The energy ministry appears to have decided not to restrict the operating capacity of Crete’s diesel-fired power stations by the end of 2019, when a European Commission extension for these high polluting units expires, as all alternatives examined to cover a consequent energy sufficiency shortage on the island are seen as high-cost solutions.
Though Greece’s interest for a further operating extension has not been officially rejected by Brussels, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete recently made clear the country will not be granted more time.
Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis is counting on an increased level of understanding by the European Commission, given the looming energy shortage threat on Crete, as well as lengthy procedures implemented by Brussels officials in reaction to environmental violations.
A prolonged operating period of Crete’s diesel-fired power stations, covering electricity needs until a submarine power cable connection linking the island with the Peloponnese is completed, should make the energy scare manageable.
Taking into account higher electricity demand levels anticipated on the island, an additional 50 MW should be needed in 2019 and 70 MW in 2020, according to a DEDDIE/HEDNO (Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator) study that was reportedly presented at an Athens meeting this week.
Small units to be transferred from Rhodes and, possibly, leasing of other units for Crete, are planned to cover this extra demand.