PPC tender ‘soon’ for procurement of 1,000 electric car recharging units

Power utility PPC intends to soon announce a tender for the procurement of an initial lot of 1,000 electric vehicle recharging units the corporation intends to install for public use, PPC electromobility director Kyriakos Kofinas has noted.

PPC will ultimately aim to install a total of 10,000 recharging stations around the country, the official pointed added. 

The installation of recharging stations represents part of a wider PPC electromobility business plan to also feature various other related services.

Research conducted by PPC has shown network availability for recharging stations is not an issue at this embryonic stage, Kofinas supported, adding that such an issue could arise in the future and need to be resolved, given the extent of the power utility’s installation program.

Cabinet reshuffle may slightly delay electromobility subsidies

Greece’s subsidy plan for electromobility purchases may face slight delays as a result of a limited government reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis earlier this week to improve performance on health and EU fund management.

Theodoros Skylakakis, who was upgraded to Alternate Finance Minister from Deputy Finance Minister as part of the cabinet reshuffle, had previously co-signed, under his preceding government role, a joint ministerial decision for the publication of the subsidy plan’s implementation guide in the government gazette.

However, Skylakakis will now need to re-sign the joint ministerial decision as alternate finance minister, his new post, to ensure this document’s absolute legality. In addition, the new alternate minister’s responsibilities will first need to be published in the government gazette before he re-signs the joint ministerial decision.

The joint ministerial decision was planned to be published in the government gazette tomorrow but this could now be rescheduled for August 10. Efforts are still being made to stick to the original schedule and have the joint ministerial decision for the electromobility subsidies published tomorrow.

The date of publication is important as electromobility purchases made as of this date will be eligible for subsidies.

For the time being, the starting date for subsidy applications, via an online platform, has remained unchanged and is scheduled for August 24.

Wholesale electricity prices down considerably in first half

The System Marginal Price, or wholesale electricity price, has fallen considerably and consistently throughout the first half of the year, driven down by lower natural gas prices and a dramatic contraction of lignite-fired generation, now a costly option.

Official data released by the energy exchange shows lignite’s energy mix dominance is fading and renewable energy sources are gaining ground, while natural gas-fueled generation is consistently at the helm. 

The SMP fell throughout the first-half period, falling 22.45 percent to 59.68 euros per MWh in January, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier; 28.55 percent to 49.23 euros per MWh in February; 43.65 percent to 43.65 euros per MWh in March; 54.31 percent to 28.51 euros per MWh in April; 48 percent to 34.27 euros per MWh in May; and 50.04 percent to 34.04 euros per MWh in June.

The SMP is primarily determined by natural gas-fueled power stations, their price-setting involvement measuring 60 percent in June, the energy exchange data showed.

Also in June, natural gas was responsible for 48.06 percent of overall generation, the RES sector generated 34.74 percent of total production, hydropower contributed 9.77 percent, while lignite-fired generation was limited to 7.42 percent.

Pissarides committee draft report: Fourteen proposals for a development policy

The government on Monday released a preliminary draft of the road map for the development of the Greek economy by the “Pissarides Commission”.
The text, it said, “is a draft being released for public consultation, nor the last proposal. The final report will follow in September 2020.” The commission is headed by Nobel recipient in economics Christopher Pissarides.
The plan’s main goal is to boost productivity, increase exports, better connect production with technology and innovation, and support labor. He stressed that several of the report’s proposals were in line with the government’s actions already in place.
In its 151 pages, the Development Plan envisages supporting unemployed people to return to the labor market through integrating vocational training; expanding the maternal leave system to fathers as well; offering tax incentives to households that invest, long-term, in Greek companies listed in the Athens Stock Exchange; offering incentives for mergers and acquisitions with the aim to magnify Greek enterprises, promote scale economics and cooperation, and setting up specialized departments in courts to deal with cases of significant financial interest within 12 months.
The financial priorities of the plan include: boosting investments and exports as a percentage of GDP, strengthening wage labor and reducing informal economy, investing in education and knowledge, raising the size of Greek enterprises, promoting cutting-edge technology, innovation and digitalization, achieving ambitious environmental goals and supporting weak households
The professors who drafted the report also recommend: reducing tax burdens on wage labor, speeding up amortizations and lowering energy cost in manufacturing, supporting research in universities, incentives to boost innovation; radical upgrading of vocational training for unemployed and employed people; introducing a capitalized system in the second pylon of social insurance; creating specialized departments in courts to deal with cases of significant financial interest; continuing a digital reform of the public sector; modernizing the system of financial supervision to protect investors; modernizing education in all grades; restructuring of the health system; gradual return of real estate tax money to local level; energy upgrading of buildings; turn to renewable energy sources; development of infrastructure.

(ANA-MPA)

JinkoPower, EDF Renewables land UAE PV project, world’s biggest

JinkoPower and its bidding partner EDF Renewables have been awarded the Al Dhafra Project, the world’s largest standalone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, JinkoPower has announced in a statement.

A 30-year Power Purchase Agreement was been signed by the consortium this week with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), a leading company in the coordination of planning, purchasing and providing of water and electricity across the UAE, the statement noted.

With an expected production capacity of 2 GW, the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project will almost double the size of the approximately 1.2 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant – amongst the largest operational solar PV plants in the world. The Noor Abu Dhabi project, which was awarded to Marubeni Corp and Jinko Consortium in 2017, commenced commercial operations in April 2019.

Once operational, the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project will lift Abu Dhabi’s total solar power generation capacity to approximately 3.2 GW. This will reduce the overall Emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 3.6 million metric tons per year, which is equivalent to removal of the combustion output of approximately 720,000 vehicles.

In June 2019, EWEC, a part of ADQ, launched a call for tenders. The winning consortium formed by China’s JinkoPower and France’s EDF Renewables submitted the most cost-competitive tariff of USD 1.35 cent per kilowatt-hour on a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) basis, which is approximately 44% lower than tariff set by Jinko Consortium three years ago on the Noor Abu Dhabi project – Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale solar PV project and a world record tariff-setter at the time.

With the collaborative effort and consensus with the partners, JinkoPower-EDF Renewables is committed to begin the development of the Al Dhafra Solar PV Project by delivering diligently the latest world-class technology and construction methods in order to reach its commissioning by 2022.

Charles Bai, President of Jinko Power International Business, commented: “Jinko, once again, is privileged to take on the unforeseen challenge of building the largest PV generation plant in the world, following our success of Noor Abu Dhabi project. Utmost fairness, transparency, and an attractive environment for investors underpin our long-term desire to keep developing renewable energy projects in Abu Dhabi. The Al Dhafra Solar Project raises the bar for international infrastructure investment and creates the avenue for an elite group of competitions to demonstrate how records can be made. Today Jinko undertakes within our capacity to deliver this technology and construction benchmark in two years to come. We are proud to have the chance to break our own world record and Jinko will diligently execute this project with our partners.”

Speaking about the milestone, Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said: “We are delighted to work with our partners and sign a PPA with a record-low tariff for solar power. We are working to secure long-term energy supply and reinforce solar power’s integral role in meeting current and future energy needs. Combined with key technological advances, the Al Dhafra Solar PV project will have a significant impact on diversifying the approach to our current electricity supply, and drive our strategic plan to further contribute towards the sector’s transformation in water and electricity production, as we develop a low-carbon grid in the UAE.”

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables added:

“We are very proud to be awarded the largest solar project in the world at Al Dhafra. This success reflects the quality of our competitive bid submitted to EWEC in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Jinko Power.

After the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park 1 GWp Phase 3 with DEWA and Masdar as partners, and the implication in the built of the Hatta hydroelectric with storage power plant, near Dubai, this new ambitious project represents a major step forward in EDF group’s renewable energies development in the UAE. These solar projects, along with the Dumat Al Jandal 400 MW wind farm under construction in Saudi Arabia, clearly demonstrate our commitment to actively participate to the energy transition of the Middle East. The region with its great ambitions in low carbon energies is strategic for EDF. Al Dhafra new project greatly contributes to meet the EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to double its renewable installed energy capacity from 2015 to 2030 worldwide to 50 GW nets.”

Motorbikes, bicycles dominate early queries for electric vehicle subsidies

A new online platform offering information on the government’s forthcoming subsidy program supporting electromobility purchases, and a related help desk, both launched yesterday, have already begun drawing solid interest.

Interested parties made some 130 telephone calls and sent about 60 emails seeking subsidy information on the first day, according to sources.  Approximately 85 percent of queries concerned subsidies for electric motorbike and bicycle purchases.

Information on the upcoming electromobility subsidy package may be obtained by calling 2131513139, 2131513128, 2131513640, 2131513643 or 2131513797; or writing to the email address support.kinoumeilektrika@prv.ypeka.gr; or visiting the website kinoumeilektrika.ypen.gr, which includes a FAQ section. Information on this website will be constantly updated in accordance with the subsidy program’s developments.

An August 24 launch date has been scheduled for subsidy applications to the platform.

The subsidy program, budgeted at 100 million euros, is expected to provide support for 27,500 electric vehicle, motorbike and bicycle purchases.

Athens-Crete interconnection work commences at both ends

Work at both ends of the Athens-Crete grid interconnection, Greece’s biggest infrastructure project at present, has begun in earnest, power grid operator IPTO sources have informed.

In the lead-up, IPTO subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection, developing the project, and contractors signed contracts totaling approximately one billion euros last month.

Various preliminary studies and construction work are now underway. A high-voltage subsea cable is planned to run from Heraklion, Crete to Megara, slightly west of Athens.

Also, a converter station will be built close to the Cretan village Damasta.

A converter station will not be needed at Megara, on the Athenian side of the project. Instead, the interconnection’s line will run through an underground passage to reach a central unit, where the converter station will be installed.

IPTO has discussed the project with local communities to minimize any inconveniences. Requests made by locals, determined to conceal any visual impact, were taken into consideration by authorities when planning the project’s route.

Revisions were made to an environmental impact study approved by the energy ministry last April.

IPTO made significant changes for the Megara end of the interconnection, significantly increasing the operator’s budget for the project. Changes included the adoption of subterranean line passages. Similar-minded revisions have also been agreed to for the Cretan end’s Korakia area.

Once launched, the Athens-Crete grid interconnection promises to offer electricity consumers overall annual savings of 400 million euros in Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharges, included in electricity bills.

The project will also offer major environmental benefits as CO2 emissions resulting from the overall electricity supply effort for Crete will be reduced by 60 percent once the Athens-Crete interconnection is fully launched.

This project represents Crete’s major-scale link. A preceding smaller-scale link from Crete to the Peloponnese has also been incorporated into the effort.

Energy exchange dry run starts, target model launch nearing

Simulated testing of all energy exchange market systems, the dry run, began yesterday, as officially scheduled, putting the launch of the target model on the final stretch.

Market systems linked to power grid operator IPTO, the Greek energy exchange, as well as EnexClear, an energy exchange subsidiary tasked with clearing transactions, are now operating under conditions of virtual reality, signaling the beginning of final-stage testing to be completed at the end of this month.

During the dry run, participating producers and buyers will be making simulated offers and purchases, the objective being to identify possible operational faults or insufficiencies for correction ahead of the official launch of the target model, scheduled for September 17.

All four energy exchange markets – the day-ahead, intraday, forward and balancing markets – are being tested. The energy exchange is in charge of the first three while IPTO is operator of the fourth.

Following August 11, EnexClear will take on a more active role for transaction clearances, a procedure to be performed on a weekly basis.

The overall procedure’s schedule was formalized by a ministerial decision signed on July 10.

Tariff clarity for private PVs, energy communities up to 1MW

Tariff levels at which photovoltaic energy producers not participating in auctions sell output will, as of May 1 next year, be fixed and not adjusted in accordance with average prices of preceding auctions, as has been the case until now, as a result of a number of legislative acts and related ministerial decisions.

This new system concerns private owners of photovoltaics with capacities up to 500 KW and photovoltaic energy communities with total capacities up to 1 MW.

However, until May 1, 2021, numerous photovoltaic projects will have secured tariffs determined by the results of a recent RES auction on July 27.

Tariff prices until November 26, 2020 will be 70.3 euros per MWh for private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW and 73.64 euros per MWh for energy communities up to 1 MW.

Between November 27 and a four-month period following a RES auction announced by the energy ministry for December – in other words, until April, 2021 – private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW will be able to sell output for 65.73 euros per MWh and energy communities up to 1 MW for 68.86 euros per MWh.

Further ahead, between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, private owners of photovoltaics up to 500 KW will be able to sell output for 63 euros per MWh and energy communities up to 1 MW for 65 euros per MWh

Barring unexpected changes, tariff levels have been set all the way to  April 30, 2022, offering investors clarity for their business plans.

Prinos rescue plan may offer Greek State stake in Energean Oil & Gas SA

A government rescue plan for Prinos, Greece’s only producing oil field, in the country’s offshore north, will offer the Greek State a small stake in Energean Oil & Gas, the field’s operator, and provide state guarantees for 75 million euros in financing needed by the company in 2020 and 2021 for investments included in its business plan, according to well informed sources.

The government is believed to be just days away from announcing its finalized rescue plan for Energean’s Prinos field, hit hard by the pandemic and lower international oil prices, factors that have impacted the global upstream industry.

Greek government officials are currently discussing the Prinos rescue plan with the European Commission, whose approval will be required. Though alterations to the aforementioned solution cannot be ruled out, good news on the rescue plan appears imminent.

Energean Oil & Gas recently published a business plan that lists interventions needed for Prinos’ rescue as well as the field’s sustainability over the next 15 years. The plan’s measures include actions to reduce emissions and drastically reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Energean has invested approximately 460 million euros at Prinos during the company’s 13 years of operations at the field, including 50 million euros between last September and May, to avoid the closure of offshore and related onshore facilities. Some 270 jobs have been protected.

Authority issues new wave of RES licenses for 27 projects, 491 MW

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has just issued 27 RES producer certificates for as many projects, taking the tally of this new certificate, part of the government’s RES licensing simplification process, to 33.

The authority issued a first wave of new producer certificates towards the end of last month.

The 27 new producer certificates, issued by RAE yesterday, concern eight wind energy parks offering a total capacity of 171.15 MW, 17 solar energy projects with a total capacity of 318.48 MW, and two small-scale hydropower projects offering 2.1 MW, their overall capacity being 491.73 MW.

Four photovoltaic facilities planned by Consortium Solar Power in central Greece’s Fthiotida and Larissa areas, totaling 284 MW, are standout projects in terms of scale.

Enel Green Power was also well presented in this licensing round with a total of six projects, all solar, three of these in Xanthi, northeastern Greece, totaling 7.07 MW, and one each in Rodopi (2.72 MW), Kozani (3.6 MW) and Ioannina (1.99 MW).

As for the two small-scale hydropower projects just issued licenses, one, offering a capacity of 1.54 MW, belongs to the Koryfi K2 Energiaki company, the other, 0.6 MW, to Hydroilektriki.

Prinos field rescue effort now at the finance ministry

A government effort to rescue offshore Prinos, Greece’s only producing field, in the north, is now in the hands of the finance ministry following preceding work at the energy ministry, sources have informed.

The field, like the wider upstream industry, has been impacted by the pandemic and plunge in oil prices.

Deputy finance minister Theodoros Skylakakis is now handling the Prinos rescue case following the transfer of a related file from the energy ministry.

According to the sources, three scenarios are being considered. A financing plan through a loan with Greek State guarantees appears to be the top priority. A second option entails the utilization of an alternate form of state aid. The other consideration involves the Greek State’s equity participation in the Prinos field’s license holder, Energean Oil & Gas.

The European Commission will need to offer its approval to any of these options as they all represent forms of state aid.

Energy ministry sources have avoided offering details but are confident a solution is in the making.

Corporate buyers to lead way in electromobility subsidies offer

Companies appear likeliest to be the first to embrace the government’s forthcoming subsidy package supporting electromobility purchases, corporate feedback has indicated.

Private buyers, too, are expected to express early interest in the electromobility subsidy package, but their focus will be on electric bicycle and motorbike purchases, not electric car purchases, as a result of the technical simplicity linked to these favored options.

Bicycles and motorbikes require just a battery to operate, whereas electric cars depend on the existence of an extensive recharging network, not yet available, for wider mobility.

Private buyers of electric cars are expected to emerge at a latter stage, once a sufficient recharging network has been developed.

Besides the lure of subsidies, additional tax and depreciation incentives will also drive companies towards making early-bird electric car purchases.

Companies will be offered subsidies of 5,500 euros for each of up to three electric car purchases, and up to six cars if based on islands.

Car dealers have, so far, reportedly been contacted by pharmaceutical companies, supermarket chains, telecommunication groups, IT companies, as well as smaller enterprises, all interested in replacing older vehicles with electric models.

The subsidy package includes bonus payments for new electric vehicle purchases if these are combined with withdrawals of older models.

PHAOS: Sungrow inverter orders over 100 MW since last August

PHAOS Renewables, a Greek company with extensive experience in the PV sector and the official distributor in Greece and Cyprus of SUNGROW, the global leader in solar inverters, has announced SUNGROW inverter orders have exceeded 100 MW since August, 2019.

More specifically, PHAOS Renewables has undertaken the supply of  SUNGROW’s solar inverters concerning the new Commercial Extreme (CX) and High Extreme (HX) lines, PHAOS Renewables announced in a statement.

SG110CX, SG50CX and SG250HX inverters along with the appropriate telecommunication systems, COM100E, were ordered for and are supplied to 135 projects of 500KW to 1MW nominal power, adding up to the impressive figure of 103 MW in less than a year, the company noted. The projects are owned by various energy communities and private investors in Greece, it added.

The company estimates this achievement would have been even greater had global market activity not been suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.  The company is set for plenty of Q3/2020 action with a significant pipeline of projects in line.

PHAOS Renewables remains committed to continuing in the same manner so as to preserve the achievement of more than 100MW in less than a year, without any impact in terms of the quality of the services that it provides to its clients. For this reason, it continues to invest in people by hiring experienced solar experts and looks towards the future with greater confidence, the company noted.

PHAOS Renewables has already achieved partnerships and cooperation with global solar leaders and guarantees the provision of high-quality solutions regarding solar inverters, PV modules and mounting structures, both fixed and moving (solar trackers).

Moreover, it has successfully participated in the supply of PV modules and mounting structures for various projects in Greece.

Aiming to exclusively provide absolutely reliable products, and also committed to serve its partners’ and clients’ needs with products and services of the highest possible value, its portfolio consists of PV equipment coming from the leaders of the industry, it noted.

Germany’s ABO Wind dominates RES auction’s PV category

Germany’s ABO Wind was the most dominant bidder at Greece’s latest RES auction, earlier this week, securing approximately one third of the photovoltaic section’s total capacity for five 10-MW projects in Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, according to a PV-Magazine report.

The German energy group submitted the auction’s lowest bids, 0.04586, 0.04587 and 0.04883 euros per KWh.

Wind energy projects secured a far greater total capacity than photovoltaics at the auction, 481 MW compared to 142 MW. Also, photovoltaics registered new record-low tariff prices for the Greek market.

Heliotherma secured tariffs for two solar energy parks of 11.9 MW each in Thiva, northwest of Athens at prices of 0.053 euros per KWh. Metka secured tariffs for four projects representing a total capacity of 11 MW.

Other successful bidders included PPC Renewables, securing tariffs for an 11-MW solar park, part of a planned 50-MW complex, in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

The auction’s highest tariff price was 0.06245 euros per KWh, while the average was 0.04981 euros per KWh. A total of 39 projects secured tariffs at the auction.

Tariff prices for the auction’s wind energy section ranged from 0.05386 euros per KWh to 0.0577 euros per KWh.

Gas, renewables cover 76% of electricity demand in June

Natural gas and renewable energy sources covered 76 percent of electricity demand in June, limiting lignite’s contribution to a mere 5 percent, latest figures provided by power grid operator IPTO have shown.

The development highlights the fast-approaching end of the lignite era in Greece, currently in transition towards green energy.

Natural gas-fueled generation in June covered 37 percent of electricity demand, plus 2 percent contributed by cooling, heating and power (CCHP) generation, while renewables contributed 37 percent, including hydropower input of 9 percent.

Highlighting lignite’s severely diminished role in generation, PPC restricted its lignite-fired generation last month by 75 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier.

During this same one-year period, renewable energy source generation increased by 7.6 percent, while natural gas-based electricity production was up by a milder 1.2 percent, the IPTO data showed.

In another noteworthy statistic, all of the country’s lignite units were switched off for 40 hours, continuously, for the first time in June.

PPC tender for transformation of commercial division

Power utility PPC, acknowledging, amid an increasingly competitive market, the need to modernize its profile, services and relations with the customer base and energy consumers in general, has decided to stage a tender for a specialized consultant to be tasked with transforming the company’s commercial division.

PPC will invite consultants with specialized skills in this domain to submit offers for the transformation project, whose budget has been estimated at 1.5 million euros by the company.

The winning bidder will be tasked with the design, planning, coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the transformation plan.

Also, the winning consultant will be expected to further develop all service channels, develop retention tools for high-value customers, and also design and launch new value-added products in accordance with modern trends and standards.

Support for the digital transformation of PPC’s commercial activities will also be included in the project.

Electromobility subsidies platform expected after mid-August break

The energy ministry is working on launching an online platform for electromobility subsidies following the mid-August break, definitely before the beginning of September.

The ministry is expected to announce details on the electromobility subsidy package later today.

As a result, buyers of electric cars, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles, as well as recharging equipment, should expect to be able to lodge subsidy applications to the platform a little before September.

Invoices for electromobility purchases made in the lead-up to the platform’s launch will also be valid for subsidies, if all criteria are met, as a result of a related joint ministerial decision to be published in the government gazette  early August.

All moves being made by officials are aiming to save time and generate wider electromobility interest as soon as possible.

The package will offer subsidies of up to 6,000 euros for electric car purchases by private owners, plus bonuses of up to 1,000 euros if these purchases are combined with the withdrawal of older vehicles.

Subsidies for fully electric cars, or battery electric vehicles (BEV), worth up to 30,000 euros will reach 20 percent, 6,000 euros being the limit. Lower subsidy rates of 15 percent will be offered for BEV models costing over 30,000 euros. The 6,000-euro subsidy limit and bonus for withdrawals of old cars will also apply for this category. In addition, 500-euro subsidies will be made available for purchases of recharging units.

Electric motorbike purchases by private owners will be entitled to subsidies worth 20 percent of the purchase cost, the upper limit for subsidies in this category being 800 euros. Bonuses of 400 euros will be offered if these purchases are combined with withdrawals of older motorbikes. Electric bicycle purchases will be subsidized by up to 40 percent, the subsidy limit being 800 euros.

Companies will be offered subsidies of 5,500 euros for each of up to three electric car purchases.

Taxi drivers will be offered subsidies of up to 8,000 euros plus 2,500 euros for compulsory withdrawals of old taxis. BEV purchases will be subsidized by 25 percent of the purchase price with a subsidy limit of 10,500 euros. Also in the taxi category, plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEV) with CO2 emissions of up to 50g CO2/km will be entitled to subsidies worth 15 percent of the pre-tax retail price. Withdrawals of old taxis will be compulsory in exchange for 2,500-euro bonuses.

 

Rising CO2 right prices signal irreversible post-lignite course

Higher CO2 emission right costs, forecast to rise even further over the next few years, and this trend’s growing cost for power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations, highlight the country’s irreversible course towards the post-lignite era.

CO2 emission right costs have climbed to levels of about 30 euros per ton, the highest since 2006, Nikos Mantzaris, policy analyst at The Green Tank, an independent, non-profit environmental think tank, noted yesterday during a presentation of a new report, by the think tank, on Just Transition, the EU policy to end lignite dependence in Europe.

CO2 emission right prices will increase further over the next five years to reach levels of 35 to 40 euros per ton, sector experts have projected, Mantzaris said.

Stricter CO2 emission right regulations to be implemented by the European Commission in 2021 will push prices even higher, Mantzaris supported.

This upward trajectory of CO2 emission right costs is weighing heavy on PPC. Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has estimated that PPC’s CO2-related costs in 2020 will amount to at least 300 million euros, a repeat of last year.

PPC has already made moves to restrict its lignite-fired generation for the grid. “The downward trend became even steeper following a full decarbonization decision announced [by the government] in September, 2019, which led, in May, 2020, to lignite covering just 6 percent of electricity demand on the grid, a historic low,” according to the latest Green Tank report.

For the first time in seven decades, not a single lignite-fired power station in Greece’s west Macedonia region operated on May 20 this year, while, between June 7 and 9, all the country’s lignite-fired power stations did not operate for 40 hours, the report noted.

 

 

Electromobility, home energy efficiency upgrade subsidies in pipeline

The environment, transport and finance ministries are scheduled to sign a joint ministerial decision tomorrow for a subsidy program supporting electromobility purchases.

Once the joint ministerial decision is published in the government gazette, interested parties will be able to proceed with electric vehicle purchases and apply for subsidies by lodging related invoice information onto an online platform as soon as it is launched, approximately in mid-August.

Tomorrow’s joint ministerial decision will provide the program’s full details, including the procedure and eligibility criteria.

The program is expected to be divided into three categories for private owners, taxi drivers and companies. 

The package will offer subsidies of up to 6,000 euros for electric car purchases by private owners, plus additional bonuses if these purchases are combined with withdrawals of old vehicles.

Taxi drivers will be offered subsidies of up to 8,000 euros plus 2,500 euros for compulsory withdrawals of old taxis.

Companies will be offered subsidies of 5,500 euros for each of up to three electric car purchases. 

Besides the electromobility subsidy support program, the energy ministry is also preparing an updated Saving at Home package for energy efficiency upgrades of existing buildings. An initial guide is expected to be released next week.

The new Saving at Home program will offer subsidies for RES generation and storage, electric vehicle recharging stations, as well as smart home energy management systems.

Plans submitted will need to promise property energy efficiency lifts by at least three categories in order to be eligible.

Previous Saving at Home subsidy programs were limited to casing, doors, windows and heating-cooling systems, including insulation.

Greek state budget recorded primary deficit of 6.1 billion euros in H1

The Greek state budget recorded a primary deficit of 6.101 billion euros in the first half of 2020, from a budget target for a primary surplus of 313 million euros and after a primary surplus of 381 million in the corresponding period in 2019, the finance ministry said on Monday.
The ministry attributed  this development to reduced revenue due to a lockdown and to higher spending to deal with the impact of the pandemic crisis.
More specifically, the report on budget execution, on a amended cash basis, in the period from January to June 2020 showed a deficit of 9.232 billion euros, from a budget target for a shortfall of 2.626 billion and a deficit of 2.687 billion in the same period last year. The primary result showed a deficit of 6.101 billion euros.
Net revenue totaled 18.996 billion euros, down 17 pct from budget targets, while regular budget revenue was 21.257 billion euros, down 14.1 pct from targets. Tax revenue totaled 18.262 billion euros, down 13.33 pct from targets. Tax revenue fell short of targets in the categories of VAT on oil products (-26.1 pct), VAT on tobacco products (-5.0 pct), VAT on other goods and services (-15.3 pct), special consumption tax on energy products (-10.6 pct), special consumption tax on tobacco (-49.9 pct), stamp revenue (-21.3 pct), taxes on financial and capital transactions (-24.6 pct), taxes in vehicle registration (-33.2 pct), other taxes on goods (-34 pct), tax and duties on imports (-18.1 pct), property taxes (-14.6 pct), income taxes (-8.7 pct), capital taxes (-42.8 pct), transfer taxes (-10.9 pct), taxes on goods and services (40.3 pct) and taxes on property sales (99.4 pct).
Tax returns totaled 2.262 billion euros in the six-month period, up 408 million from targets, while Public Investment Revenue income was 1.647 billion euros, down 350 million from targets.
State budget spending amounted to 28.227 billion euros in the first half, up 2.703 billion from budget targets and up 2.505 billion euros compared with the same period last year.
In June, budget revenue was 2.967 billion euros, down 1.191 billion from monthly targets, while regular budget revenue was 3.454 billion euros, down 992 million from monthly targets. Tax returns totaled 487 million euros, up 199 million from targets, while Public Investment Programme revenue was 353 million euros, down 467 million from targets.
State budget spending was 4.704 billion euros, up 432 million from targets.

(ANA-MPA)

Remaining energy utility sales, DEDDIE and IPTO, nearing

The time is nearing for Greece’s two remaining energy utility  privatizations, those of electricity distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO and power grid operator IPTO.

An energy ministry official yesterday updated journalists on the progress of both sales at a presentation of gas distributor DEDA’s five-year investment plan.

All details concerning the sale of a 49 percent stake in DEDDIE/HEDNO, a fully owned power utility PPC subsidiary, will be ready and finalized in September, enabling the announcement of a tender that month, according to the ministry official.

Preparations for this sale include the evaluation and transfer of assets used by DEDDIE/HEDNO from PPC to the operator.

As for the IPTO sale, talks between the operator and China’s SGCC – already holding a 24 percent stake in IPTO and first-offer rights in the event of the sale of a further stake in the operator – are still at an early stage.

The energy ministry is moving carefully in an effort to comply with fine details of EU directives concerning the entry of non-EU members into European enterprises and infrastructure.

Bulgaria gas pipeline explosion highlights need for local projects

Yesterday’s Bulgarian gas pipeline explosion in Bulgaria, prompting a supply cut into Greece from a northern route, yet again highlights how vital it is for Greece to develop two gas infrastructure project plans in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, and Kavala, in the north.

The explosion of this pipeline, carrying Russian gas into Greece via Bulgaria, has not affected Greece’s energy security as supply from the alternate Kipoi route remains uninterrupted, while the contribution of high LNG reserves at the Revythoussa terminal, just off Athens, has also been crucially important.

However, a Greek energy crisis could have resulted if this accident were more serious, or if the Revythoussa facility did not exist, or, worse still, the accident coincided with even greater Greek-Turkish tensions than at present, which could have meant a cut in gas supply from Turkey, hosting one of Greece’s key gas import corridors.

The intensifying geopolitical instability of the wider region, which includes Turkey, an extremely troubling neighbor, makes imperative the existence of sufficient gas storage facilities to safeguard Greece’s energy security. Despite the precarious conditions in the region, Greece remains one of the European countries without sufficient energy storage infrastructure.

In addition to the existing Revythoussa LNG terminal, Greece’s infrastructure definitely needs to be reinforced by projects such as the Alexandroupoli FSRU and an underground gas storage facility at a virtually depleted offshore deposit south of Kavala.

 

RES auction prices down in both wind, solar categories

Wind-energy capacity bids at a RES auction staged this morning fell as low as 53.86 euros per MWh, while, in the photovoltaic category, bids dropped to a level of between 45 and 46 euros per MWh, sources informed.

Levels were lower than those registered at the most recent RES auction, last December.

A capacity of about 10 MW was left over for wind energy installations while the entire capacity on offer for photovoltaics was taken up.

Successful bidders included PPC Renewables, for an 11-MW solar energy facility, part of a 50-MW solar park in Megalopoli, Peloponnese.

A total of 52 projects representing an overall capacity of 199.43 MW took part in Category 1, for solar energy projects of up to 20 MW. Investors behind these projects competed for 142.45 MW.

Category 2, for wind energy projects of up to 50 MW, drew 25 projects representing a total capacity of 748.37 MW. Investors competed for 481.45 MW.

At the most recent RE auction, last December, the average price for solar energy projects of up to 20 MW ranged between 65.99 euros per MWh and 53.82 euros per MWh, averaging 59.98 euros per MWh.

Prices, last December, for wind energy projects of up to 50 MW ranged between 61.94 euros per MWh and 55.77 euros per MWh, averaging 57.74 euros per MWh.

Retail power prices among EU’s lowest, wholesale prices high

Retail electricity prices in Greece, during the second half of 2019, were among the lowest in the EU, while the country registered the second biggest drop in household electricity cost, down by 5.8 percent during this period, compared to the EU average of a 1.3 percent increase, according to official Eurostat data.

However, Greece’s wholesale price level, or more specifically, day-ahead market price, is one of the highest in south and southeast Europe.

The cost of electricity for households in Greece averaged 155 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, compared to the EU average of 216 euros per MWh, the Eurostat data showed. The cost of electricity in Greece, including taxes and surcharges, was ranked 21st among the EU-27.

The cost of electricity for enterprises in Greece was below the EU average, placing Greece in 12th place with an average price of 108 euros per MWh compared to the EU’s 117 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, the Eurostat data showed.

A recent study conducted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy showed that Greece’s day-ahead market price averaged 41 euros per MWh in the first half of 2019, well over the average of 34 euros per MWh in south and southeast Europe.

Market officials attributed this discrepancy to Greece possessing just a day-ahead market, forcing all electricity amounts to be channeled through this one market. In other parts of the EU, wholesale electricity markets also feature intra-day, forward, balancing reserve and capacity markets. As a result, electricity producers and importers operating elsewhere also retrieve costs from other markets, which is not possible in Greece.

Distribution network operator sale next big challenge for PPC

Power utility PPC’s next major challenge, following a second securitization package of unpaid receivables, will be the privatization of fully owned subsidiary DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, a procedure expected to be pitched to prospective bidders towards the end of the year before a tender is launched in the first quarter of 2021.

A plan to sell a 49 percent stake with increased managerial rights remains intact, but officials are also considering to lower the stake. In addition, some thought is being given to offering DEDDIE/HEDNO buyers the stake through two rounds, but the basic plan, to offer 49 percent as one sale package, remains likeliest.

A new regulatory framework for DEDDIE/HEDNO will need to be approved over the next few months, and, in addition, the government must also fine-tune the privatization’s details.

A leadership renewal at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, responsible for the operator’s new regulatory framework, has, not unexpectedly, delayed a series of matters on the authority’s agenda, including the new regulatory framework for DEDDIE/HEDNO. It was forwarded for consultation until June 19.

Revisions concerning the operator’s permitted earnings were proposed, while a four-year period is planned for the new framework, from 2021 to 2024, with an option for a four-year extension until 2028.

The new framework is expected to include bonuses for objectives achieved at the distribution network operator and vice versa. The DEDDIE/HEDNO business plan includes goals such as the replacement of conventional power meters with smart meters, as well as operating cost and electricity theft reductions.

Rescue talks for Prinos, Greece’s only producing field, making progress

Talks between Energean Oil & Gas and officials at the energy and economy ministries for a solution to rescue offshore Prinos, Greece’s only producing field in the north, are making progress, sources have informed.

Heightened Turkish provocations in the Aegean Sea over the past few days – the neighboring country sent a survey vessel into Greece’s EEZ – and greater US presence in the wider southeast Mediterranean region, are two developments that have injected further urgency into the Prinos field rescue talks.

The east Mediterranean is at the core of geopolitical developments that promise to create new political and energy sector conditions.

US oil corporation Chevron, America’s second-biggest energy group, has joined fellow American upstream giant ExxonMobil in the east Mediterranean with a five billion-dollar acquisition of Noble Energy.

This takeover by the California-based buyer adds to the Chevron portfolio the gigantic Leviathan gas field in Israel’s EEZ, as well as the Aphrodite gas field, situated within the Cypriot EEZ and estimated to hold 4.5 trillion cubic feet.

It also offers Chevron prospective roles in the East Med pipeline, to supply Europe via the Leviathan field, and Egypt’s LNG infrastructure, all elevating the petroleum group into a dominant regional player.

Israel and Cyprus recently ratified the East Med agreement, as has Greece, while Italy appears to be examining the prospect.

In another regional development, the Total-ENI-ELPE consortium is preparing to conduct seismic surveys at licenses south and southwest of Crete, and an environmental study southeast of Crete has been approved by Greek authorities. Also, oil majors with interests in Cyprus’ EEZ have planned a series of drilling operations for 2021.

Meanwhile, Turkey, trespassing into both Greek and Cypriot EEZ waters, consistently cites a memorandum recently signed with Libya as support for its actions, as well as its refusal to sign the UN’s International Law of the Sea treaty, strongly disagreeing with an article that gives EEZ and continental shelf rights to island areas.

Greek government officials are well aware that closure of the Prinos field amid such precarious conditions would lead to major consequences, not just economic and social, as would be the case under normal conditions, but also geopolitical.

Mytilineos generates added value equal to 0.6 pct of GDP annually, report says

Mytilineos generates a total added value of 1.06 billion euros, equal to 0.6 pct of the country’s total GDP on an annual basis, the group said in its 2nd Social-Economic impact survey released on Friday.

The survey said that every year, Mytilineos generates a remarkable economic and social value for the country, as a responsible enterprise interacting with its social partners. In this context, in May 2020, the Climate Change and Sustainable Development services department of Ernst & Young elaborated the 2nd socio-economic impact study with the time span from January 1st, 2019 to December 31st, 2019 as the reference period. This study once again confirms Mytilineos’ responsible attitude and its broader contribution to the national economy and employment, in parallel to its contribution to the collective effort for the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 9, pertaining to economic growth and the boosting of employment in the industrial sector, respectively. Mytilineos’ socio-economic impact in Greece derives from its economic activity across its value chain, from production to the promotion and sale of its products. For its operation, Mytilineos is supplied with raw materials, products and services from Greek suppliers, supporting various business sectors in the Greek economy, such as the electricity and gas sector, construction and metallurgy. Across all sectors, the Company supports income, tax revenues and jobs and, respectively, the same applies for its suppliers and associates in their own value chain. Mytilineos with its activity:

– Generates added value of 1.06 billion euros, equal to 0.6 pct of the country’s total GDP.

-Makes a tax contribution of 301 million euros, equal to 0.39 pct of the Treasury’s total tax revenues

– Supports 13,802 jobs in total, accounting for 0.36 pct of total employment in Greece.

– The total number of jobs offered by Mytilineos supports the income of 31,745 citizens, further enhancing the social benefit created in Greece by its activities.

Mytilineos represents a multiplicatory benefit for the Greek economy:

For each euro of Mytilineos’ direct contribution, an additional 1.34 euro of added value is created for the Greek economy.

For each euro paid by Mytilineos in direct taxes, its direct and indirect suppliers pay more than 3.0 euros of taxes as a result of their cooperation with the company.

Every job directly offered by the company supports 4.5 more jobs in the Greek economy.

Low-cost gas driving down wholesale electricity prices

The abundance of low-cost natural gas, enabling electricity producers operating gas-fired power stations to offer extremely competitive prices, is reshaping the wholesale electricity market.

Highlighting this development, the average level of the System Marginal Price, or wholesale electricity price, today, a day of strong demand, is expected to be contained below 40 euros per MWh, at 39.551 €/MWh.

Today’s electricity demand is expected to peak over 8.3 GW with total consumption reaching 168,674 MWh. The wholesale price during the peak hours will not exceed 38.850 €/MWh.

The market conditions for today are not an isolated incident but part of a wider trend that has developed during the week.

Yesterday’s average SMP was just 35.961 €/MWh despite a peak of 8,105 MW and total electricity consumption of 162,777 MWh.

On Wednesday, when demand peaked at 8,072 MW and overall consumption totaled 162,492 MWh, the SMP was 39.243 €/MWh.

The SMP exceeded the 40 €/MWh level just once this week, on Tuesday, reaching 40.689 €/MWh, a day whose peak was below 8000 MW.

The week started with Monday’s SMP average at 39.277 €/MWh, a lower peak of 7,649 MW, and total consumption for the day of 152,716 MWh.

SMP prices have been falling to even lower levels during weekends. Last Sunday, the average SMP was just 30.629 €/MWh with the peak down to 6,370 MW and the day’s consumption at 134,563 MWh.

The grid relied on just one lignite-fired power station, Agios Dimitris III, last Sunday. Demand was primarily covered by gas-fired generation, as well as renewable energy sources, hydropower units and electricity imports.