Greece faces a colossal task – in terms of money needed, level of complexity and coordination – to reach ambitious post-lignite objectives set by the government.
The effort could require as much as 4.4 billion euros in EU funds, deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas noted yesterday, plus many more billions from the private sector.
Greece is entitled to a considerable sum in EU funds for the country’s decarbonization effort but, as a first step, a cohesive master plan will need to be submitted to Brussels. It will then need to be executed. The plan’s rate of execution will depend on the country’s ability to absorb EU funds made available.
An inter-ministerial committee involving seven ministers and deputies and established to oversee the entire effort will stage its inaugural meeting today.
A collective effort will need to be made involving teamwork of at least five ministries (finance, environment & energy, development, interior and agricultural development), two regional authorities (west Macedonia and Peloponnese), and no less than four municipalities (Florina, Kozani, Amynteo and Megalopoli). The local economies of these regions are lignite-dependent at present.
A national action plan must now be swiftly prepared. Its specific project proposals will then need to be tabled to the European Commission for approval before any investment activity can commence.
Personnel retraining, heightened research activity and development of new technologies are other necessities.