‘NOME alternatives exist’ if PPC misses contraction targets

Alternatives exist and can be resorted to if the main power utility PPC fails to meet bailout-related market share contraction targets through the recently introduced NOME-type auctions, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete told local energy market authorities at a meeting this afternoon.

The comment essentially came as a warning of the possibility of structural changes, entailing part-privatization solutions for the utility, included as a bailout term should PPC fail to reduce its still-dominant market share.

The NOME auctions were introduced in October to break the utility’s dominance by offering other traders access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources.

Just days ago, it became apparent that PPC, which has offered a series of discount offers over recent months, will most likely miss its market share contraction target of 87.42 set for the end of 2016. Latest data, still unofficial, showed that the utility ended December with a market share of just below 90 percent, up from 88.66 percent in November and 87.99 percent in October.

Responding to comments by certain local officials who contended that Greece needs to maintain a high percentage of coal-based electricity production in the country’s energy mix, Canete noted that the EU is striving towards the complete elimination of coal as an electricity-producing source by 2050.

The European Commissioner stressed the EU’s emphasis on renewable energy development, noting that further RES sector growth is needed on the Greek islands.

Prospective interconnection projects were also addressed in great detail during the meeting. EU support for new projects is vital, Canete noted. A related event titled “Island Initiative” will be held on Crete next summer, the commissioner disclosed.