Gas firms look to hydrogen for maintenance of EU funding

Natural gas distribution and trading companies around Europe, including Greece, are turning to eco-friendly hydrogen in an effort to overcome European Commission financing prohibitions, following 2021, for fossil fuel-linked pipelines and other infrastructure.

Greece’s gas grid operator DESFA and gas utility DEPA are currently seeking ways to secure financial support for projects through EU funding and the European Investment Bank.

Converting these investment plans into eco-friendly projects by turning to hydrogen, a RES-generated fuel, is one alternative.

DESFA, counting on the experience of its main shareholders, Snam, Fluxys and Enagas – the trio’s Senfluga consortium controls the operator with a 66 percent stake – is examining the prospect of transmitting hydrogen through the national gas grid, the Greek gas grid operator’s chief executive Nicola Battilana told the four-day Delphi Economic Forum, ending tomorrow.

This DESFA investment plan could be revealed as part of the operator’s next ten-year business plan, now being put together.

DEPA chief executive Kostas Xifaras also spoke of the opportunities offered by hydrogen. The Greek gas utility and its Italian partner Edison are believed to be open to the prospect of establishing partnerships with third parties for hydrogen transmission through the prospective East Med pipeline.

Hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in energy transition and climate-change objectives, noted Aristotelis Chantavas, head of Enel Green Power Hellas.

Representatives of eight EU member states, Greece, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, among them Greek deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas, recently stressed the significance of maintaining EU funding support for natural gas projects.


New wind turbine connections to grid rise by 7.2% in 2018

A total of 103 new wind turbine facilities with a combined capacity of 191.6 MW were connected to the country’s grid in 2018, a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase, the ELETAEN figures showed, according to latest data released by ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association.

EREN, the renewable energy group founded and headed by Greek-French entrepreneur Paris Mouratoglou, has emerged as a new entry in Greece’s top-five list of RES investors with investments offering a total capacity of 210.9 MW, a 7.5 percent market share.

EREN, which recently established a strategic agreement with Total, is now ranked fifth, replacing Enel Green Power, which has dropped to sixth place.

The top-five list’s four other enterprises held their places. Terna Energy leads with 536.1 MW, a 19 percent share; El. Tech Anemos is ranked second with 285.6 MW (10.1%), Iberdrola Rokas is third with 250.7 MW (8.9%); and EDF EN Hellas is placed fourth with 238.2 MW (8.4%)., according to the ELETAEN data.

CF Ventus, a venture of the Fortress Fund, has emerged as Greece’s new RES market arrival following its acquisition of wind energy parks from the Libra group. CF Ventus is continuing to invest in the sector.

Facilities at old wind energy parks with a total capacity of 15.43 MW operated by PPC Renewables, primarily in Crete and the North Aegean, were uninstalled in 2018.  Work on their replacements has already begun.

Vestas continued to dominate Greece’s wind turbine supply market, providing an impressive 78.2 percent of all turbines installed in 2018.

As for the spatial distribution of wind capacity in Greece, the central mainland continues to be ranked first with 907 MW (32%) and is followed by the Peloponnese with 550 MW (19%) and eastern Macedonia-Thrace with 375 MW (13%).


Enel ranked among country’s most sustainable firms in 2017

Enel Green Power Hellas, Enel’s Greek renewables subsidiary, was ranked among the 21 companies recognised in the first edition of the Quality Net Foundation’s Sustainability Performance Directory in the Greek Market, out of the 54 companies that applied for the ranking, the company has announced in a statement.

The Directory evaluates how sustainably the companies approach the programs, processes and policies that they implement, and how sustainable development fits within their corporate strategy. The Quality Net Foundation developed the 2017 edition of the Directory within the framework of its “Sustainable Greece 2020” Initiative.

Sustainable Greece 2020 aims to further encourage businesses to adopt and record sustainable policies and practices as well as enhance transparency, self-assessment and accountability.

“We at Enel Green Power Hellas integrate sustainability into all aspects of our business, constantly seeking out new solutions to further improve our environmental and social footprint. With the active involvement of stakeholders and rational use of resources, economic and social progress can bring about truly shared value for all those involved. Enel Green Power Hellas contributes to the socio-economic development of local areas and communities where it operates, through a number of practices, from the expansion of infrastructure to educational and training programs, and initiatives aimed at social inclusion in projects that support cultural life in the regions,” said George Papadimitriou, Head of Enel Green Power Hellas.

The Quality Net Foundation is a non-profit network of responsible organizations and active citizens, operating as a multi-stakeholder interactive platform that promotes social responsibility in the private and public sector as well as the wider civil society with a view to bring about sustainable development and social cohesion. The Foundation researches social and business trends, tracks social needs at the national level, builds partnerships with institutional and scientific bodies, and also supports organisations that embody social responsibility.

Enel Green Power Hellas is the Enel Group’s company dedicated to the development and management of power generation from renewable sources in Greece. In the country, the Enel Group has a total renewables capacity of approximately 307 MW.

Enel Green Power, the renewable energies division of the Enel Group, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with an installed capacity of 36 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies, such as energy storage systems, in renewable energy plants.




Enel’s Evia wind farm case highlights investment hurdles

A legal case challenging renewable energy facility licenses issued by Greek authorities to Italy’s Enel for the development of what would be Greece’s biggest wind farm, in Evia, the country’s second largest island, slighly northeast of wider Athens, is now underway, once again bringing to the fore the obstacles and delays faced by major investments, especially ones concerning wind energy farm development.

The case was filed at the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, by three island residents representing a local environmental protection group. Construction of the Evia project, an investment worth 300 million euros, began last summer, on June 28, but was interrupted on August 11, when the Supreme Administrative Court issued a ruling calling for the immediate temporary suspension of all work on the project.

It is fully licensed, having obtained permits from various local authorities, including town planning, environmental and archaeological.

This court decision prompted the cancellation of an official ceremony in Evia, intended to mark the commencement of work. The ceremony was to be attended by the Greek and Italian prime ministers, as part of the Italian leader Paolo Gentiloni’s recent visit to Greece.

The Evia project, being developed by Enel’s Greek subsidiary, Enel Green Power Hellas, in Kafirea, southern Evia, is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2019. If finalized, it will represent Greece’s biggest wind farm possessing an annual production capacity of 483 GWh, cover the electricity needs of 129,000 households, and cut CO2 emissions by 433,000 tons per year.

The project plan entails linking the wind farm with a 150 kV submarine cable to transmit energy to the mainland.