cannot really comment with any authority but I would hope someone has practical experience of installers. There is one German company who install Eu wide so may be a starting point for comparisons? See
    http://www.off-grid-europe.com/ (not a recommendation) and
    http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2013/11/four-things-you-should-know-about-adding-battery-backup-to-solar.html

  • #195368

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    Thanks for that, I am beginning to understand about it. I have also found out that as these things are quite heavy you need to find out if your roof is strong enough to take them. Nothing is simple.

  • #195369

    Alien
    Participant
    Oracle

    Eventhough they are heavy, you must secure them very well too!
    Don’t forget it can truly storm in Greece!

  • #195370

    jodevizes
    Participant
    Oracle

    Damn, and there was me packing only shorts and t shirts:)

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