Greece Backs Second Renewable-Energy Tax Increase in Five Months

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s energy regulator approved higher renewable-power taxes for consumers, backing a second increase in five months to bolster funds at market operator Lagie SA.

The levy, which compensates Lagie for guaranteeing fixed power prices to clean-energy producers, will rise to an average 9.30 euros ($12.35) a megawatt-hour from 7.50 euros, the watchdog said in a statement on its website. The increase is backdated to Jan. 1 and valid for six months.

Greece, whose financial crisis began in 2009, has like other European countries introduced a feed-in tariff that pays renewable-power generators above-market rates for their output. The nation has fast-tracked solar projects to help revive its economy, which remained in a recession for a fifth year in 2012.

Household users will now pay 9.53 euros a megawatt-hour under the tax changes, up from the 8.74-euro charge applied on Aug. 1, according to the statement.

The difference between the feed-in tariffs and the prices charged to end-users, which are decided by the Energy Ministry, has resulted in a deficit of about 280 million euros, according to the Athens-based regulator. The ministry is seeking to erase that gap by the end of 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net