Series of pending energy issues to be tackled in 4th review

A series of pending energy-sector issues that were either not resolved during the bailout’s third review or emerged most recently will be the focus of the Greek program’s fourth – and final – review beginning next week in Athens.

Leading energy ministry officials will hold meetings with technocrats representing the lenders, arriving Monday.

Seven energy-sector issues will need to looked at by the energy ministry officials and visiting technocrats, while an eighth matter, energy firm privatizations, will also involve finance ministry officials.

The energy ministry will seek to avoid selling the entirety of the Greek State’s stakes in ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) and PPC (Public Power Corporation). It prefers solutions that could maintain the Greek State’s control in these enterprises.

A road map for natural gas market reforms needs to be finalized during the fourth review talks. Many reforms have already been implemented but the role of DEPA in the wholesale, retail and distribution markets needs to be clarified.

NOME auction revisions and other measures needed to open up the retail electricity market is another issue. PPC’s market share remains stubbornly high, at around 85 percent.

A formula for a RES-supporting supplier surcharge reduction, viewed as a first step before the surcharge is replaced by a new mechanism, also needs to be forged.

The possibility of new energy-sector account deficits that may result from a more generous social policy pursued by the government through public service compensation (YKO) and social residential tariffs (KOT) revisions will also be examined.

The delayed implementation of Target Model measures is another matter to be tabled.

A new transitional flexibility remuneration mechanism for gas-fired electricity production needs to be finalized and endorsed. Delays here have unnerved the European Commission.

The new RES support framework will also be on the agenda of the upcoming talks. Pending issues for certain RES technologies, the most pressing being regulatory framework and tariffs for hybrid projects, need to be resolved.