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Avid investment interest for offshore windfarms but nebulous institutional framework

German multinational giant RWE group, which is active in RES, announced yesterday that together with Hellenic Petroleum it will establish a joint venture (through their subsidiaries RWE Renewables and H EL.PE Renewables) for offshore wind farm projects.

The two firms will control the joint company and the aim is, according to sources, to aggressively claim licenses from the projects with a total capacity of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) that the Greek government wants to develop by 2030. This concerns both fixed-site and floating wind farms.

Market estimates see the amount of investment for the 2 GW to be around 6 billion euros. The Ocean Winds (Portuguese EDP Renewables and French Engie) joint venture with Greek TERNA ENERGY, which want to develop 1.5 GW offshore wind farms, have also entered the race for the offshore wind farm market. The three companies were the first to express their investment interest.

The partnership of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) with Motor Oil, as well as the Kopelouzos group with RF Energy, with the latter wanting to develop 850 MW offshore wind turbines, is also locked.

About a year ago, Mytilineos announced a similar agreement with the Danish Copenhagen Offshore Partners. Parkwind's partnership with Intracat has also recently become known.

PPC is also reportedly in talks with a foreign investor, with some information talking about Total Eren. The parent company Total Energies, after withdrawing from hydrocarbon research in Crete, announced the activity of its subsidiary in offshore wind farms.

From time to time, publications bring other large international groups with many marine Gigawatts in their portfolio as interested parties, such as the Norwegian Equinor, Iberdrola, Enel and also Macquarie.

Missed opportunities and new hopes

Greece has a second chance to exploit the rich wind potential in the Greek seas with the first one 12 years ago having fallen by the wayside.

Especially in the current phase where REPowerEU favors the development of RES in order to divest Europe from Russian fossil fuels but also with the offshore wind farms offering a value multiplier for the Greek economy as important jobs open for the Greek shipyards and the domestic heavy industry open up. This means investment interest must be kept alive.

The first opportunity arose in 2010 and as the president of TERNA ENERGY, Mr. Giorgos Peristeris, recently recalled: "And while significant private investments in offshore wind farms had been launched by Greek and international investors, which would have multiplied benefits for the Greek economy and the Greek industry, with an incomprehensible decision the then government froze all activity in the sector. Today, 12 years later, we’re still in the same place. And we are still looking to find the best solution, at the expense of what can be immediately implemented and bring development and immediate financial benefits", he said, referring to the bill being prepared by the government that will determine the conditions for the concession of research, the criteria for the participation of investors and the organizations that will run the relevant competitions in the Greek seas.

The nebulous bill and the bureaucratic hydra

According to what has come to light so far, the bill that the government has been preparing for over a year and a half is going to go out for public consultation soon.

However, the provisions on the one hand do not provide for investors who have been in possession of licenses for 12 years and on the other hand it refers critical issues to a multitude of ministerial decisions and commissions.

The operator is expected to be EDEY (Hellenic Hydrocarbon Management Company) which will be renamed. It will draw up the wind farm development program and prepare the Presidential Decrees concerning the designated areas and will announce the first round of applications for research permits. No later than two years after the tender for the permits, the wind farm installation areas will be put up for public consultation.

With one more decision, the tenders that RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) will undertake for the compensation price of the wind farms will be determined.

Market players believe that if and as long as these provisions are in force, the institutional framework risks developing into a conundrum for investments and into a labyrinthine network of bureaucratic tangles.

  • Published in Greece

RES the key to Greece's independence from Russian fossil gas

RES can reduce Greece's dependence on Russian fossil gas much more than extend the life of lignite plants, both in the short and medium term, according to a new analysis by The Green Tank.

Renewables can achieve a much deeper reduction of Greece’s dependence on Russian fossil gas compared to the lifetime extension of lignite plants, both in the short-term as well as in the medium- and long-term, as shown in the new analysis by The Green Tank.

The drastic increase in the use of fossil gas in Greece in recent years rendered the country more vulnerable to the energy price crisis that has been raging since the second half of 2021 and worsened following the start of the war in Ukraine. However, the fact that the largest part of fossil gas is used for electricity production offers more possibilities for an easier and faster independence from Russian gas to Greece compared to other EU Member States.


These possibilities are quantitatively assessed in the new analysis by the Green Tank titled “Electricity production & independence from Russian gas in Greece” through the consideration of two structurally different energy policy choices: a) the extension of the lifetime of existing lignite plants and their operation at the maximum, legally allowed levels and b) the forward-bearing deployment of renewables.

Four scenarios regarding the evolution of the electricity production mix were developed and their potential to substitute Russian fossil gas in the period 2022-2030 was analyzed. The first scenario represents Greece’s current planning, exactly as described in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The second scenario is based on an extension of lignite plant operation and the maximum utilization of lignite. The third and fourth scenarios maintain the lignite plant retirement time-line exactly as described in the existing NECP, but substitute fossil gas in electricity production with a forward-bearing development of wind and photovoltaics (PV), with the ultimate goal of attaining, respectively, a 70% and 75% share of renewables in gross final electricity consumption by 2030. The main conclusions drawn from the comparative analysis of the 4 scenarios can be summarized as follows:

• The scenario maximizing the use of lignite -up to legally allowed levels- reduces the dependence on Russian fossil gas more than the existing NECP but much less than the two scenarios aiming at a 70% and 75% RES share in the gross final electricity consumption. Taking the quantity of Russian gas that covered domestic consumption in 2021 as a reference point, the average annual reduction in dependence on Russian gas for the period 2022-2030 is 29.8% in the case of the lignite-based scenario, compared to 61% and 68.2%, respectively, for the two RES-based scenarios. Cumulatively, over the four-year period 2022-2025, the lignite-based scenario reduces dependence on Russian gas by 40.7%, while the RES-based scenarios achieve savings of 54.3% (S3-RES70%) and 55.1% (S4-RES75%), assuming the installation of 1 GW of new wind and 1 GW of new PV capacity per year over the three-year period 2022-2024.

• Even in the short term, i.e. within 2022, the installation of 1 GW of wind and 1 GW of photovoltaics reduces dependence on Russian gas more than the scenario favoring lignite use (28.4% vs 23.4%). These levels of new wind and photovoltaic capacity are also in line with the latest available official planning for 2022.


• The lignite scenario leads to CO2 emissions in 2022-2030 that exceed the respective amounts of both the existing NECP (by 34 million tonnes) and the 70% and 75% RES penetration scenarios by 68 million and 73 million tonnes of CO2, respectively; therefore, maximizing lignite use also means derailing the country’s climate budget for the power sector.


• By maintaining current CO2 price levels on the emissions exchange until 2030 (a possibly conservative estimate), the scenario favoring lignite would burden the operating costs of the country’s electricity production system by approximately €5.4 billion and €5.8 billion more than the scenarios aiming at a 70% and 75% RES share in 2030, respectively.

“The results of the comparative analysis show that a shift towards lignite would not sufficiently reduce dependence on Russian fossil gas, while it would also undermine Greece’s climate targets. On the contrary, a commitment to accelerating the deployment of properly sited renewables, especially during the three-year period 2022-2024, constitutes by far the best energy strategy in order to drastically reduce the reliance of the Greek economy on Russian fossil gas. Moreover, this path will lead to much lower CO2 emission costs for Greece’s electricity production system and will keep Greece on track to meet the national climate target of reducing net GHG emissions in 2030 by at least 55%, compared to 1990 levels, said Nikos Mantzaris, Senior policy analyst of the Green Tank.

The full text of the report is available here.

  • Published in Greece
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