Offshore wind farm potential in Greece highlighted at industry event

Offshore wind farms have tremendous potential for development in the Greek market, and could be a game changer, Panagiotis Ladakakos, president of ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, has told an industry event.

Floating offshore wind farms are a better option for Greece than fixed-bottom offshore wind farms as a result of the country’s great sea depths, which would increase the installation difficulties of fixed-bottom units, event participants agreed.

The ELETAEN president proposed the establishment of a framework offering a clear and detailed road map, adding that targets should be set for the next decade and beyond, all the way to 2050.

RES spatial map revisions incorporating Greece’s sea territory, as well as an action plan for the development of needed infrastructure concerning ports, shipyards and the supply chain are also needed, the ELETAEN president noted.

He added that power grid operator IPTO must take initiatives to plan sea transmission hubs for offshore wind farms, as this technology’s growth also depends on network development.

A pilot competitive procedure for a large-scale offshore wind farm project or projects would serve as a catalyst, the ELETAEN president added.

Greece’s potential in this sector was also highlighted by Francois Van Leeuw, co-CEO of Belgium’s ParkWind, one of a number of Belgium companies that participated in the event, staged as part of a three-day official visit to Greece by Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

 

Major RES input lowers electricity price to near zero Sunday afternoon

Greatly increased renewable energy contributions – covering over 80 percent of demand – during yesterday’s weekend siesta hours of 2pm to 5pm pushed down the wholesale electricity price to virtually zero, or 0.09 euros per MWh.

RES input reached approximately 5 GW (wind and solar energy units), while demand was limited to just over 6 GW, enabling authorities to withdraw from the market lignite and gas-fired power stations.

On the same day, when RES input eventually fell and gas-fired power station contributions were brought back into the grid, the electricity price level rebounded to 283 euros per MWh by the evening.

The wholesale electricity price averaged 168.22 euros per MWh on Sunday, a 27 percent reduction compared to Saturday.

Similar price fluctuations were also recorded in other parts of Europe over the weekend. Negative prices were recorded in Germany and the Netherlands, at -2.49 euros per MWh, and they were even lower in Belgium, at -17.97 euros per MWh. These negative prices essentially mean that consumers are paid to use electricity.

Today, electricity market conditions are back to the ongoing energy crisis’ normal levels. The average wholesale electricity price is at 243.08 euros per MWh, up 44.5 percent compared to yesterday, despite RES input representing 51.1 percent of the energy mix.

Markets challenged by nuclear withdrawals, gas crisis, demand

A series of unfavorable developments, including nuclear reactor withdrawals in Germany and Belgium, persistently high natural gas prices and strong energy demand threaten will further test the European grid, threatening to prolong the energy crisis.

The withdrawal of nuclear reactors in Germany and Belgium, combined with skyrocketing natural gas prices, will negatively impact Europe’s electricity market, even in countries where natural gas holds a small share of the energy mix, as markets are interconnected, enabling a knock-on effect.

Germany has announced a withdrawal, today, of nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 4.25 GW and remaining capacities, totaling about 4.3 GW, by end-2022. Overall, this phase-out represents 12 percent of the country’s electricity supply.

In addition, Germany’s new coalition intends to reassess the country’s existing decarbonization plan, its phase-out of fossil-fuel plants running until 2038, with the aim of shortening this procedure t0 2030, if possible.

Belgium is headed in the same direction. The country’s nuclear reactor phase-out runs until 2025. The country’s Doel 3 facility is planned to shut down in October, 2022, followed by Tihange 2 in early 2023.

Electricity demand in ten European countries is forecast to increase by 2 percent, or 5 GW, on average, in 2022, according to a Platts Analytics projection.