The energy ministry is preparing to forward to the European Commission a power grid operator IPTO study that underlines the ongoing necessity of the country’s lignite-fired power stations for grid sufficiency.
The IPTO study was requested by energy minister Kostas Skrekas to bolster a compensation request submitted to Brussels by state-controlled power utility PPC as a result of the grid’s ongoing need for lignite units, nowadays loss-incurring facilities due to elevated CO2 emission right costs.
PPC, Greece’s sole operator of lignite units, plans to phase out its lignite units over the next three years as part of the country’s decarbonization strategy.
The energy ministry expects to forward the IPTO study to the European Commission within the next fortnight. Greece is seeking compensation for PPC through a support mechanism for as long as these lignite units remain in use.
Last week, the European Commission began examining whether a similar German compensation request complies with EU rules and should be approved.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager suggested that the German plan theoretically complies with Europe’s green energy agreement and its goals.
“Within this context, our role is to safeguard competition by ensuring that compensation for premature withdrawal [of lignite units] is kept to a minimum,” Vestager commented. “The information available at this point is not sufficient to judge.”
EU hesitation to the German plan concerns a number of aspects, including the duration of the compensation period.