Energy authorities are confident the country is sufficiently equipped to meet energy demand this coming winter, suggesting that it would take a perfect storm, or combination of a number of unfavorable factors, to cause problems.
Energy minister Kostas Skrekas chaired a meeting earlier this week for an update on the winter preparations from officials at power grid operator IPTO, gas grid operator DESFA, as well as RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.
An extremely cold winter would need to be combined with a sharp rise in electricity demand in neighboring countries, technical issues at Greece’s lignite-fired power stations, subdued RES participation due to weather-related conditions, electricity import difficulties and low water reserves at the country’s hydropower facilities for an energy shortage, authorities have suggested.
At this stage, the country’s natural gas-fueled power stations are running smoothly, but their rising operating costs are a concern.
Greece’s lignite-fired power stations do face occasional technical issues as their maintenance is nowadays less thorough in anticipation of a full withdrawal of these units by the end of 2023 as part of the country’s decarbonization plan.
Hydropower, RES units and electricity imports are all variable factors. The contributions to the grid of the first two depend on weather conditions, while electricity imports will depend on how Greece’s wholesale electricity prices compare with those of neighboring countries. If prices are relatively higher in Greece, the country will import. If price levels here are lower, electricity will be exported.