RES development a key issue on visiting Gabriel’s agenda

Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, also Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, who is scheduled in Athens tomorrow for an official visit, is expected to promote renewable energy (RES) technology and modern energy storage and network management systems that could make certain Greek islands independent in terms of energy needs.

During the visit, the visiting German minister and his Greek counterpart, energy minister Panos Skourletis, are expected to sign a Joint Declaration of Intent for cooperation of projects leading to the aforementioned objectives.

As reminded by Skourletis, establishing independent energy systems for Greek islands has been discussed in the past at a political level and between Greek and German technocrats.

The installation of state-of-the-art RES systems, including for energy storage and network management, would allow islands to better utilize their respective RES potentials at levels of between 80 and 85 percent of full capacity. At present, Greek islands are unable to utilize more than 20 percent of their installed capacities.

The plan includes developing hybrid energy stations based on two or more different RES sources, preferably wind energy and photovoltaic systems; large-capacity energy storage stations holding RES production; as well as digital meters capable of providing warnings of possible RES output reductions.

Following tomorrow’s meeting between Skourletis and Gabriel, a wider meeting to also include German energy entrepreneurs and Greek energy authorities will be held.

On Friday, Skourletis will take part in an energy conference in Athens, co-organized by the Energy Ministry, the Economy, Development and Tourism Ministry, and the German Economic Affairs and Energy Ministry.

The Greek and German energy ministers are expected to sign the Joint Declaration of Intent immediately following Friday’s conference.

Gabriel will also deliver a speech tomorrow at a Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry event titled “Greece and Germany – Partners in Ecomonic Growth and Employment.”

For the visit to Athens, Gabriel will be joined by a delegation to include German entrepreneurs representing the RES, tourism, construction and banking sectors.