The completion of the short introductory, part of the International Energy Exhibition of Greece 2022 (IEEG) & 6th Cretan Energy Conference (CEC) taking place in 1 – 3 of July in 2022 at Chania, Crete proved a success.
The event is under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Ministry of Maritime and Insular Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Development and Investment. The Region of Crete is supporting the event as well.
Following the latest geopolitical situation, the organizing committee is opening the participation spots in order to express in the decisive worldwide energy issue. Honored Country for 2022 is Egypt. More information: cretanenergyconferences.org
Opening the new circle of participants, we would like to quote part of introductory speeches from the ‘’Pre – Virtual conference IEEG, Energy Matters: What 2022 holds’’.
Mr. John Sitilides, diplomacy consultant at the US Dept. of State, provided a geopolitical overview and assessment of the regional and global energy markets from a US perspective with main focus on the South Europe and in the frame of Ukraine crisis.
In brief, he stated that Europe has all energy sources needed, both fossil and nuclear, for countering the Russian tactic of weaponizing gas supplies -especially during US presence in Ukraine- and that the European intensive investment on renewables during last decades has failed. He paralleled Europe’s energy dependence on Russian gas to the US dependence on China as a manufacturer of energy components. Moreover, Mr. Sitilides highlighted the US as world’s top natural gas producer and estimated that without the US oil supplies to the European market, oil prices would have been even higher. US exports of LNG to satisfy Europe’s needs have exceeded Russia’s pipeline deliveries. In fact, Russian exports account for 30-40% of Europe’s gas use, while EU gas prices quadrupled.
Regarding EU commitment to green energy and long-term goals to fight climate change, Mr. Sitilides mentioned that energy crisis has provided a painful demonstration that unconditional reliance on Renewables is not realistic for covering the 21 century needs and highlighted energy affordability as the major concern, especially since commodity prices predictably will not fall as fast as they rose and will remain at exceptionally high levels throughout 2022. The democratically elected European governments will have to address border concerns about inflationary energy costs. Mitigating this damage necessitates embracing the “intermediary step” of expanding supplies of natural gas. That especially is going to be the case with TAP as a means of supplying non-Russian gas. Moreover, he mentioned that the expansion of Revithousa LNG terminal has enabled the expansion of US LNG deliveries to Greece and regional markets, and that the FSRU unit in Alexandroupolis will contribute from 2023 and on to the diversification of regional energy sources around.
Even further, Mr. Sitilides considered US commitment from the Biden Administration of reducing carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Since the US allocate 76% of their overall energy budget to their military, with the largest part of this energy coming from fossil fuels, Mr. Sitilides further questioned climate change and transition to renewables as “energy myths” that are devastating the energy industry and durability to deliver profits to the shareholders. He mentioned that practically less than 3% of global energy is RES-driven (even after the investment of 2.7 trillion $ during the past decade) and that such technologies overconsume land and minerals, while the risk of energy poverty overwhelms climate change. He brought to the audience’s attention that in Germany citizen electricity bills doubled, whereas US green energy policy will cost 12% of US GDP and 1000 $ per US citizen for the next 30 years.
Mr. Sitilides concluded suggesting the use of fossil fuels to be the best solution for Greek, European and international future as cost-effective and reliable source of energy.
Mr. John Maniatis, former Minister of Energy, included all energy sectors combining the technical, financial and political issues.
The former Minister stressed that the energy crisis started as a global crisis and mainly evolved into a European crisis. Natural Gas is highly priced for long time intervals, three times or five times more than other regions of the planet due to the needs of this continent.
Additionally it was highlighted the great wound of EU where one trillion euros will be lost and more specific Italy, which will lose 38 billion euros.
He mentioned that this crisis should teach us what we need to do and what we should avoid. EU needs to increase its natural gas independence and SE Mediterranean could be the main core of this energy strategy. Moreover he stressed that we need a new energy dogma not of 2000 but 2020 – 30 with emphasis at the pipelines and the electric pipelines EuroAsia & EuroAfrica Interconnector.
Finally he stressed that we are heading to green transition as Europe and as Greece and we need to complete this quickly but by realizing that:
Sustainable energy is equal-sided triangle:
With equal sides and angles, where we should not forget that Europe is populated by 54 million energetically poor citizens.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Mohina, First Undersecretary for Research, Planning and Authorities Follow-up, represented the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewables. He discussed the forecasts and the planning of the Egyptian side in view of the developments in the energy market in 2022 and thanked the Greek Government for the dialogue step through this event.
He noted that Egypt perceives energy as a matter of national security and politically supports its energy sovereignty. For this reason, in its effort to deal with issues such as electricity & fuel shortages, availability of production units and transmission losses, the Ministry has since 2014 implemented major upgrade programs. It thus managed to increase its installed capacity from 32.2GW (in 2014) to 59.5GW (in 2021) in combination with the addition of 8 million more consumers to the grid and the increase of the electricity share per capita.
Regarding the penetration of RES, Egypt’s “Strategic Vision” for 2030 for sustainable development is in line with its “Energy Strategy 2035” but also the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations, aiming to cover 42.7% of the domestic production from RES to 2035 and providing strong incentives for private investment. By the end of 2021 it had achieved 6,148 GW of installed capacity, which is equivalent to approximately 20% of peak load. Indicative of the political weight of RES for Egypt is the creation of the world’s largest photovoltaic park in Aswan with a 2 billion dollar investment (1,465GW of installed capacity).
With regard to Egypt’s energy interconnection with foreign countries, the Ministry has proceeded to the expansion and gradual upgrade of the transmission and distribution networks, based on the high solar and wind potential of the country, its energy surplus, its strategic position as well as and the strong domestic manufacturing industry of electrical systems. Part of Egypt’s extroversion in this area are the current electricity interconnection projects with Greece and Cyprus, accompanied by the signing of MoU among the parties involved.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Egyptian Government has targeted and invested in future projects. These notably include the impressive 2.61 billion dollar-high pump storage project with a capacity of 2.4GW, with the main contractor being the Chinese state-owned Sinohydro, as well as “Waste to Energy” technologies, while studies on hydrogen technology infrastructure are currently ongoing. Hydrogen infrastructures have now been given special importance by the Egyptian Government resulting to a PM decree that mandates setting up an inter-ministerial committee responsible for drawing up the respective Roadmap for future steps using hydrogen, which will include the final version of the strategy. In present time, the committee has finished the final report and recommendations, whereas the necessary arrangements are being made for the preparations of the National Hydrogen Strategy.
The Minister of Maritime Mr. G. Plakiotakis, mentioned that the event’s actions will operate as node for exchanging ideas regarding the developing prospects of the energy sector in the coming years.
He talked about shipping where the path taken by the industry is dedicated in protecting the environment and in the gradual detoxification from carbon.
Greece is strongly supporting the promotion of innovations and realistic solutions for decreasing carbon dioxide emissions under the guidance of the International Marine Organization. Only within the context of IMO it’s possible to take measures which do not only guarantee an essential carbon footprint improvement but will ensure the long-term sustainability of this strategic sector.
Moreover, Greece aside of being a global naval power it’s also an important hub of transit trade, due to the strategic location of it’s ports. Among others things, it was mentioned that Greece has 115 inhabited small and large islands, where their regular connection with Greek mainland must be ensured, as well as the transport of goods and passengers in combination with the fulfillment of international and European environmental goals.
Right now, the Ministry has created a strong legislative framework which has provided the tools needed to plan the future of Greek islands with security, realism and perspective for the future, together with the local communities. Thus, the Greek port system will actively participate in the development of local economies, as well as in the national economy of the country. Also, all those scenarios are being studied that would create in the rest of our major regional ports the necessary background that would lead them to the next day.
We are now in the final stage of utilizing the ten largest regional ports in the country, with attracting of investment interest having exceed all expectations. In 2022, the selection phase of the first contractors for four of them is expected to be completed and we will intensively continue the international tenders for the remaining six.
It was also reported that the digital platform e-pilotage is immediately activated through which all navigation processes in all ports of the country are automated. The platform will be able to extract and exchange data through interconnection with third party systems while it will result in direct communication and cooperation, between the involved entities, both in information and in the payment of navigation rights.
Finally, he stressed that for the Government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ports are not just facilities for loading and unloading goods, goods and people. They are levers of development of the Region and as they are historically closely connected with the urban tissues of the cities in which they are located, they are levers of development of the local communities, with what this implies both for the investments that will be made in them and for securing the places. but also their connection to local economies.
Ms. Maria Boile, Director of the Postgraduate Program in Shipping, Department of Maritime Studies, University of Piraeus but also with a broader biography in the field of shipping, also stressed that Greece is a global shipping power with about 20% of Greek shipowners controlling of the world fleet in capacity. And respectively at European level 58%. For Europe, 75% of foreign trade is transported by sea, while worldwide more than 90% of goods are transported by ship.
She spoke about the strategy that envisages a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while in terms of carbon dioxide emissions the projected reduction by 40% until 2030, with aim to reduce by 70% by 2050 and gradually eliminate carbon emissions. She referred to key proposals being evaluated including electricity, biofuels, ammonia, hydrogen and methanol. However, the shift to these fuels also presupposes appropriate technological developments on ships, appropriate storage facilities and facilities in ports, as well as facilities for the production and distribution of fuel. She also mentioned as the coordinator at European level of the Waterborne Technology Platform. The role of the Platform is particularly important, as it helps to achieve the defined objectives, through the coordination and support of research and innovation actions, which aim to serve the transition to zero-emission maritime transport.
The priority axes set by the Technology Platform are 6 and include the use of alternative fuels, electricity, energy efficiency, design and conversion, digital green and ports. In each axis, the goal is to have developed the necessary technologies, standardizing the processes and to have presented large-scale applications before 2030. Every year in this context, research actions on these issues are funded.
Coastal shipping have a particularly important role at national, economic and social level. Greece has 15,000 kilometers of coastline, over 3.5 thousand islands of which 115 are inhabited as mentioned by the Minister and about 14% of the country’s population lives on them. Coastal shipping, coastal ships, are the very roads or the imaginary bridge that connects the islands with each other and with the mainland, in order to achieve the seamless connection of all areas and to ensure the territorial continuity.
In the context of a program study prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Mobility and Transport Networks for the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, we study the coastal network with emphasis on barren lines. One of the issues we are looking at is the energy consumption of coastal vessels and the pollutants produced as well as the possibility of using alternative forms of energy. Taking into account the average age of the fleet of coastal vessels, we understand that there is an urgent need to find solutions to these issues. The solutions should focus on the forms of energy that are suitable for the coastal shipping ships but also the way of production and storage of energy and the facilities that should exist in the ports.
Furthermore Mr. A. Savvakis, President of the Hellenic Energy Exchange, spoke about this newly established entity, but necessary and crucial for the future.
HEE was founded in June 2018 and consists of the Hellenic Energy Exchange SA. (Hellenic Energy Exchange SA – HEnEx) and the Energy Exchange Clearing Company (EnEx Clearing House SA -EnExClear). Since being appointed by the Hellenic Energy Regulatory Authority (RAE) as the Designated Electricity Market Administrator (ODAE), HEE has evolved according to the European agenda for a single and integrated European Energy Market.
November 2020: Integration into the European Target Model of the EU
– Integration of the Greek electricity market with the target model of the EU
– Day-Ahead Market Intra-Day Market with local auctions (LIDAs) December 2020 & May 2021: Price coupling of the Next Day Market through the interconnections of Greece with Italy (2020) and Bulgaria (2021)
– 15 December 2020 – coupling of the Greek Day-Ahead market with the EU markets – over the interconnection between Greece and Italy
– 11 May 2021 – Extension of the market coupling through the interconnection with Bulgaria
October 2021- EnExGroup and the ATHEX cooperate with the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) to establish a new model for the liquidation of the Cyprus Electricity Market. The CSE is responsible for the financial settlement of the obligations and receivables of the Market Participants as well as for the risk management in relation to their obligations. EnExClear provides ongoing support to the CSE for the development of the necessary regulatory framework and the provision of its services, while the ATHEX provides the IT support infrastructure.
November 2021: Launch of the hybrid operating model of the small connected judge system.
The Energy Exchange Group in collaboration with the Managers of IPTO, HEDNO, DAPEEP and the Energy Regulatory Authority put into productive operation on October 31, 2021 for the first day of natural delivery on November 1, 2021 the Hybrid Model of the Small Market (Small Market) based on the provisions of the Regulatory and Legislative framework that covers the first phase of the start of the interconnection of Crete with the mainland System. The integration of the market of MSS Crete with the hybrid model, proposed and implemented by EnExGroup in close collaboration with the Administrator of ESMIE one year after the launch of the Target Model, now provides the Suppliers and Producers of Crete with the advantage of a single liquidation most of their transactions for Crete in the EXE Markets maximizing the participation of RES in the MSS of Crete.
February 2022: The Athens Stock Exchange Group (ATHEXGroup) and the Energy Exchange Group (EnExGroup) jointly undertook, in the context of a public offering, to provide the Albanian Energy Exchange (ALPEX) with the Infrastructure & Services for its operation and specialization. Trading Platform for the Next Day Market and Intraday Market and the Services required for the operation of the Regulated Market in Albania and Kosovo.
HenEx already offers training programs for its participants. Participants in the Natural Gas Trading Stand can be the Transport Users and DESFA. DESFA participates by trading in short-term standardized products for reasons of balancing the National Natural Gas Transmission System. The transactions that take place are anonymous while their quantities are automatically notified to DESFA. Based on the transactions made at the Natural Trade Trading Stand, the ERA calculates and publishes a set of Reference Prices, including Closing Prices, the Next Day Gas Index (HGSIDA) and the Intraday Gas Index (HGSIW) and HGSIW Gas Balancing (OTAAE and OTPAE).
“Where do we want to go”
The establishment of an regional energy regime in the SE Mediterranean and in the Balkans in particular. Play a regional role by integrating neighboring energy markets under an efficient, secure and reliable trading umbrella, strictly based on European regulatory standards, providing shareholders with transaction transparency, low transaction costs and the elimination of hedge risk management. Given EnEx’s position in the region, we are confident that our efforts will soon bring positive results for shareholders as a whole.
Mr. P. Ladakakos, President of ELETAEN (the Greek entity for Wind Energy) referred to the Agenda of wind energy until 2021 as well as 2022 and the subsequent course.
The Installed Power by 2021 was 4,451 MW in the national interconnected and non-interconnected network. In 2021 we had 340 MW which was less than in 2020 and 2019 due to license delays and that with the existing rates it is difficult to catch the ESEK targets. For this reason, he suggested simplifying the licensing framework and that the key word in it is flexibility.
There are many facilities that are in the mature stages, but with the development of technology, it is necessary to update their licensing, referring to them as more modern, large, and productive wind turbines. The industry targets are fewer wind turbines, with larger engines, that increase productivity, and therefore lower production costs for the network. Therefore, lower cost risk compared to fossil fuels, ie cost predictability advantage. Hence independence from commercial & geopolitical parameters such as Natural Gas.
He also referred to the challenge for the full integration of RES in the full operation of the new electricity markets.
Finally, he stressed the new target model, that of offshore wind, which must be given great weight, for which until now we did not have the satisfactory technology but it is now mature and we can still take advantage of the large wind potential of the Aegean.
Finally, it was stated that we must seriously consider from now on and for the future the issue of energy storage as well as the proper information of local communities.
Dr. Pantelis Biskas, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) discussed the impact of new interconnector between Greece and Egypt in the greek wholesale electricity market in the frame of the highly important ‘’GREGY’’ project.
He mentioned that almost 1.5 years ago, the case of GREGY interconnection between Greece (region of Attica) and Egypt (Wadi El-Natroon) was studied that comprises an Extra High Voltage line with 3.000 MW of maximum transmission capacity hence allowing for bi-directional power flow between the two countries. A 100% share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) generation is aimed to be transferred from Egypt to Greece starting from 2028. The relevant study included scenaria that considered greek load sensitivity analysis, Greece’s load profile, the RES-based and storage element installed capacities, Natural Gas pricing and CO2 costs. Particular focus was made on favorable scenario S1 and the extreme scenario S5.
The study has shown that the exported 3.000 MW from Egypt to Greece on a yearly scale (excluding maintenance periods) will significantly affect the production planning of domestic power plants that use Natural Gas, given that the cost of the imported electricity from Egypt will be decidedly lower than the cost of their produced power. Prof. Biskas thus commented that a need for storage stations will emerge, in addition to the reduction of gas fuel imports to Greece.
The basic contribution of this study was to assess by how much GREGY interconnection could release capacity for commercial exchanges to Italy and Bulgaria (approximately 500-700 MW), which is a satisfied specific criterion set by EU Regulation 347/2013 in order for the interconnection to be considered eligible for assessment and inclusion in the European Union “Projects of Common Interest” (PCIs) list.
Mr. A. Marinos, Office Manager of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, spoke in detail about the Developments and new goals of FitFor55: the new Green Deal.
The latest version of the European Green Deal is the so-called Fit-For-55. Through this, the European Commission approved a package of proposals to enable the European Union’s climate, energy, land use, transport and tax policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Compared to 1990 levels. In the integration of the principles of the circular economy, so that all together contribute to the achievement of the broader goal, tackling climate change and Europe ‘s climate neutrality by 2050.
- Dritsas, Office Manager of the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment Dr. Christos Dimas, responsible for the research – technology – innovation portfolio, referred to the energy sector of the Ministry.
Research, Technology and Innovation are the catalyst for humanity’s progress and prosperity.
The Greek innovation ecosystem includes 25 universities, 11 Research Centers, 3 Technology Bodies, 1,100 companies that are actively involved in innovation and 600 start-ups that have been registered in the National Register “Elevate Greece”.
The country participates in most of the European and international developments, while it has expressed its interest in participating in 2 important projects of common European interest ’(IPCEIs) in the field of Hydrogen as well as Batteries.
It is pointed out that Greece, in the very competitive programs of Horizon 2020, in Pillar 3, Greece did much better than the European Average in terms of participation, both in the thematic area of Energy (Transport) and Transport (Transport).
From the 28 National Research Infrastructures financed by the Ministry of Development, we single out 3 “networks” of Research Bodies that are active in specific vertical sectors:
- the Research Infrastructure “PROMETHEUS”, in the field of Energy
- PANACEA “Environmental Sector” Research Infrastructure dealing with climate change and climate change
- the INVALOR Research Infrastructure concerning waste utilization and sustainable resource management
At the national level, the flagship action “Research-Create-Innovate” in the energy sector is in progress, the approved proposals constitute 7% of the total budget. It includes 69 projects with a budget of € 50.5 million in which 216 partners participate: companies and Research Centers.
Also the energy-related sectors: Transport and Supply Chain, also accounts for 7%, while the sector Environment and Sustainable Development, 9.4%.
More “active” scientific entities in the field of Energy:
- The NTUA, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Patras, the University of Crete together with the Mediterranean University, the University of West Attica, the University of Western Macedonia and the Democritus University stand out from the universities.
- CERTH, FORTH and DEMOKRITOS stand out from the Research Centers, while the National Observatory of Athens and the emblematic CLIMPACT initiative stand out in terms of climate change.
At the same time, a Competence Center in the field of energy has been set up with the scientific leadership of the National Technical University of Athens, while 3 Innovation Clusters in Sustainable Development and the Circular Economy and a Cluster in Transport and Smart Mobility are also being set up.
In start-ups, 8.3% are companies active in the field of Environment and Energy. Regarding StartUps, we have registered 44 companies, where 7 of them are spin off by Research Institutions. The companies are active in the field of Energy storage through batteries, hydrogen, Renewable Energy Sources and Smart Mobility.
Today, the Ministry of Development and Investment and the GGEK, has already completed its planning for the next financial period of Research, Technology and Innovation that extends until 2030 with a total budget of the NSRF 1.3 billion and an additional 500 million. by the TAA (RRF), as well as additional Public Investment Resources and the Regular Budget.
It will participate in National Actions and European Joint Initiatives (European Partnerships).
The National Energy Research and Technology Strategy covers 9 areas:
1 Energy efficiency and energy saving
2 Energy from RES
3 Energy Saving
4 Hydrogen technologies and systems and climate neutral fuels
5 Smart grids – demand response – decentralized production
(Smart Grids – Energy Response – Decentralized Production)
6 Reduction of Fossil Fuel Impacts
7 Smart communities – cities with low energy and almost zero emissions
8 Energy and Transport
9 Energy and Agriculture