New energy ministry to face many issues, from PPC to RES

Yesterday’s elections may have produced a new government, the New Democracy party, with a majority, but Greece’s energy sector issues, from the troubled power utility PPC to the renewable energy market’s need for greater growth, remain the same, if not more pressing.

ND party deputy, Costis Hatizidakis, possessing extensive experience, is slated for the energy portfolio, a choice suggesting the country’s new administration will place particular emphasis on the energy sector. The new cabinet will be announced later today.

In the lead-up to yesterday’s elections, ND described the situation at PPC, under severe financial pressure, as a time bomb created by the outgoing Syriza-led government’s choices.

ND will need to pursue measures that, on the one hand, will lessen the power utility’s electricity market dominance – as part of a wider EU-required effort for electricity market liberalization – and, on the other, restructure and modernize the corporation for ensured sustainability. This would enable PPC to continue serving as a main pillar in the country’s energy system.

The new energy minister will also need to reinvigorate investment interest in the energy sector, both for conventional electricity generation and, most crucially, renewable energy output. Corporate groups, domestic and foreign, have shown signs of investment interest in the Greek market. But specific conditions need to be guaranteed if this interest is to be followed through with action.

The same goes for the hydrocarbon exploration and production sector, where procedural delays need to be eradicated.

Also, industrial energy costs, a chronic issue in Greece, need to be resolved if investment activity is to be boosted.