Gas-sector companies under pressure as a result of low demand

Companies linked to the natural gas sector, from power producers to gas traders and suppliers, are expected to be seriously impacted by a decline in natural gas demand, down 15.29 percent in the first quarter compared to the equivalent period last year, according to data provided by DESFA, Greece’s gas grid operator.

Gas usage dropped off significantly in the first quarter, down 33.92 percent to 12.39 TWh, from 18.74 TWh in the equivalent period last year.

According to gas market experts, gas usage has been just as flat in the Balkans, not a good prospect for Greece’s gas exports.

This overall decline in gas trading activity, despite signs of some recovery ahead of the summer, is placing gas-linked companies under increasing financial pressure.

The current market conditions are particularly adverse for gas-focused enterprises such as DEPA Commercial, a gas wholesaler, exclusively, as opposed to companies with more diverse portfolios.

Gas consumption in the retail market – covering residential, professional small-scale industrial and industrial usage – had fallen by as much as 50 percent at the beginning of the year, according to market officials.

The mild winter, increased caution by consumers amid the energy crisis, as well as the switch, by many companies, from gas to lower-cost fuels such as diesel, all contributed to this sharp decline.


J. Lipscombe: ‘Sustainability is no longer an unwelcome burden’

Julian Lipscombe, the director of one of the UK’s leading architecture firms, Bennetts Associates, and an internationally recognised pioneer in sustainability in the construction industry, talks to ESG+ Stories about the adoption of sustainable development practices in the construction industry, B Corp certification, their first project in Greece, the Syggrou Office Complex and the Greek market.

The work and activity of Bennetts Associates became more widely known in Greece after the implementation of their first project, the Syggrou Office Complex, which recently received LEED Platinum certification.

Can you refer to the company’s activity as well as the actions you implement internally for the adoption of ESG criteria?

We are one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, operating in the UK, Greece and India.  For all of our 36 years in business, we have been at the cutting edge of sustainability – actually that word wasn’t even in common usage when we started out! Hence ESG is not something we have come to recently – it is who we are, it is in our DNA.  We have achieved a series of world-firsts, such as being the first architects globally to have Science Based Targets for our own business operations. We practice what we “preach” and we aim to ‘Be the change that the planet needs to see’ on climate.

What does the adoption of sustainable development practices mean for a company active in the construction industry and what difficulties does it encounter along the way?

We have always advocated for sustainability but it’s fair to say that, apart from a core of enlightened clients, collaborators and fellow practitioners, it felt for an eternity that the rest of the built environment sector was not on the same page — either ill-informed, complacent, reluctant, or in denial. However that has now changed with few left arguing that Mother Nature is not in peril. Through imperative, sustainability has also become good business — but then we feel it always has been. No longer is it an unwelcome burden or expensive premium but it is increasingly business as usual, resulting both in better buildings and cities. Now that the vast majority is finally on board, we collectively have to hope that it isn’t already too late for the planet…

As a company, you recently became a B Corp member. What does this mean for you and what is the process that a company must follow to join this community?

Being a member of the global B Corp community is great but, in reality, it is simply an affirmation of who we are and always have always been. In our very foundations we are an ethical business.  Joining required only a few minor tweaks to certain aspects of our business, and then a long wait for accreditation by B Lab due to the popularity of the scheme that creates an application backlog. Since becoming a B Corp in March 2022 it’s been brilliant and we were thrilled to be cited almost immediately as a ‘Best For The World’ for the exceptional treatment of our staff.  We have just issued our first B Corp Positive Impact Report which can be read here:

What does a sustainable building mean to you in practice and how does sustainability add value?

We have always said that sustainable architecture is simply better architecture. This is born out of a deeply rooted conviction about creating solutions that work with, rather than fight their local climate; that have comfortable and healthy internal environments; that are made of local materials not transported around the world and that simply belong better where they sit. The added value for the planet is unquestionable and powerful. Increasingly the added value for clients and users is likewise. With ambitious public commitments to carbon neutrality from every major organisation there is now a flight to sustainable buildings – so much so that, in London, we are finding that office clients are prepared to pay a higher rent for Net-Zero Carbon stock. Good for business and better for the planet – but again, is it enough…?

Your first project in Greece, the Syggrou Office Complex, received LEED Platinum certification. Can you give us more information?

We are beyond delighted that the building on Syggrou has achieved LEED ‘Platinum’, especially since the original brief was only for ‘Gold’. It means everything to us, our client DIMAND and the owner Generali. As such it places the building as one of only nine projects in Greece thus far to be ‘Platinum’ rated. Achieving this is down to good base design, client commitment and lots of very hard work by DIMAND’s sustainability managers to fight for every point. Our objective in working in Greece is to use our proven sustainability knowledge in collaboration with local expertise to make a difference and break new ground. To achieve this with our first scheme is everything we could have hoped and striven for – but it’s only the start, there is more to come and we are here to stay!

How do you see the market in Greece, and what challenges do you encounter in our country when implementing Projects?

Greece is a wonderful place to work, due to the stunning context, delightful climate and warmth of the people.  The market appears strong, especially in commercial offices and hospitality where we hope to be carrying out more projects soon.  The conversation on sustainability has also changed markedly in the last 12 months – between my April 2022 visit and a recent guest speaker slot at the ‘Energy Efficiency in Buildings Conference: Athens 2023’ it was palpable and powerful just how much so many have engaged with the need to act and the great opportunity it presents.  We intend to do more here and to keep innovating with new ideas and techniques.  In terms of potential barriers to that, things like your planning regulations could do with a review and other blockers need addressing but we sense the will is there to do that.  As I said in the webinar that we hosted in 2021 called ‘Ready, Steady Greece: The Race to Build Back Greener’ Greece has an incredible opportunity to do just that – and we are here to help ensure this is achieved.

Crete set for hybrid RES station installations offering 120 MW

An energy ministry decision, either imminent or already signed, will pave the way for the installation of hybrid RES stations on Crete offering a total capacity of 120 MW, energypress sources have been informed.

This ministerial decision comes as a follow-up to legislation for a support framework concerning the development of RES facilities equipped with energy storage units on the Greek islands, a plan endorsed by the European Commission.

It is divided into three sections. Crete belongs to the framework’s second section, while the plan’s first section includes small islands, such as Gavdos, not planned to be incorporated with the mainland grid through power grid operator IPTO’s interconnection program. The third section of the plan concerns islands now undergoing interconnection procedures.

The 120 MW in hybrid stations to be installed on Crete will receive tariffs determined administratively rather than through auctions, as the island needs to secure energy sufficiency as soon as possible, leaving no time for competitive procedures.

Of Crete’s 120 MW in prospective hybrid stations, four projects offering a total capacity of 84.45 MW lead the race for securing tariffs, as their licensing procedures have reached an advanced stage.

EU’s RES installations in ’22 climb to record level

Wind and solar energy installations reached a record level in the EU last year, adding 57 GW to the continent’s grid, a 16 percent year-on-year rise, according to a European Commission report for the fourth quarter in 2022.

These increased RES installations helped renewable energy capture an increased share of the EU’s energy mix in 2022, rising 39 percent, up from 38 percent in 2021, the Brussels 4Q report showed.

Solar energy output rose by 26 percent in 2022, offering an additional 41 TWh, onshore wind farm generation increased by 10 percent, or 33 TWh, while offshore wind farm production grew by 4 percent, delivering an additional 2 TWh to Europe’s grid.

Solar and wind energy’s combined output in 2022 rose by 14 percent, offering an additional 76 TWh, according to the report.

Hydropower generation fell by 17 percent, or 61 TWh, as a result of dominant drought periods in a number of European countries during 2022.

Nuclear energy generation was also down in the EU last year, falling 17 percent, or 118 TWh, as a result of disruptions and facility maintenance delays in France.

The European Power Benchmark, the continent’s average wholesale baseload electricity price, rose 121 percent in 2022 compared to a year earlier, reaching 230 euros per MWh, the 4Q report showed.

Italy recorded Europe’s highest average wholesale electricity price in 2022, at 304 euros per MWh, followed by Malta, at 294 euros per MWh, Greece, at 279 euros per MWh, and France, at 275 euros per MWh, the European Commission report noted.

Brussels approval of support system enables supplier reimbursements

The European Commission’s approval of an updated Greek energy-sector support system paves the way for the reimbursement of electricity suppliers who have covered, over the past seven months, state subsidies offered on a monthly basis to farmers and small businesses using up to 35 kVA.

The revised support system will also increase its overall budget by 600 million euros for a total of 1.4 billion euros.

The initial version of Greece’s support system, approved by the European Commission late last year, covered the period running from February to November, 2022.

In the case of small businesses using up to 35 kVA, a category numbering approximately 1.25 million businesses, electricity suppliers also needed to use their own company funds to cover state subsidies announced by the energy ministry for December, 2022 and January, 2023. These subsidies were stopped from the following month onwards.

As for state subsidies offered to farmers, electricity suppliers have needed to cover the cost of support for this vocational category over a longer period. Subsidies for farmers have not been interrupted. They have been set at 15 euros per MWh for June.

GoodWe and Infineon work to strengthen supply chain security

GoodWe Technologies (GoodWe), a world-leading smart energy solution provider, has held talks with Infineon Technologies AG (Infineon), a world-renowned semiconductor and system solutions provider. The meeting aimed to strengthen cooperation between the two parties, giving customers greater confidence and delivering more value to the market.

The collaboration was announced on 17 April during a visit to GoodWe’s headquarters by Infineon’s senior management, including Dominik Bilo, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Head of Sales, Marketing, and Distribution for the division Green Industrial Power (GIP), Yu Daihui, Senior Vice President and Head of GIP, Greater China, and Taffy Wu, GIP Senior Sales Director, Greater China. The executives addressed the industry’s pressing issue of supply shortages, discussed potential plans for cooperation, and expressed their optimism about further opportunities.

GoodWe is widely recognized as a leading inverter manufacturer that provides high-quality, reliable, and innovative solutions in the renewable energy industry. The company has a strong track record in research and development with a focus on enhancing the efficiency and performance of its products. Infineon values the cooperation with GoodWe due to its strong market position and commitment to quality and innovation.

GoodWe and Infineon will establish in-depth cooperation in applications development, new technologies, and products. Going forward, the two will work together to provide efficient systematic solutions to the market, enhancing the user experience and jointly addressing intense competition.

“We are excited to forge this cooperation with Infineon,” said Daniel Huang, CEO & Founder of GoodWe. “The current market competition is intense, and we are confident that our cooperation will help us meet the challenges and provide our customers with better products and services.”

“We believe this cooperation will bring significant benefits to both our companies and our customers,” said Dominik Bilo, EVP and Head of Sales, Marketing, and Distribution at Infineon’s GIP division. “It will help address the industry’s supply challenges with efficient energy solutions. We look forward to working with GoodWe to meet the needs of the industry and drive further growth.”

Aiming to be a comprehensive solution provider in the renewables industry, GoodWe is ramping up its efforts to offer more affordable and reliable smart energy solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, as well as utility projects.

About GoodWe

GoodWe is a world-leading PV inverter manufacturer and smart energy solution provider that was founded in 2010. The company was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (Stock Code: 688390) in 2020, solidifying its corporate reputation as a company that achieves sustainable growth in all markets it operates in. GoodWe offers a wide range of inverters, spanning from 0.7kW to 250kW, catering to various solar system sizes and applications. With a long-standing and strong presence in the solar market, GoodWe’s PV inverters have been installed in over 100 countries, with a cumulative installation of 52 GW. Additionally, GoodWe’s annual PV inverter capacity and battery capacity have reached 30 GW and 2.1 GWh, respectively, making it one of the leading companies in the global renewable energy industry.

 About Infineon

Semiconductors are crucial to solve the energy challenges of our time and shape the digital transformation. This is why Infineon is committed to actively driving decarbonization and digitalization. As a global semiconductor leader in power systems and IoT, Infineon enables game-changing solutions for green and efficient energy, clean and safe mobility, as well as smart and secure IoT. Infineon makes life easier, safer, and greener. Together with its customers and partners. For a better tomorrow.

Infineon designs, develops, manufactures, and markets a broad range of semiconductors and semiconductor-based solutions, focusing on key markets in the automotive, industrial, and consumer sectors. Its products range from standard components to special components for digital, analog, and mixed-signal applications to customer-specific solutions together with the appropriate software.

Energean plc trading statement & operational update

London, 18 May 2023 – Energean plc has announced an update on recent operations and the Group’s trading performance in the 3-months to 31 March 2023.

Highlights – Financial and Corporate

  • Revenues for the period were $288.8 million, a 69% increase versus Q1 2022 ($170.7 million)
  • EBITDAX for the period was $161.2 million, a 81% increase versus Q1 2022 ($89.6 million)
  • Group cash as of 31 March 2023 was $379.6 million (including restricted amounts of $11.5 million) and total liquidity was $943.5 million
  • Q1 2023 dividend of 30 US$ cents/share declared today, scheduled to be paid on 30 June 2023
  • Emissions intensity[1] for the period was 11.1 kgCO2e/boe, a 36% reduction versus Q1 2022 (17.2 kgCO2e/boe)
    • Emissions intensity1 in the four-months to 30 April 2023 was 10.1 kgCO2e/boe

Highlights – Operational

  • Production for the period was 94.4 kboed, a 161% increase versus Q1 2022 (36.1 kboed)
    • Production in the four-months to 30 April 2023 was 100.0 kboed (82% gas)
  • Commercial period under the gas sales agreements in Israel commenced for gas buyers on or before 1 April 2023[2], with production continuing to ramp up
  • Three hydrocarbon liquid cargoes cumulating in approximately 1 million bbls from Karish sold to Vitol year to date
  • The second gas export riser was successfully installed at Karish in March 2023; followed by key Karish North infrastructure in March and April 2023
  • Olympus development concept chosen to align with strategy to optimise free cash flows and shareholder value
    • Tie-back to Energean Power FPSO, with Olympus prioritised over Tanin
    • Production plateau maintained by monetising newly discovered resources that do not incur seller royalties nor carry export restrictions
    • Focus maintained on capital discipline: Lower cost development versus Tanin driving lower capital expenditure for the next phase of tie-backs to the Energean Power FPSO; plus avoiding significant capital expenditure to add capacity through FPSO expansion projects or a new FPSO/FPU
    • Production expected to underpin existing gas sales agreements plus target international markets that can be accessed through existing and planned third party infrastructure


  • Full year production guidance revised to 125 – 140 kboed (from 131 – 158 kboed) due primarily to:
    • Revised gas sales forecast in Israel with full year quantities now expected to be 4.5 – 5.0 bcm (versus 4.5 – 5.5 bcm) due to the ramp up profile of buyer offtake and ongoing optimisation of the operations of the Energean Power FPSO
    • Higher-than-expected decline from NEA#6 in Egypt following the positive initial flow rates. There is no expected read-across to the PY#1 and NI#1 wells; extended flow testing is required at NEA#5 to confirm no read-across for this well. These three remaining NEA/NI wells are expected onstream over the course of 2023; NEA#5 drilling was completed in May 2023 with results in line with pre-drill geological expectations.
  • Karish growth projects on track for completion by end-2023
  • On track to deliver near-term targets of 200 kboed, $2.5 billion revenues, $1.75 billion EBITDAX and leverage < 1.5x in 2H 2024, and pay dividends in line with previously communicated policy
  • Final investment decision on the Olympus Area expected in late 2023
  • Orion 1X spud expected towards the end of the year

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive Officer of Energean, commented:

“We are ramping up production from the Karish field and have seen four months of solid gas and liquids production in Israel, whilst optimising the operations of the Energean Power FPSO. Our Israeli gas contracts have moved to commercial status and our buyers are increasing nominations. This year, Energean expects to supply a significant proportion of Israel’s gas demand.

“This is why we are moving quickly to develop our newly discovered Olympus Area resource, as efficiently as possible. As there is limited incremental capex, the initial development concept is in line with our stated commitment to remain capital disciplined. With no seller royalty payments or export restrictions, this strategy will create sustainable value for all our stakeholders and allow us to maintain and grow our stated sector-leading dividend policy.

“We continue to focus on our Net Zero stated path through continuous reductions in our carbon intensity. We are and will remain a responsible hydrocarbon producer. We are committed to being the best version of Energean we can be: provide a secure and reliable energy supply, support our communities and underwrite the transition.”


[1] Scope 1 and 2 emissions

[2] With the exception of one GSPA, whose commercial period begins in November

New residential electricity cost reductions expected for June

The country’s electricity retailers, preparing to announce their offers for next month on May 20, as required by market rules, are expected to offer a new round of nominal tariff reductions for June, driven lower by a further decline of the TTF index.

The forthcoming month’s highest residential tariffs are likely to range between 0.14 and 0.17 euros per KWh, including the government’s electricity subsidies, usually revised monthly but covering both May and June this time around to avoid any election-related complications. Greece is scheduled to stage a legislative election this Sunday.

Suppliers are expected to reduce their nominal tariffs – not including subsidies – for June between 0.01 and 0.015 euros per KWh. As a result, finalized prices for next month’s residential tariffs may drop by as much as 0.03 euros per KWh.

The country’s electricity retailers are required to announce their nominal tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month.

Meanwhile, the government is working on extending emergency energy-crisis measures until September 30. These measures – a wholesale electricity market price cap; suspension of a price adjustment clause concerning electricity tariffs; penalty-free consumer switches from one supplier to another; and monthly supplier tariff announcements 10 days ahead –  were introduced last August and are due to expire July 1.

Two mixed, two technology-specific RES auctions this year

The energy ministry is laying the groundwork to stage four RES auctions during the remainder of 2023, offering a total capacity of 1,600 MW. Two of these sessions will be mixed RES auctions while the other two will be technology-specific.

The ministry is preparing to sign a ministerial decision that will enable these auctions to be staged. They will be open to both small and large-scale solar and wind energy facilities.

The same ministerial decision will also launch a pilot auction for green-energy facilities combining batteries into their operations. A total of 200 MW will be offered to investors through this auction.

All the aforementioned competitive procedures are foreseen in a new support scheme that was given the green light by the European Commission in late November, 2021. One mixed RES auction has already been held within this plan’s framework.

Two mixed RES auctions offering a total capacity of 1,200 MW will be staged for large-scale wind energy facilities with capacities exceeding 6 MW and solar energy parks with capacities over 1 MW. According to sources, auction starting prices will be set at 63 euros per MWh for wind energy units and 54 euros per MWh for solar farms.

The imminent ministerial decision will also enable the staging of two technology-specific RES auctions in 2023, both for small-scale projects. One will concern solar energy units with capacities of less than 1 MW and offer a total of 100 MW at a starting price of 70 euros per MWh.

The second of these two technology-specific RES auctions will concern wind energy facilities with capacities of less than 6 MW, at a starting price of 83 euros per MWh.


Italy’s Sofidel, RWE-PPC Renewables sign 10-year PPA for Greek paper mill

Sofidel, the Italian multinational producer of tissue paper for sanitary and domestic use, has signed a ten-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Meton Energy S.A., a joint venture of RWE Renewables and PPC Renewables, for annual electricity supply of 21 GWh at the producer’s paper mill in Katerini, northern Greece.

The renewable energy to be supplied to Sofidel’s production facility in Katerini will be produced by one of five solar energy farms being developed by RWE and PPC Renewables at Amyntaio, also in the north.

RWE and PPC Renewables’ five solar farms in Amyntaio, scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter in 2024, will offer a combined capacity of 210 MW.

Sofidel, one of the world’s leaders in the tissue paper market, estimates its PPA with the Meton Energy S.A. joint venture will cut its CO2 emissions by 12,500 tons per year.

“The signing of the PPA is another important step in our journey towards our goal of increasing the use of energy derived from renewable sources,” noted Riccardo Balducci, Sofidel Group’s Sustainability Director. “The agreement represents part of our policy for multiple energy supply options to promote a low-carbon economy and contribute to bringing additional renewable energy capacity to the market,” he added.

Olaf Lubenow, Head of Trading Solutions at RWE Supply & Trading for the UK, Northern and Southern Europe, commented: “This agreement is the result of the full commitment of all parties. It builds on a first bilateral power purchase agreement RWE signed with Sofidel last year for one of our onshore wind farms in Italy. We are pleased to establish long-term partnerships with pioneers like Sofidel, demonstrating how climate protection is possible under market conditions.”


‘PPAs must be registered to secure guarantees of origin’

Green-energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) will need to be registered with DAPEEP, the RES market operator, in order to secure renewable energy Guarantees of Origin, the operator’s president and CEO Giannis Giarentis has stressed in comments to energypress.

This essentially means that, otherwise, the green origin of electricity quantities supplied by producers to off-takers through bilateral contracts will remain uncertified.

PPAs not entered into the DAPEEP registry and, subsequently, not covered by Guarantees of Origin, will practically result in non-certification of energy derived from renewable energy sources. This would deprive such PPAs of cost-related advantages as they would be no different to bilateral contracts signed between off-takers and thermal plant owners.

The DAPEEP head official’s remarks come at a pivotal time for Greece’s nascent green PPAs market, taking its first steps with a first round of contracts capitalizing on a recently introduced exemption from a wholesale market cap for physical delivery contracts.


Energy crisis measures to be extended until September

The energy ministry has decided to extend until September expiring emergency energy-crisis measures implemented in the wholesale electricity market, along with the suspension of a price adjustment clause for electricity tariffs.

A ministerial decision enabling extensions of these measures is expected to be signed today, if it has not been signed already, thereby triggering the extensions prior to this Sunday’s legislative election.

Under the current terms, a recovery mechanism for windfall earnings of electricity producers would expire on June 1. But this measure is now being extended for a further three months, until the start of September.

The ongoing suspension of a price adjustment clause concerning electricity tariffs was due to expire on July 1, but, as a result of the ministerial decision, it is also being extended, for two months, until the start of September.

As the energy crisis has continued to soften, these emergency price-absorbing measures have become less crucial and are deducting diminishing amounts from retail electricity prices of households and businesses.

In April, for example, the recovery mechanism retrieved just 46.3 million euros for the Energy Transition Fund, 41.7 million euros of this sum coming from RES units.

Three CCGTs to vie for two grid spots covering 1.9 GW, Aurora study shows

Three new combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants will be vying for two spots on the electricity grid to cover an available capacity of 1.9 GW, a latest study conducted by Aurora Energy Research and covering the period between 2022 and 2030 has shown.

The Aurora Energy Research study estimated the grid’s available capacity at 2.7 GW but subtracted 820 MW to be offered by the Mytilineos group’s already-completed CCGT in Viotia’s Agios Nikolaos area, slightly northwest of Athens.

The three candidate projects are a CCGT power plant being co-developed by GEK TERNA and Motor Oil in Komotini, northeastern Greece; a power plant being constructed by power utility PPC, gas company DEPA Commercial and the Copelouzos group’s Damco Energy in Alexandroupoli, also in the northeast; as well as PPC’s Ptolemaida V, when it converts from a lignite to natural gas-fueled facility in 2028.

Development of Thermoilektriki Komotinis, the GEK TERNA-Motor Oil CCGT in Komotini, has reached an advanced stage and is considered the most efficient power plant in Greece. Once operational, it will emit 75 percent less CO2 than a lignite plant.

Work on the Alexandroupoli CCGT began last January and is slated for completion in 2025. PPC holds a 51 percent stake, DEPA Commercial has a 29 percent share, and the Copelouzos group’s Damco Energy maintains the remaining 20 percent. This facility will be equipped to also run on hydrogen and mixed fuel.


Brussels wants Egyptian RES progress to fund Greek link

The European Commission wants to see clear progress in Egypt’s RES development plan before committing to any financial support for the Greek-Egyptian GREGY Interconnector, a 3.5 billion-euro project being promoted by Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group, reliable sources have informed energypress.

Brussels has informed all parties involved in the GREGY Interconnector of its prerequisite for funding support, the sources noted.

Europe needs green energy, which is why the European Commission is backing Egypt’s electricity interconnection with Greece, but investment plans for the development of RES projects in Egypt need to proceed and this progress should be reflected and confirmed by concrete data, the sources informed.

European officials consider the GREGY Interconnector to be feasible as the cost of green energy in Egypt is much lower and EU demand for low-priced electricity is high.

However, the European Commission is also taking into account Egypt’s slow development of electrified RES projects, totaling just 6 GW, a modest figure given the country’s size and rich solar and wind energy potential. Greece, a far smaller country, has so far amassed almost double the capacity of operating RES facilities, currently offering 10 GW.

Egypt, according to the country’s official energy strategy, plans to develop RES projects with a total capacity of 61 GW by 2035. Brussels will be waiting to see clear signs of this plan’s implementation.


Five areas selected for first stage of offshore wind farms

Five areas marked out to host Greece’s first phase of offshore wind farms, planned to offer a total capacity of 2.1 GW, are located in the north and central Aegean, as well as off Crete.

The area in the north is situated off Alexandroupoli, three areas are close to mainland Greece and the wider Dodecanese area, while a fifth spot is off eastern Crete, at an area between Sitia and Xerokampos.

The area off Alexandroupoli is planned to host pilot projects offering a total capacity of 600 MW. The Copelouzos group secured a 216-MW production license for offshore parks in this area back in 2012. Contracts for their development will not undergo any competitive procedures as these projects have been classified as pilot projects.

The three areas chosen to host offshore wind farms in the central Aegean will each host wind farms with respective capacities of 300 MW for a total of 900 MW.  It has not yet been determined if these offshore wind farms will be located close to the mainland or in the wider Dodecanese area.

The wind farm off Crete, near the northeastern shoreline, is planned to offer a total capacity of 600 MW.

Environmental, spatial, social, economic and geopolitical criteria, along with wind intensity, a decisive factor determining the degree of return on investment, were taken into consideration when selecting the aforementioned areas.

Power grid operator IPTO has already delivered precise data on the grid absorption potential at each of these clusters. However, the plan still needs to be approved by the Hellenic National Defence General Staff.

Greek growth to outperform European average, Commission spring forecast predicts

The Greek economy is expected to continue growing at rates above the eurozone and European Union average from 2022 until 2024, according to the Spring 2023 Economic Forecast released by the European Commission on Monday.
The Commission has forecast Greek economic growth rates of 5.9 pct in 2022, 2.4 pct in 2023 and 1.9 pct in 2024.
For the eurozone as a whole, the Commission forecasts average growth rates of 3.5 pct in 2022, 1.1 pct in 2023 and 1.6 pct in 2024, while the forecasts for the whole of the EU are for growth rates of 3.5 pct in 2022, 1 pct in 2023 and 1.7 pct in 2024.

RAAEY, DESFA need to bridge gap for four-year WACC figure

RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, has determined that gas grid operator DESFA’s intended WACC figure for 2024 to 2027, planned to be set at 9.14 percent, is unjustifiably high and above the corresponding figures of all other operators.

At this stage, RAAEY and DESFA have work to do to converge for an agreement on the operator’s WACC figure concerning the aforementioned four-year period. Even so, both sides are confident an agreement will be achieved.

RAAEY is expected to deliver decisions on DESFA’s WACC level, allowed revenue and tariffs for 2024 to 2027 within the first ten days of June.

DESFA has set itself an allowed revenue of 201 million euros for 2024, with slight rises over the ensuing three years, to 218 million euros in 2025, 233 million euros in 2026, and 247 million euros in 2027.

Meanwhile, a ministerial decision paving the way for the country’s three gas distribution network operators to replace conventional gas meters with smart meters is believed to be just days away.

Emergency measures expiring, Athens seeks extension

The energy ministry has forwarded an official request to the European Commission seeking an extension, until the end of the year, of emergency electricity market measures that were introduced last summer to combat energy price rises and are set to expire on July 1. Brussels has yet to respond to Athens’ request.

Over the past nine months, the extraordinary measures have proven effective in subduing electricity prices for households and businesses at levels well below those created by the energy crisis.

The energy ministry imposed a wholesale price cap on electricity, interrupted indexation clauses concerning retail tariffs, and has been subsidizing electricity. Also, in an effort to stimulate competition, the ministry set a rule requiring power suppliers to announce their nominal tariffs – not including subsidies – for each forthcoming month ten days in advance, and has given electricity users the freedom to switch suppliers without any penalty costs.

The Greek request forwarded to the European Commission wants this entire package of measures extended until the end of 2023, as protection against any new wave of energy price rises.

Though energy prices have deescalated over recent months, analysts have not ruled out a rebound and reemergence of energy sufficiency issues in Europe next winter.

Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and Europe’s inconclusive plan regarding alternative energy sources are the main factors nurturing these concerns.

Athens troubled by Bulgaria’s Solidarity Ring project

Athens intends to soon raise concerns, to the European Commission, over Bulgaria’s Solidarity Ring project, planned to transport natural gas of ambiguous origins to central Europe through a route bypassing Greece, crossing Turkey and benefiting, it seems, Russia.

Greek government officials are now preparing a letter for the European Commission in which a series of crucial questions regarding the Bulgarian project will be raised, including who stands to be its true beneficiary and whether the use of European funds for the revival of a version of the failed Nabucco pipeline would be appropriate.

The Nabucco pipeline had been planned to bypass Greece for the transportation of Caspian gas along a route running from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria. However, the TAP project, which connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline at the Greek-Turkish border, crosses northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy, prevailed in 2013.

Besides sidelining Greece, Bulgaria’s Solidarity Ring project would also exclude Greek gas grid operator DESFA, gas company DEPA, a partner in the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline, as well as the TAP project’s shareholders.

The Solidarity Ring project, local authorities suspect, could be used to export Russian gas, disguised as Azerbaijani gas, to the EU via Bulgaria and Turkey.


RAE, IPTO pushing ahead to integrate traders into intraday market

Intraday electricity market participation by traders engaged in transactions concerning the country and non-coupled neighbors – Albania, Turkey and North Macedonia – a complex matter that has remained pending for years, is now on track to be approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and power grid operator IPTO.

One of the basic steps needed is the establishment of Daily Intraday Capacity Auctions, a step requiring the approval of all respective operators involved. According to sources, all operators involved have expressed willingness to proceed, but the overall process will take time to complete.

IPTO has already declared its readiness, from a technical perspective, to implement these auctions, which, however, is not the case for other operators as they are active in markets still at early stages of development. These operators still need to make adjustments in order to accommodate Daily Intraday Capacity Auctions into their systems.

IPTO has been actively involved, underlining, to neighboring operators, its availability to contribute to their efforts.

The addition of traders to the intraday market promises to boost its liquidity as more participants become involved. This development will greatly improve the ability of market players to correct their positions and, as a result of this greater flexibility, limit their balancing market costs.

Also, the more precise activity of market players will create conditions limiting the volumes of electricity needed in the balancing market.

Viohalco third energy-intensive producer to leave PPC

Metal processing company Viohalco, one of Greece’s biggest electricity consumers, has become the third industrial producer to move away from power utility PPC after establishing an electricity supply agreement with independent producer Heron, company sources have told energypress.

Viohalco’s decision to part ways with PPC as its supplier follows departures by ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and the Mytilineos group’s Aluminium of Greece, though this latter company’s move away has not yet been completed.

ELPE was the first energy-intensive producer to leave PPC after the two sides failed to reach a supply agreement in 2021. ELPE ended up establishing a supply agreement with Elpedison, in which it holds a 50 percent stake as part of a 50-50 venture with Edison.

Aluminium of Greece, the country’s biggest electricity consumer, is primarily supplied its energy needs by group subsidiaries Protergia and Watt+Volt. The producer aims to have completely ended its reliance on PPC for energy supply by 2024.

An existing supply agreement between PPC and Aluminium of Greece remains valid but is the last following a 60-year association, a development aligned with the Mytilineos group’s green-energy goals for its production of aluminium.

Meanwhile, other major producers, among them some of the country’s biggest energy consumers, have reached advanced talks with PPC to establish 10-year, green-energy power purchase agreements, through PPC subsidiary PPC Renewables.


No changes to RES, energy storage grid injection limit plan

The energy ministry has completed work on a ministerial decision designed to restrict injections into the grid by new RES and energy storage units and plans to sign it off within the next few days as the matter is one of the energy sector’s pending issues the ministry wants to have settled ahead of the May 21 legislative election.

According to sources, formulas proposed by power grid operator IPTO and distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO have been maintained for the ministerial decision.

The ministry’s decision to impose grid injection restrictions was taken in order to make optimal use of available electrical capacity in the transmission and distribution system and ultimately maximize the number of green-energy power plants.

According to the legislative revision, the energy injection restrictions will not be able to exceed 5 percent of the respective annual capacities of units subject to the limit.

The measure will apply to all RES plants under development and possessing finalized connection offers, as well as to green-energy projects for which connection requests have been submitted to either DEDDIE/HEDNO or IPTO. Batteries will also be subject to the injection restriction, regardless of whether they have been incorporated into RES systems or not.

Europe favorably placed ahead of next winter’s gas storage refill

Favorable conditions last winter have placed Europe in an advantageous position of being able to fill, to full capacity, its natural gas storage facilities even if Russian supply is completely cut off.

Europe needs to store away approximately 35 billion cubic meters of natural gas between now and the end of October, well below the average figure of roughly 55 bcm over the past decade, in order to fill its energy storage facilities at 90 percent of capacity, the European goal set for next winter.

A year ago, Europe needed to purchase approximately 70 bcm of natural gas to fill its storage facilities. This was one of the factors that pushed prices up to all-time highs.

Fortune went Europe’s way last winter as temperatures remained mostly mild, significantly subduing energy usage, while China’s zero-Covid policy enabled the continent to import substantial LNG quantities which, otherwise, would not have been available.

As a result of these factors, Europe’s gas storage facilities were left 55 percent full by the end of last winter, well above the previous decade’s average of 33 percent.

Despite the favorable news for Europe, the market remains susceptible to dangers as a result of increased natural gas usage in the industrial sector and revitalized demand in Asia, factors that have led analysts to forecast a wholesale gas price rebound that could exceed 100 euros per MWh.

Also, the milder weather conditions could have negative impact in the long run. Low rainfall and snowfall in many parts of Europe could lead to a hot and dry summer, increasing energy demand for cooling purposes, and prices. This could make Europe’s energy-storage refilling effort slightly more challenging.

‘National interests dominating global energy transition’

National interests continue to dominate the energy transition on a global level, the World Energy Council’s (WEC) latest World Energy Pulse, surveying more than 700 energy leaders and decision-makers from nearly 80 countries for updated snapshots of current attitudes, trends and needs, has shown.

Almost half, or 46 percent, of the survey’s participants cited national priorities and the risk of an out-of-control green technology race as the biggest obstacles to a smooth and fair transition to a zero-emission economy.

Offering his interpretation, Haris Doukas, Associate Professor at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), member of the WEC Program Committee and head of the WEC office in Greece, described the dominance of national interests expressed in the survey as aftershocks linked to COVID-19, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and an international race to boost domestic industry, intensified by US President Joe Biden’s recent Inflation Reduction Act.

Though 54 percent of the survey’s respondents agreed that energy independence is vital to their countries’ climate and energy security agenda, an overwhelming 84 percent of participants accepted that energy interdependence is the new global reality.

Ministry preparing updated, more ambitious NECP draft

The energy ministry is preparing a Brussels-bound draft of an updated National Energy and Climate Plan to include more ambitious RES and energy savings targets, based on loftier goals agreed to by the EU, energypress sources have informed.

The ministry intends to soon forward its draft of Greece’s revised NECP to the European Commission for any observations and resulting adjustments. The resulting updated version of the NECP will then be presented for consultation.

Greece’s revised NECP will include a higher RES target, lifted to 42.5 percent of total energy consumed, the new European target, which is above a previous target of 40 percent but below a 45 percent target that had been overwhelmingly approved in European Parliament.

The country’s updated NECP will also include an energy savings target of 11.7 percent, the European goal that was eventually agreed to following negotiations to raise a previous goal of 9 percent to 14 percent and a European Parliament vote proposing a 13 percent target.

RAAEY initiatives aimed at informing, protecting consumers

Two new initiatives taken by RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, its publication of a first retail electricity market report, to be updated monthly, and the launch of a new website section offering useful advice to consumers, aim to intensify competition between electricity suppliers, to the benefit of consumers, and also offer consumer protection, the authority’s energy-division deputy, Dimitris Fourlaris, has told energypress in an interview.

Publishing statistics on the electricity supply sector, through the retail report, is very useful in opening up the market and will also contribute to the provision of innovative products for consumers, the RAAEY official explained, adding that the authority also intends to begin publishing retail reports covering the natural gas market.

Consumers lodged roughly 13,500 complaints to suppliers last year, Fourlaris pointed out. The purpose of RAAEY’s new website section is to offer consumers useful tips and keep them informed so that complaints may be prevented before they arise, he added.

The public’s response to consumer-protection tools already developed by RAAEY has been high, while an improved price-comparison tool will soon be launched, the authority’s deputy informed.

IPTO confident of energy sufficiency this coming summer

Greek power grid operator IPTO, contrary to officials in other parts of Europe fearing drought periods will affect their electricity sufficiency, is confident current local conditions are favorable enough to get the country through the high-demand summer season.

Reservoir water levels at Greek power utility PPC’s hydropower facilities have just about been maintained at last year’s levels, more RES units have been connected to the grid this year than ever before, while the country’s lignite stocks are also currently high, at three million tons, following a concerted energy-crisis effort made since last year.

In addition, Greece’s grid is set to be reinforced, within the next couple of months, by the addition of two new power stations – a Mytilineos group unit and PPC’s Ptolemaida V – to offer an extra generation capacity of 1,500 MW.

Reservoir water levels at PPC’s hydropower plants currently offer 2,720 MW and are expected, over the next few days, to rise to 2,850 MW, levels recorded last year, primarily as a result of increased flow at northern Greece’s Haliacmon river.

DESFA assessing action needed for hydrogen-ready network

Gas grid operator DESFA is conducting a technical study examining interventions that will be needed to the country’s grid so that it may facilitate hydrogen’s entry into the energy mix. The operator aims to have completed and submitted this study to RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, by the end of the year, energypress sources informed.

The operator’s study is planned to include the cost of all actions needed for a hydrogen-ready grid, a substantiated proposal specifying an optimal hydrogen proportion for the country’s gas network, as well as feasibility studies on the connection, to the network, of individual hydrogen-related pilot projects.

These studies, DESFA anticipates, will also get authorities working on a hydrogen-related regulatory framework, currently non-existent.

A committee established to prepare a national strategy for hydrogen completed its task and delivered its findings to the energy ministry in 2021.

However, revisions made to the National Energy and Climate Plan, resulting in more ambitious targets, may prompt the energy ministry to seek an updated national strategy on hydrogen.

DESFA has already prepared a study assessing the degree of hydrogen mixing with natural gas over two stages, as proportions of 5 and 10 percent, and what these proportions would entail in terms of investments needed, Panagiotis Panousos, Energy Transition Manager at DESFA, told the recent RENPOWER conference.


Energyear lands in Greece to promote renewables

Greece’s renewable energy market, has been attracting the attention from both local and international players. Energyear is organizing the first edition of Energyear Greece after its successful networking congresses in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and extensive tour in Latino America, seeking to continue promoting renewable energies and sustainability in the Greek energy market. It will take place on May 24th at the Wyndham Grand Athens, where world-class companies in the renewable sector, authorities and organizations of the local and international energy sector will meet in the first event in Greek with simultaneous translation in English.

More than 40 high-level speakers will present their knowledge and experience on solar energy in Greece, including:  Nasos Plainos, Key Accounts Sales Manager Greece & Cyprus at LONGi Solar; Sotiris Kapellos, Chief Operating Officer, BoD member HELLENiQ Renewables and President of HELAPCO; George Kremlis, Chair Bureau Espoo Convention, Chair Greek Initiative UN level on climate & culture. Honorary Director European Commission; among others.

Energyear Greece arrives with the promise of developing a rich and relevant technical and academic agenda around green energy, but also with important business perspectives and strategic alliances to promote the use of renewable energies in Greece and throughout Europe.

All  Energypress subscribers will enjoy a 10% discount on buying tickets.

For further information please contact the organization:

Alicia González

Project Manager, Energyear.
M: + 34 670529065


KLM joins forces with AeroDelft student team for hydrogen aircraft

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has joined forces with the AeroDelft student team to work on Project Phoenix, an initiative involving the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft, KLF has announced in a statement.

The development and testing of such an aircraft will present important findings on how this fuel may be applied in aviation, including the design of liquid hydrogen tanks and critical safety features.

The Project Phoenix initiative includes the creation of a drone, the Phoenix-Prototype, which will serve as a precursor to the development of the first manned liquid hydrogen-electric aircraft, the Phoenix Full-Scale, KLF noted in the statement.

The AeroDelft team has built the chassis for the Phoenix Full-Scale aircraft and is testing the hydrogen systems inside it, KLF informed, adding it aims to fly its manned aircraft in 2024, using hydrogen gas, followed by liquid hydrogen in 2025.

Mr. Barry ter Voert, CXO & EVP of Business Development at KLM, noted:

“KLM wants to play a leading role in aviation innovation and is looking for opportunities to accelerate developments. The minds and solutions of the younger generation are essential to enable us to think outside the box. AeroDelft’s enthusiasm and hard work are particularly helpful in this regard.”

Mr Wouter van der Linden, Team Leader of AeroDelft, noted:

“We are so pleased to be working with KLM on the future of aviation. It is very rewarding for us to have the support of such a major industry player. Together we will work hard to implement new, innovative technologies and train the engineers of the future.”