The end of the Greek energy system’s reliance on lignite, being phased out to help the global climate change effort, needs to be accompanied by a strategic reserve mechanism, which would maintain certain generation capacities outside the electricity market for operation during emergency cases until the ongoing transition to cleaner energy sources has been completed, the extreme heatwave conditions around the country over the past few days have highlighted.
Record-level electricity consumption, combined with power line damages caused by major fires, pushed the grid to the limit, raising fears of widespread power outages.
The government, currently seeking the establishment of a strategic reserve mechanism as part of a Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM), needing European Commission approval, will need to highlight the heatwave-related events that have occurred in Greece over the past ten days.
Sidelined lignite-fired power stations needed to be brought back into action to help the grid meet electricity demand. They offered crucial production contributions representing between 14 and 18 percent of the energy mix.
Lignite-generated output also played a key part in the effort to maintain energy sufficiency last winter, in February, during heavy snowfall that damaged power infrastructure.
The energy exchange has performed rationally during the heatwave conditions, proving its ability to respond to the market’s demand and supply. Day-ahead market price levels rose sharply during the heatwave’s peak and are now subsiding.