The energy ministry, driven by the EU’s decision to end its reliance on Russian natural gas as soon as possible, is striving to hasten procedures aiming for European Commission approval of a strategic reserve mechanism concerning power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations.
The ministry is now completing certain required studies and pending procedures in preparation for Athens’ official application to Brussels.
Even so, government officials remain adamant that Athens’ decision to end all lignite-based electricity generation by the end of 2028 does not need to change, and must not change, even though the EU now appears more tolerant towards the use of coal.
The government officials also believe that no revisions are needed for an even more ambitious lignite phase-out plan set by PPC, according to which all the utility’s lignite facilities will be withdrawn by 2023, except for a new unit, Ptolemaida V, planned to switch from lignite to natural gas in 2025.
Power grid operator IPTO plans to deliver an energy sufficiency study to the energy ministry within the next ten days, while the ministry may be ready to submit its package of prerequisites to Brussels by the end of the month.
This would pave the way for Athens to lodge an official application for a strategic reserve mechanism, as well as a capacity remuneration mechanism.