Saving at Home energy efficiency subsidy applications from mid-November

The latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of existing homes is expected to open for applications in mid-November.

The application period is planned to remain open to interested parties for one month. Unlike previous editions, for which applications were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, the new program’s prioritization will be based on a series of social and financial criteria.

Also, the energy ministry is considering to increase a project budget maximum for applicants to 200 euros per square meter from 180 euros per square meter as a result of recent price increases in building materials and equipment.

The latest Saving at Home edition is expected to provide energy sufficiency upgrade subsidies for a further 50,000 households throughout the country.

Applicants will need to own the properties to be upgraded and use them as their main homes. Applications will be limited to one person.

The energy efficiency upgrade subsidies will range from 40 to 75 percent of each project’s cost, depending on personal and family income criteria.

Criteria benefitting disabled persons, families with many children and single-parent families, as well as climate-related criteria for respective areas, have also been introduced for the new Saving at Home program.

Medium-voltage sector affected by wholesale price clause

Medium-voltage consumers face further power cost increases following the introduction of a wholesale price-related clause by power utility PPC, the main supplier to this category, which includes super markets and retail chains.

PPC was also forced to introduce a wholesale price-related clause for the low-voltage category in August, as a result of skyrocketing wholesale electricity prices.

Unlike rival power suppliers, who have adopted wholesale price-related clauses, the power utility had previously only included a CO2 emission rights clause in its supply agreements.

This latest energy cost increase could end up overwhelming some of the medium-voltage category’s energy-intensive consumers, defined as enterprises with energy costs representing at least 30 percent of their total business costs.

Costs for producers in Greece have risen by levels ranging between 20 and 40 percent, according to industry association Hellenic Production. The energy crisis is making stronger impact on producers in Greece as wholesale market negotiations for electricity are conducted through the intraday market, whereas most energy deals in other European markets are based on bilateral agreements at fixed prices, the association noted.

Even so, the energy crisis is being felt by industrial players throughout the continent. A group of eleven major producers representing various sectors, including steel and cement production, have urged EU leaders to take emergency action to counter the extreme energy cost increases, a major threat to post-pandemic economic recovery.

 

Late November biding-bid tender deadlines for Larco privatization

Officials intend to set late November binding-bid deadlines to two tenders concerning the privatization of financially pressured state-controlled nickel producer Larco, a delayed procedure whose completion was initially planned for the first half of this year.

The deadline dates for the two tenders will be set within days of each other, government sources have informed.

Greek officials are pushing ahead with the privatization procedure following pressure from the European Commission, which has informed that the sale needs to be completed soon if the government is to avoid hefty penalties for illegal state aid offered to the nickel producer.

Also, officials appear to have decided to dismiss the nickel producer’s 1,100 or so workers, according to the sources, while the labor ministry is currently looking for fund support to cover their compensation packages.

The privatization’s first of two tenders concerns the transfer of mines in Evia, Fthiotida, Viotia (Agios Ioannis area) and Kastoria, ore stocks, by-products and recyclable materials as well as plots of rural land.

The second tender concerns the privatization of the Larymna smelting plant, the Larymna and Loutsi mines and relevant mining rights and other assets owned by the Greek State and currently leased to Larco.

Three of six initial candidates remain in the running – GEK TERNA, MYTILINEOS and COMMODITY & MINING INSIGHT IRELAND LIMITED.

EU leaders hesitate to take energy crisis action

EU leaders, disunited by conflicting interests, have hesitated to take any decisive energy crisis action at a summit of the 27 member states in Brussels, whose agenda includes the energy crisis. The leaders have opted to defer the issue until October 26, when EU energy ministers are scheduled to meet.

The EU’s member states of the south, short on storage infrastructure for green energy, are pressing for solutions to the energy crisis, while Europe’s north, better equipped to weather the storm, sees no real need for urgent action, despite the exorbitant energy price levels.

Industrial producers in the south, consequently disadvantaged and under greater pressure, are calling for intervention.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, pressuring for EU approval of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline running to Germany via the North Sea, yesterday informed that gas supply to Europe could only be increased via this new pipeline route. Russia’s reduced supply is a key factor of the current energy crisis.

In Greece, the only possible solution for the short term would entail reducing fuel taxes, an option the government may adopt to soften the effects of the energy crisis, which, if left unattended, will lead to political repercussions.

As for longer term solutions, EU member states could agree, at the upcoming meeting of energy ministers, on the prospect of placing joint natural gas orders as protection against future crises. This would send a signal to markets that Europe possesses the political will to stand up to crisis situations, which could prompt some degree of price de-escalation.

Revythoussa terminal LNG slot auctions for ’22 starting today

Gas grid operator DESFA will today stage the first of three auctions planned until November 2 for LNG slots at its Revythoussa terminal in 2022, following a slight delay in the hope of a gas price de-escalation, to no avail.

These sessions are planned to be immediately followed by auctions – to be staged until the end of the year – for reservations of LNG slots at Revythoussa between 2023 and 2026.

DESFA, along with power grid operator IPTO, have their eyes set on the first auction series for LNG slot reservations at Revythoussa in 2022, given the extraordinary market conditions prompted by the sharp rise in natural gas prices over recent months.

According to market experts, making forecasts about the auctions concerning 2022 is next to impossible as it remains unclear if importers, especially electricity producers, managing their own gas supplies, will seek LNG slots at Revythoussa or hold back and instead opt to punt on pipeline gas.

Whatever the outcome, energy sufficiency will not be an issue as the Revythoussa terminal nowadays represents only 30 percent of total gas imports into Greece, the northern grid interconnection and TAP playing dominant roles, DESFA officials noted.

 

 

SEEPE: Energy transition cost significant for petroleum sector

The energy transition is being made at a high cost for the European market as well as market distortion dangers that need to be addressed, officials of SEEPE, the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association, have stressed at a news conference.

It is extremely crucial that government policy packages do not allow for exclusions, while also paying attention to the petroleum sector’s sustainability, aligned with the idea of a truly fair and smooth transition, SEEPE officials pointed out.

Close coordination is needed, even internationally, as climate change is a global problem, the association noted, adding that the European market cannot bear the cost of the green transition without significant support in a globally competitive environment.

The petroleum sector will face challenges as a result of the gradual reduction in the number of fuel-powered vehicles by 2035, given the European Commission’s climate change objectives, SEEPE officials noted.

Despite the energy transition challenges, Greek petroleum companies are embracing the energy transition towards carbon neutrality, they added.

Investments will be needed while the petroleum sector’s new commercial strategy, to enable a transition from conventional fossil fuels to eco-friendly fuels, is vital, the SEEPE officials stressed.

Lignite-fired power stations still playing key grid sufficiency role

Lignite-fired power stations remain a vital contributor to the electricity market’s daily programing, despite energy demand being at normal levels of approximately 6,200 MW at present.

Yesterday, three lignite-fired power stations, Agios Dimitrios II, III and IV, were mobilized along with natural gas-fueled power stations, RES units, hydropower and electricity imports, to cover a demand level of 128.545 GWh.

Power grid operator IPTO has revised its grid sufficiency report for this coming winter, noting that all the country’s lignite-fired power stations will need to be mobilized during periods of high demand.

According to the IPTO report, the country’s grid will require capacities of up to 8.8-9.5 GW between December and February, during cold weather conditions.

Such levels will require input from all the country’s available lignite-fired power stations, seven in total, offering a total capacity of 1,800 MW, it has been estimated.

Negotiations ongoing for Strategic Reserve, CRM

Energy ministry officials are engaged in ongoing talks with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, to determine the shape of Greece’s proposals for a Strategic Reserve Mechanism and a Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM) before their plans are officially submitted to Brussels for approval.

Greece still needs to deliver an Adequacy Report before the two mechanism plans can be pushed forward. Three indices – CONE (Cost of New Entry), VOLL (Value of Lost Load) and Reliability Standard – need to be factored into calculations before the Adequacy Report can be completed.

According to energypress sources, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has already completed work on the VOLL calculations and expects to have all required data needed for the Reliability Standard calculations during the week. RAE will then forward a related report to the energy ministry.

The Greek mechanism requests are expected to be submitted soon so as to enable the European Commission to respond by late November or early December.

The Strategic Reserve Mechanism, planned to remunerate power-generating units made available by electricity producers for grid back-up services is expected to be launched early in 2022 for a duration until 2023 before it is succeeded by the CRM.

 

EFET: Greek market restrictions, imperfections repelling traders

Greece’s electricity market is not an appealing prospect for traders as a result of a series of imperfections and restrictions, the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) has noted, informing the Greek energy exchange of an urgent need for a clear-cut schedule leading to solutions as soon as possible.

The EFET observations on the Greek market were part of a wider report covering markets of EU member states in southeast Europe.

The existing model applied in Greece does not allow market participants to trade freely in the country’s electricity market, EFET pointed out, noting, for example, that over-the-counter contracts are only partially permitted as traders cannot buy and resell electricity quantities in Greece, but, instead, need to export quantities they have purchased.

A rule forbidding market participants to switch from forward to day-ahead or intraday markets was another issue identified by EFET.

EFET also made note of rigid market rules conditions for transboundary trading that require imports and exports to be scheduled separately.

PPC equity capital raise, early November, to reach €1.1-1.2bn

Power utility PPC’s imminent equity capital raise, approved at yesterday’s general shareholders’ meeting and now set for the board’s approval, expected late October or early November, will inject a sum estimated between 1.1 and 1.2 billion euros into the company’s coffers, estimates have indicated.

Over the next ten days or so, PPC will continue promoting the equity capital raise to funds and institutional investors.

The equity capital raise will increase the stake of private investors from 34 percent to 66 percent and offer the corporation fresh capital for its enormous investment plan.

To date, the value of requests submitted by investors ahead of the book building process, expected late this month, has reached nearly two billion euros, triple the equity capital raise’s initial sum of 750 million euros.

The PPC board plans to meet either October 29 or November 1 to decide on the level of the equity capital raise, seen exceeding one billion euros, and also to approve it.

The book building process, to immediately follow, is expected within the first ten days of November.

Small-scale company shareholders expressed complaints during yesterday’s session, troubled by the prospect of being completely overshadowed, but PPC’s administration responded by noting they were free to take part in the upcoming equity capital raise.

Major funds, including CVC Capital and Blackrock, are believed to have requested big stakes during lead-up talks with PPC officials, while the overall investor interest is high.

 

Supplier overdue payments to operators reaches €350m

Overdue payments owed by energy suppliers to the country’s market operators have been on the rise since summer, now exceeding 350 million euros, a development that has prompted the government to consider implementing an installment-based payment schedule as part of the solution.

The sharp increase in wholesale electricity prices over recent months has had a severe affect on the cash flow of suppliers, putting them under major financial pressure.

However, it should be pointed out that the majority of this 350 million-euro amount owed by suppliers to operators concerns the power utility PPC and includes a considerable amount owed from long before the current energy crisis.

Power grid operator IPTO, distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, and RES market operator DAPEEP are all owed sums by the country’s suppliers.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is now considering a three-part solution entailing:  provision of letters of guarantee by suppliers to the operators, to prevent any further rise of the debt owed; immediate deposits covering 50 percent of amounts owed, either in cash or through bank guarantees representing equivalent amounts; and settlement of the remaining 50 percent through an installment-based schedule of between 8 to 12 payments, depending on respective agreements.

Greek-Turkish grid link maintenance reset prompts traders’ reaction

Traders who have secured year-long physical transmission rights (PTRs) through the Greek-Turkish grid interconnection stand to lose over 150 euros per MWh, according to the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET), as a result of a change in the annual maintenance schedule for the link made by the operators of the two countries, subjecting traders to unanticipated higher wholesale electricity market prices in both markets at present.

Greek power grid operator IPTO and its Turkish counterpart, TEIAS, have reset this year’s annual maintenance period for the grid link to November 8-14, instead of the initial, and customary, September 13 to 19 period.

EFET has underlined that holders of PTRs will be compensated based on the initial marginal price of the annual auction, 15.38 euros per MWh.

EFET has forwarded a letter to IPTO, TEIAS and other related bodies calling for a further  deferral of November’s planned maintenance work at the the Greek-Turkish grid interconnection until early next year, so that traders making annual PTR offers can take into account the maintenance period.

Brussels pressures Athens for energy storage support plan

The country’s plan for a competitive procedure to be applied for energy storage unit subsidies needs to be finalized as soon as possible, the European Commission has informed Greece’s energy ministry.

Brussels has called for swift action so that its assessment of the Greek plan can be based on current EU directive criteria concerning state aid in the environment and energy sectors.

Given the fact that these EU directives will be revised as of 2022, the procedure will need to be completed by the end of this year.

If Brussels is to offer its approval of the Greek plan by the end of December, Athens will ideally need to deliver its proposal by the end of this month as a two-month period for any observations and exchange between the two sides will be needed.

According to energypress sources, two auctions each offering energy storage capacities of 350 MW, for an overall total of 700 MW, is seen as the likeliest scenario.

Funds worth 200 million euros are planned to be made available for energy storage support through the national recovery plan, dubbed Greece 2.0. Also taking into account support planned for pumped storage stations, this sum is expected to reach 450 million euros.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou recently noted that this sum should provide subsidies covering up to 40 percent of the cost of energy storage projects needed to support the planned increase in RES penetration by 2030.

PPC shareholders meet today to approve equity capital raise

Power utility PPC is scheduled to stage a landmark general shareholders’ meeting today for approval of its imminent equity capital raise, which, once completed early next month, will increase the stake of private investors from 34 percent to 66 percent and offer the corporation fresh capital for its enormous investment plan.

The company board is anticipating complaints at today’s session from small-scale investors, mainly domestic shareholders troubled by the prospect of losing preferential shareholder rights.

Major international funds and institutional investors are preparing to move in and overshadow the smaller private investors. PPC has promised smaller shareholders will not be neglected.

To date, the value of requests submitted by investors ahead of the book building process, expected late this month, has reached nearly two billion euros, triple the equity capital raise’s initial sum of 750 million euros.

In response, PPC appears to have revised its equity capital raise, which could exceed one billion euros.

The strong investor interest is reflected by the company’s share price, which ended trading yesterday at €9.15, fully regaining losses incurred over the past three weeks.

Genop, PPC’s main union group, has announced strike action for today in protest against the equity capital raise, as well as a news conference.

New gov’t energy crisis support takes effort’s overall cost to €600m

The government is planning to introduce two additional energy crisis support measures for consumers worth an extra 100 million euros, in the form of doubled aid worth 60 million euros, expected to become available during the festive season, and 40 million euros to help low-income households facing electricity supply cuts cover their reconnection costs.

These latest support measures would increase the cost of the government’s overall effort to over 600 million euros.

It remains unclear if the state budget possesses leeway to handle further support measures for the energy crisis. GDP growth is projected to exceed 6.2 percent, but the primary deficit is currently estimated to reach 7.4 percent of GDP. The country is expected to face a primary deficit for a third consecutive year in 2022.

A plan that would enable consumers to make electricity bill payments through installments, as an addition to some help offered by energy suppliers, has not been tabled by the government but is being considered, energy ministry sources informed.

The energy ministry is closely monitoring developments in an effort to avoid any further increase of unpaid receivables, which rose to alarming levels, especially for power utility PPC, during the country’s decade-long recession that preceded the current energy crisis.

 

Gov’t also working on support measures for gas consumers

The government is seeking further energy crisis support measures that would also facilitate energy consumer categories not included in relief measures announced so far to deal with the crisis.

The administration’s latest support effort, commented on yesterday by government spokesman Giannis Economou on SKAI TV, is believed to concern natural gas consumers and could entail offering this category installment-based payments for bills.

The administration has already announced subsidies for electricity consumers and, to date, not offered gas consumers any support.

However, the government’s plan, which could also include support measures for the mid-voltage category, is believed to still be at a preliminary stage.

Athens is seeking to mobilize EU member states for the establishment of an EU fund that would compensate energy consumers and ease the cash flow concerns of suppliers. EU leaders will focus on the energy crisis at a summit meeting this week.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas has just announced an increase of a sum, from 10 million to 40 million euros, to be made available for funding electricity supply reconnection costs of low-income households facing supply cuts as a result of their inability to cover energy bills.

 

Excess RES producer permit applications subdued by action

An energy ministry strategy applied to subdue, to more realistic levels, the number of applications submitted by investors for RES producer certificates, by requiring applicants to provide letters of guarantee worth 35,000 euros per MW, has proven effective.

The number of producer certificate applications submitted to RAE’s (Regulatory Authority for Energy) latest round, for October – the first with the new restrictive measure in place – was limited to approximately 130, representing prospective RES units with a total capacity of 1 GW, energypress sources have informed.

This is well below the levels of all preceding rounds since a legislative revision was ratified to offer investors producer certificates as a first, and more simplified, step in the RES licensing process.

A total of 743 producer certificate applications representing a total RES capacity of 17.45 GW had been submitted to a round in June.

EDA THESS general manager: Italgas arrival decisive in further network digitization, development of renewable gases

The important role of natural gas for the promotion and success of energy transition was underlined by the General Manager of EDA THESS, Mr. Leonidas Bakouras, during his speech yesterday at the Renewable & Storage Forum organized by energypress (October 13-14).

The promotion and utilization of renewable gases, as well as the digitalization and sustainability of the networks were the main topics of his address. Mr. Bakouras stressed that natural gas is transforming through the necessary changes and adjustments in light of the green energy transition. In this context, he suggested that the recent undertaking of the Greek gas networks by Italgas will highly contribute – thanks to its advanced knowhow – to the further digitization of the networks and the development of renewable gases.

Renewable gases: The future of the distribution networks

Identifying the perspective of renewable gas integration (biomethane, SNG and hydrogen) in the energy mix of the next decades, EDA THESS is adjusting its networks to achieve energy transition, without however compromising energy security of its customers. As Mr. Bakouras mentioned, biomethane can replace more than 20% of the current natural gas demand.

In this context, EDA THESS has started performing research and studies revealing high potential for biogas and biomethane production in the areas of EDA THESS.

The existing wide geographic dispersion of the distribution networks, in conjunction with the deployment of new networks near agricultural waste production units, are favoring the sustainability of green networks. Another factor in the “equation” is the cost-effective connection of the injection points for the integration of renewable gases, that enhances circular economy and creates opportunities for the generation of additional income from waste recovery.

Network digitization 

A central pilar in the strategy of EDA THESS is the digitization of the networks. As a distribution network operator, the company has already taken important steps to this end, the General Manager of the Company said.

Among others, the digitalization of the networks allows for:

  • The introduction of new Participants, further enhancing the production of renewable gases
  • The monitoring and management of the gas mix quality for the optimal integration of renewable gases
  • The rapid transformation of the energy markets, upgrading the market and launching new products.

All this results in increased necessity for bilateral real-time information exchange. In this scope, EDA THESS is using smart sensors, smart meters and digital communication technologies.

EDA THESS: member of the European organization GD4S

Finally, the General Manager talked about the membership of EDA THESS in the powerful European organization “Gas Distributors for Sustainability” GD4S, where the Company is cooperating with the leading energy companies of Europe.

The President of the Organization is Paolo Gallo, CEO of Italgas, which is expected – as Mr Bakouras mentioned-  to highly contribute to the further digitization of the networks and the development of renewable gases after its recent introduction in the Greek market.

As for its membership in the international organization, EDA THESS promotes – both at the European and national level:

  • The strategic importance of the development of natural gas infrastructure as an activity harmonized with the taxonomy of sustainable investments
  • The crucial role of the distribution networks in energy transition
  • The establishment of the legislative and regulatory framework for the integration of renewable gases (biomethane, hydrogen) in the distribution networks.
  • The exchange of best practices and know-how

Mr. Bakouras also talked about the role of the Distribution Systems’ Operators. The priorities are the following:

  • Guaranteed stability of the distribution system
  • Cooperation between all the stakeholders of the system
  • Assurance of the gas mix quality
  • Application of technological innovations reducing the methane and pollutants’ emissions
  • Optimization of the networks’ capacity management

With regard to the company, EDA THESS serves more than 400 thousand consumers and distributes 5.1 million MWh annually. The strategic plans of the company include 8.8 million euro investments for the digital transformation of the company, rising the digital maturity index of its main business operations from 48% in 2020 to 75% in 2025.

 

Major foreign fund interest in PPC equity capital raise

Foreign funds are expressing major interest in power utility PPC’s upcoming equity capital raise, whose 750 million-euro plan appears set to be oversubscribed approximately three times, according to banking and brokerage sources.

Though the procedure is not expected to take place until early next month, funds and institutional investors have already submitted requests worth nearly two billion euros, five days before the October 19 general shareholders’ meeting, during which PPC shareholders will be asked to approve the company’s equity capital raise.

The company’s share price, which ended trading yesterday at €8.90, has now fully regained all losses incurred over the past three weeks, reflecting increased overall confidence in the forthcoming equity capital raise.

If the strong investor interest in the lead-up is confirmed through the book building process, expected late in October to determine the price at which the share will be offered, then PPC can expect to raise at least one billion euros through the equity capital raise.

Fears of energy market unpaid receivables rebound growing

Government as well as electricity and natural gas company officials appear increasingly concerned about a rebound in unpaid receivables at energy firms as a result of exorbitant energy price increases faced by consumers.

The scale of the ongoing energy crisis plus the inability of analysts to make confident price projections has government officials scrambling for solutions, including through EU action, that could lessen the energy cost burden for consumers and protect supplier cash flow.

During a meeting yesterday with European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated a European Commission proposal for revisions that could enable energy bill payments through installments.

According to sources, the Greek government could insist on a proposal made by energy minister Kostas Skrekas for the establishment of an EU transitional compensation fund, supported by CO2 emission right revenues, distributing amounts to member states as energy-crisis aid.

The Prime Minister suggested this proposal during his meeting with the European Commission deputy, who did not offer a direct response but indicated that a European solution would be sought during an EU summit scheduled for next week, sources said.

Support for energy consumers would also help the finances of suppliers, who, as a result, would be in a better position to offer energy bill payments through installments.

 

Heating fuel season begins with sharply higher prices, up 45%

The country’s heating fuel season gets underway tomorrow with sharply increased prices ranging from 1.13 to 1.15 euros per liter in urban areas and over 1.20 euros per liter in remote areas, including islands, representing a 45 percent increase compared to a year ago.

A year earlier, heating fuel prices averaged 0.798 euros per liter, driven lower by the pandemic-induced drop in demand.

The heating fuel price rise for this winter season has been attributed to a rebound in demand following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, combined with the price surge in international energy markets, also impacting the price of heating fuel, used by hundreds of thousands of homes around the country.

Households are moving fast to place their heating fuel orders, fearing further price rises, supply company officials have informed.

However, the quantities being ordered are smaller compared to a year earlier, the officials added, a trend highlighting the increased financial challenges faced by households.

 

New household solar program to offer €87/MWh for 25 years

The energy ministry has taken a first step towards implementing a new RES program dubbed “Solar Panels on Roofs”, to offer households fixed tariffs of 87 euros per MWh over 25-year contracts, by including a relevant provision to a draft bill designed to adopt EU directives concerning energy efficiency. The bill was submitted to Greek Parliament last night for ratification.

An ensuing ministerial decision will specify conditions and terms, including beneficiaries, the offer’s duration, maximum capacities per installation, the licensing process and necessary supporting documents, as well net metering details.

The program’s 87-euro tariff on offer had been announced through a ministerial decision delivered back in March, 2020.

The energy ministry appears to have decided on setting a maximum capacity of 10 kWp per installation, up from a level of 6 kWp previously noted in a ministerial decision, sources have informed.

A 10 kWp solar panel system remunerated at 87 euros per MWh would generated annual revenue of 1,200 euros. At current prices, installing such a system would cost between 10,000 and 11,000 euros, including VAT, meaning the investment would require approximately eight years to break even before offering an annual income of 1,200 euros for the remainder of the 25-year contract, roughly 17 years.

Renewable & Storage Forum Oct 13-14 with Eng translation

The Renewable & Storage Forum in Athens has returned for a third edition October 13 and 14 as an event involving over 80 speakers for numerous presentations, introductions and discussions on developments concerning the RES and energy storage sectors.

Energypress.eu is offering live coverage of the entire conference with concurrent translation in English. The link for this broadcast:

Due to the pandemic, the forum is being staged in a hybrid format. Speakers as well as a small number of associates and company officials will be present, in person, while the event is being broadcast live via energypress without any registration requirements.

Agenda topics include the energy transition’s cost and the question as to who should assume responsibility for this cost; the target model and PPAs; RES market participation; the new shape of competitive procedures; the RES special account support system; price establishment; as well as network durability and needs.

Energy storage is another key topic as participants will discuss the domain’s progress at technical, institutional and regulatory levels. Participants will also discuss the emerging offshore wind farm sector.

The event will examine alternative forms of energy production and storage, such as hydrogen, as well as new financing conditions concerning the RES and energy storage sectors.

Reaction by communities in various part of Greece opposing the installation of RES units, the role of energy communities, and participation of consumers in the new energy make-up has also been included on the agenda.

 

 

Market players fear European energy inaccuracies could lead to further woes

Major energy market players agree European energy consumers could face many more rounds of pressure over the next few years as a result of errors and inaccuracies plaguing the EU’s energy transition plan towards renewables.

Energy market players are not doubting the EU’s decarbonization goal, seeing it as irreversible, but do believe the European Commission must rectify, as soon as possible, current mechanism faults and market distortions whose resulting deficiencies are being exploited by traders and monopolies, such as Russian gas giant Gazprom, earning excessive revenues at present.

Europe appears to have trapped itself in mechanisms that do not seem to be working, fueling rising concerns among enterprises and industrial players.

Measures must be taken right now at national and European levels. For instance, windfall profits, sparked by sharp wholesale price increases, need to be stopped through the introduction of related taxes, as has been the case in Spain, market players suggest.

Also, electricity prices need to cease reflecting the spot market’s surging prices and instead be shaped by the actual cost of the energy mix, comprised of low-cost renewables (30-35%), high-cost natural gas (30%), lignite (10%), hydropower (10%), plus imports.

In addition, green PPAs reflecting actual cost need to player a bigger role. In Germany, for example, 90 percent of electricity supply is currently made available through PPAs.

Fearing this crisis could last, industrial players in Greece are moving to secure futures contracts covering supply for the next three to four years.

 

PPC lignite-fired electricity package sales to rivals for ’22 progressing fast

Power utility PPC is moving ahead at full speed with its offering of lignite-fired electricity packages to rival suppliers as part of a recent antitrust agreement reached between the energy ministry and the European Commission.

Lignite-fired electricity packages offered by PPC to rivals, covering all four quarters in 2022, have so far resulted in sales amounting to 1,740 GWh for next year.

PPC will need to sell, to rival suppliers, lignite-fired electricity packages estimated at a little over 2,100 GWh for the first, second and third quarters of 2022.

Sales have so far reached 475 GWh for the first quarter, 382 GWh for the second quarter, 386 for the third quarter and 497 GWh for the fourth quarter.

Transactions for most of the 1,740 GWh in lignite-fired electricity sales completed have taken place through the European energy exchange, reaching 1,697 GWh.

Transactions through the Greek energy exchange were limited to 43 GWh, for quantities concerning 1Q in 2022. PPC made available bigger quantities without attracting buyers.

Analysts partially attributed this reservation to the adverse conditions currently faced by domestic suppliers, who, as a result of exorbitantly higher wholesale electricity prices, are being forced to spend far greater proportions of cashflow on electricity purchases covering the current needs of customers, which has prevented them from considering futures contracts.

 

Natural gas strategic reserve among EU thoughts for crisis

A series of measures to be announced today by the European Commission to help EU member states counter the energy crisis may include a strategic reserve for natural gas, complementing respective supply contracts, for abnormal periods such as the current energy crisis affecting the world, especially Europe.

EU member state participation in this strategic reserve would be optional. The initiative, still at a preliminary stage, is being examined. No decisions have been taken.

The EU’s energy market integration and transboundary grid interconnections have helped avoid even more extreme developments in the current crisis, Brussels has observed.

Measures taken by member states at a national level will need to comply with EU law and not contravene Europe’s energy transition towards renewables, Brussels has made clear.

The European Commission has defended its views on the causes of the energy crisis, insisting that increased natural gas prices have been primarily responsible, while noting that the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), through which carbon emission right prices have been driven higher, has played a lesser role.

Ministry official to hold strategic energy talks in Washington

Strategic opportunities emerging as a result of the Greek energy market’s ongoing transformation as well as the geopolitical significance of certain major projects, such as the Southern Gas Corridor, intended to diversify Europe’s gas sources and reduce the continent’s dependency on Russian gas, will be discussed by the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou with American officials during her visit to Washington this week.

The Greek official, travelling to Washington today, plans to hold discussions covering the entire range of energy policy issues, from new RES technologies, hydrogen, the energy mix, as well as investments of geopolitical nature, including Balkan gas interconnections, the Alexandroupoli FSRU project in northeastern Greece, the underground gas storage (UGS) facility at the almost depleted gas field of South Kavala in the Aegean Sea’s north, as well as Greece’s role as a regional hub for energy source and route diversification.

Inevitably, the talks will also cover the current energy crisis troubling the world, especially Europe.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm has directly criticized Moscow for deliberately subduing its gas supply to Europe in order to manipulate the energy market and pressure Brussels for approval of Nord Stream 2, an underwater gas pipeline directly connecting Russia with Germany through the North Sea.

Certain countries that stand to lose significant gas transit revenues oppose this new pipeline. It has also generated years of conflict between Berlin and Washington. Nord Steam 2 has almost been completed and is now undergoing trial runs.

Europe is heavily dependent on Russian gas, while some countries in central and eastern Europe, including the Balkans, are almost entirely dependent. The US is seeking the greatest possible share for supply of American LNG.