Solarplaza summits in Athens

by Cristian Florescu

Solar industry leaders and professionals will attend two high-level international events in Athens and Zagreb this fall to discuss the opportunities for fostering solar market growth in the Balkans and Greece. Both summits, organized by Solarplaza International, will focus on networking and forging new business links while allowing participants to find and offer solutions to challenges in the PV market.

Solarplaza International is a Netherlands-based event organizer gathering solar professionals with a mission to help the global solar and renewable industry grow and flourish. Since 2004, it has organized 195 events, in 64 cities, 44 countries, on six continents.

The fourth edition of the Solarplaza Summit Greece, in Athens, on November 15, will gather experts, local industry players, and global investors to take stock of the challenges and opportunities of the maturing Greek PV market.

Greece added 838 MW of solar projects in 2021 and is expected to cross the 5 GW threshold of total installed PV capacity in 2022. The Greek market will also get a big push from a scheme approved by the European Commission involving EUR 2 billion in funding for renewable energy production.

However, to realize these vast opportunities, the Greek solar industry will need to tackle grid congestion issues, complex permitting procedures and regulations, but also international trends such as power price volatility and supply chain bottlenecks, the organizers said, noting that novel financing structures and increased focus on power purchase agreements (PPAs) will need to be part of the solution.

The Solarplaza Summit Balkans in the Croatian capital on December 8 will highlight the substantial renewable potential of the region. In the Balkans, stellar growth is forecast in the near future as a massive solar potential is ready to be unlocked. According to the organisers, the region has nearly 2 GW of installed PV capacity and over 26 GW of realistic market potential.

This is the perfect moment to kickstart the conversation on how to enable and speed up PV growth in the Balkans, given that countries in the region are increasingly incentivizing solar energy development and facilitating renewables auctions and subsidy schemes, Solarplaza said.

However, the region is not without challenges either: to improve investor confidence, it will be crucial to ensure the bankability of solar power plants, address permitting and grid connection bottlenecks and challenges, and consider the viability of projects and site selection from both the developer’s and offtaker’s perspectives.

The summit in Zagreb will bring together developers, investors, power utilities, policymakers, asset owners, and manufacturers to discuss the key opportunities to capitalize on the market potential.

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