Local industrial energy costs 30% higher, authorities tell

Elevated energy costs faced by Greek industry, currently 30 percent over levels in other European countries, stand as a key deterrent for the sector’s level of competitiveness, the head official of Business Europe, a leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at a European level, pointed out at a meeting in Athens yesterday.

The group’s head official Gerhard Koch raised this issue at a meeting in the Greek capital. He and fellow group members were invited by SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists.

Though Greece’s industrial sector is Europe’s hardest hit in terms of energy costs, the issue also concerns the continent on a wider scale as energy costs are as much as double those of rivals, including the US, according to Alexandre Affre, Business Europe’s Director of Industrial Affairs.

High subsidy costs and tax levels are the key factors behind Europe’s elevated energy costs, the group’s officials pointed out.

Electricity production costs differ very little within the EU, according to the Business Europe officials, who cited varying tax levels and subsidies as key factors behind the energy cost differences between EU member states.

The cost of RES support mechanisms – some of these are extremely costly – chosen by EU member states is another factor behind the resulting high energy costs around Europe, which is why the EU is pressuring member states to reform markets, the objective being to limit the impact on energy price levels, Affre noted.

The intergration and harmonization of EU energy markets, a delayed process, promises to further reduce energy costs in Europe, the Business Europe officials supported.