Convergence with Brussels on energy matters, minister tells

Greece’s energy sector matters stand on common ground with the expectations of European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete, the country’s energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, sided by the commissioner, told a joint news conference in Athens this afternoon.

Commenting on the ongoing negotiations between Greek government officials and the country’s creditor representatives on energy matters, Stathakis said the two sides shared common views on the DESFA sale, set for a new international tender following the recent collapse of the previous sale effort, as well as on the recently introduced NOME auctions, intended to reduce the main power utility PPC’s still-dominant market share.

Greece’s energy market is undergoing a transition period, the minister noted. A new institutional framework being developed by the European Commission as part of its target model will be adopted as of January 1, 2018.

PPC will meet its market share contraction targets in 2017 and 2018, the minister assured, while adding that the utility’s bailout-required market share fall to 50 percent of the retail electricity market by 2020 will be achieved.

As for PPC’s future prospects, Stathakis noted the utility will remain a powerful corporation, acknowledging that competition is intensifying.

Commenting on the renewable energy sector, the minister said that coal-based electricity production has fallen to 30 percent of the energy mix from 45 percent over the past two years. This does not mean that the intention is to wipe out coal-based electricity production, Stathakis remarked. On the contrary, the aim is to maintain this low-priced energy producing source within EU target figures.

The effort to further boost the RES sector, already representing 18 percent of Greece’s energy mix, will be continued, he noted.