Ministry working on Electra program for public building upgrades

Besides its preparatory work for the next edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of homes, the energy ministry is also moving ahead with its Electra program, designed to subsidize upgrades of public buildings.

The Electra program, worth 500 million euros, will aim to provide energy savings totaling 230,000 MWh by 2025 as result of energy efficiency upgrades to public buildings.

Energy ministry officials aim to announce the Electra program’s details within the next two months so that interested eligible parties can begin preparing their applications.

Public office buildings, hospitals, medical clinics, schools and other education institutions, cultural centers, sport facilities, as well as care centers for the elderly, underprivileged and children will all be eligible for Electra program upgrade subsidies.

Buildings will need to be used at least eight months per year to be eligible for the program, according to one of the prerequisites expected to be set.

The Electra program will remain open for applicants until all its available funds have been absorbed.

Details imminent for October’s ‘Saving at Home’ subsidies

The energy ministry is set, any day now, to announce the details of the next Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades ahead of its launch, planned for October, according to an announcement made by energy minister Kostas Skrekas late last month.

Once launched, the Saving at Home online platform will remain open for one month, the minister has informed, to give interested households sufficient time to submit all required supporting documents.

The ministry has set an objective for energy efficiency upgrades of 50,000 homes through the new program, a 38 percent increase compared to the previous cycle.

The new subsidy program, worth a total of 632 million euros, is expected to offer subsidies averaging 62 percent of energy efficiency project costs.

The annual objective for energy savings is expected to be exceeded by 108 percent.

A first-come, first-served criterion is being abandoned for this latest edition of the subsidy program. Instead, applications will be assessed based on energy-efficiency potential, income, and social criteria.

Priority will be given to low-income households, individuals with special needs, single-parent families, long-term unemployed, large families and households with increased energy needs.

The energy-saving potential of applications will be the most important criterion, representing a 50 percent coefficient in the overall assessment. Personal or family income levels will be the next most important factor, representing 15 percent of the overall assessment.

Energy poverty plan, worth €2.1bn, for affected households

An energy ministry action plan for 2021 to 2030 intended to tackle energy poverty, includes funding programs worth a total of 2.1 billion euros that promise long-term support to vulnerable households by improving energy efficiency and promoting the use of RES options at homes.

The plan, forwarded for public consultation last Friday, is expected to benefit approximately 300,000 low-income households.

The plan envisions subsidies covering up to 80 percent of energy efficiency upgrades for affected households as well as RES system installations covering their energy needs.

The action plan’s section supporting energy efficiency upgrades will be combined with the existing Saving at Home program, now into its third edition.

In the EU, households are deemed to be below the energy poverty line if their energy costs needed to maintain an adequate level of warmth exceed 10 percent of income.

 

 

Details of new energy efficiency subsidies plan published this week

The energy ministry’s plan for the latest edition of the “Saving at Home – Becoming Autonomous” program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades is expected to be published by the end of this week, possibly tomorrow, ahead of it launch, not expected before October.

The new subsidy program, worth a total of 632 million euros, is expected to offer subsidies averaging 62 percent of the respective total cost of energy efficiency projects.

This week’s announcement of the plan will give interested parties time to study the subsidy program’s details and prepare supporting documents for their applications.

A first-come, first-served criterion is being abandoned for this latest edition of the subsidy program. Instead, applications will be assessed based on energy-efficiency potential, income, and social criteria.

Priority will be given to low-income households, individuals with special needs, single-parent families, long-term unemployed, large families and households with increased energy needs.

The energy-saving potential of applications will be the most important criterion, serving as a 50 percent coefficient in the overall assessment. Personal or family income levels will be the next most important factor, representing 15 percent of the overall assessment.

New energy efficiency subsidies exclude PVs, vehicle rechargers

The latest edition of the “Saving at Home – Becoming Autonomous” program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades, expected to be announced on Thursday by the energy and environment ministry, will focus on domestic energy efficiency upgrades and not offer subsidy support for domestic installations of photovoltaic systems and electric vehicle recharging units.

Applicants with income levels below the poverty line, deemed, by the ministry, as personal incomes of up to 5,000 euros per annum and family incomes of up to 12,000 euros per annum, will be given priority.

Also, low-income applicants will be entitled to greater subsidy amounts representing 65 percent of efficiency upgrade expenses.

The new subsidy program, planned to be launched in September, is expected to be worth 500 million euros. Successful applicants will each be entitled to subsidy support of up to 50,000 euros, unchanged from the program’s previous edition.

Applications will not be processed on a first-come, first-served basis but, instead, priority will be determined by a combination of the following factors: applicant income level and number of people living in each household; age of building; and regional climate conditions.

Applicants who present plans promising to maximize energy efficiency levels with lower investment amounts will also be given priority.

 

New low-end income category for energy efficiency upgrade subsidies

The energy ministry plans to add a sixth income bracket, covering low-income earners, to a latest and forthcoming edition of a Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of homes.

The additional category, promising to offer greater subsidy amounts for low-income earners, will apply for individuals with annual income levels of up to 5,000 euros and families with total annual income of up to 12,000 euros.

Applicants belonging to this category will be entitled to subsidies covering up to 65 percent of energy efficiency upgrade costs at homes.

According to sources, a project-cost maximum of 50,000 euros will be applied.

The latest edition of the Saving at Home, close to being finalized, is set for pre-announcement in preparation for the subsidy platform’s September launch.

Details imminent for next energy-efficiency subsidies offer

The latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of homes is just about ready. Its details will most likely be announced next week by energy minister Kostas Skrekas in preparation for a launch of the applications platform in September, sources have informed.

The new edition will aim for energy efficiency upgrades of 50,000 homes and investments totaling one billion euros, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou informed during a speech at a recent TEE (Technical Chamber of Greece) event.

As has previously applied, applicants will need to submit plans upgrading the energy-efficiency ratings of their homes by three levels, determined by a points system, in order to qualify for subsidy support.

A revised appraisal system will be introduced. It will factor in the degree of energy savings promised by respective home upgrades as well as a points system with factors such as regional climate conditions; existing energy-efficiency ratings of buildings; age of buildings; as well as income levels of applicants combined with social criteria such as unemployment records, disabilities and single-parent family status.

PPC to offer energy efficiency services following rival moves

The board at power utility PPC, which has lined up a shareholders’ meeting for June 4, will propose company statute revisions including one to facilitate the company’s entry into energy efficiency services, following dynamic moves into this sector by rival suppliers.

The board will propose to shareholders a corporate statute addition concerning the purpose of its operation and activity, covering: “Trade, supply, sale, various related products and equipment, as well as the provision of products and services for the design, implementation, installation, management and financing of energy production, heating, cooling and energy efficiency systems in buildings and facilities “.

According to sources, PPC has already begun planning its move into energy efficiency services, through which consumers will be able to install roof-mounted solar panels at homes combined with net metering. PPC also plans to provide specialized, digital solutions for enterprises and facilities to limit their energy consumption levels.

In other company developments, PPC has decided to maintain two board posts, on its eleven-member board, for worker representatives.

Legislative priority for energy storage, offshore wind farms

Legislative action will soon be taken by the energy ministry for the RES sector and energy storage systems, as well as offshore wind farm development, the key pillars of the country’s energy transition plan, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has told an online event staged by research and policy institute diaNEOsis on “The Energy Sector in Greece and the Climate Crisis”.

“We are preparing an institutional framework for energy storage. RES units cannot operate without storage,” the minister told the event, referring, once again, to a plan for power purchase agreements (PPAs) between industrial enterprises and RES producers.

An institutional framework for offshore wind farms, the energy transition’s second main component, is also being prepared to cover spatial matters and utilization of sea areas as an energy source, Skrekas noted.

Energy efficiency project support programs worth between 4 and 4.5 billion euros are planned to be offered over the next few years for building upgrades, the minister also told the event.

Commenting on electromobility, Skrekas praised the success of recent incentives offered for electric vehicle purchases, noting that 10 percent of new vehicle registrations in 2021 concern electric and hybrid models.

Crete-Athens grid link omitted from Greek RRF proposal

A grid interconnection to link Crete with Athens has been omitted from a national plan containing 112 projects for which financial support will be sought through the European Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.

It was the energy sector’s only surprise omission from the government’s plan for RRF support, to be submitted to Greek Parliament within the next few days for ratification before being forwarded to the European Commission.

Even so, progress of the Crete-Athens grid interconnection project, vital for Crete’s energy sufficiency without reliance on high-cost local power stations, will not be affected by the decision as a number of other financing options remain available, authorities have stressed.

These include the National Strategic Reference Framework and the Just Transition Fund.

The national RRF plan was discussed at a cabinet meeting yesterday ahead of its presentation, planned for tomorrow.

A proposal for a 200 million-euro injection into the RES special account, facing deficit territory, has been included in the national plan.

Other key features of the plans are: the country’s energy efficiency upgrade program for homes, businesses and public buildings; the decarbonization plan; installation of smart meters; upgrade and undergrounding of transmission lines; as well as development of electric vehicle recharging infrastructure.

Ministry approves strategy for emission-free buildings by 2050

The energy ministry has approved a report detailing a long-term strategy for the renovation of public and private buildings into carbon emission-free units of elevated energy efficiency by 2050.

The aim is to transform existing buildings into units of virtually-zero energy consumption, the report noted.

Given the fact that buildings currently represent almost 40 percent of overall energy consumption, a large-scale upgrade of existing buildings and construction of new eco-friendly buildings requiring minimal energy consumption is deemed necessary.

This prospect would offer tremendous energy consumption and cost savings for dwellers and users while also improving living standards in terms of comfort, security and health, the report notes.

Energy efficiency upgrade measures concerning 2020 to 2030 are already being implemented through the National Energy and Climate Plan, aiming for upgrades of 12 to 15 percent of buildings over this ten-year period.

However, more ambitious measures, including stricter exterior surface insulation standards for new buildings and a greater number of upgrades at existing buildings will be needed for close-to-zero carbon emissions in this sector by 2050, according to the report.

Energy consumption at buildings will need to fall 8 percent by 2030, compared to 2015, and close to 40 percent by 2050, the report notes.

 

RES spatial plan to be delivered within 2021, Action Plan notes

The completion of a RES sector spatial plan within the current year has been included in an energy ministry Action Plan for 2021, just published along with the respective action plans of all other ministries.

The energy ministry’s action plan lists interventions planned for 2021 in nine areas under its authority, including energy-sector privatizations, energy market reforms, support for decarbonization and recycling, adoption of circular economic principles, greenhouse gas emission reduction, the tackling of climate change effects, as well as green energy transition.

RES sector measures this year will help cut down the time needed by new RES projects for licensing procedures to two years, the ministry anticipates in its action plan.

It also expects the installation, by the end of the year, of at least 2,000 recharging units for electric vehicles in public areas, including along highways, and at private properties, including domestic and commercial.

On the privatization front, the energy ministry expects all seven energy privatization plans to have been completed or reached an advanced stage by the end of the year.

On energy market reforms, the adoption of a remuneration mechanism for grid sufficiency, to replace a transitional mechanism remunerating flexibility, is a standout feature.

The energy ministry also intends to adopt, as Greek law, an EU directive promoting energy storage and demand response systems.

The ministry’s action plan also anticipates the signing of agreements this year for distribution network development and RES penetration support. It also expects DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, to announce a tender for the installation of smart power meters within the current year.

Taking into account plans by DEDDIE/HEDNO and power grid operator IPTO, the ministry expects investments in distribution and transmission networks to reach one billion euros this year.

Investments for gas network upgrades and expansion are expected to reach at least 300 million euros, primarily driven by projects planned by gas distributor DEDA, covering all areas around the country except for the wider Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly areas.

On international projects, the action plan notes that a Greek-Bulgarian gas pipeline project, the IGB, promising to significantly diversify Greece’s gas sources, will be completed by the end of 2021.

A latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of properties, budgeted at one billion euros, will stimulate work on 80,000 buildings in 2021, according the energy ministry’s action plan.

This activity will contribute to a National Energy and Climate Plan objective for an improvement, by 2030, of energy efficiency at buildings by 38 percent, reducing energy consumption to levels below those registered in 2007, the action plan notes.

 

New ‘Saving at Home’ plan to be based on heating subsidies model

A latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of households, expected to be announced towards the end of this coming summer, will be revised to feature climate and income criteria, reflecting a system already used to determine heating cost subsidy levels.

A chart previously prepared by the National Meteorological Service (EMY) to determine heating subsidy allocations will now also be adopted for the energy ministry’s latest Saving at Home program, sources informed.

The existing EMY model will be tweaked to better suit the Saving at Home program, taking into account both heating and cooling needs of individual households. Income criteria will also be taken into account, prioritizing lower-income households. Applicants with plans for energy efficiency upgrades of higher degree are also expected to benefit.

The EMY chart divides the country into 200,000 plots, offering respective details on average temperature levels and number of hours of heating needed in a day by households. A point system determines the level of heating subsidies entitled by each area.

The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) will also contribute to the energy ministry’s effort for the next Saving at Home program.

Saving at Home subsidy platform revisions made for broader access

The Saving at Home subsidy program supporting energy efficiency upgrades of properties was relaunched today after being suspended for technical improvements to its online platform accepting applications.

Technical interventions were made to rectify a severe imbalance in the processing of bids that benefited larger-scale professionals of the building industry, such as big civil engineering firms using specialized software for swifter access to the platform.

Individuals and smaller firms, as a consequence, were blocked from the system, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis until subsidy funds allocated to specific regions around Greece are exhausted.

Interested parties now have a five-minute time limit to fill in application details and lodge their bids from the moment they enter the system. This time restriction will secure fairer play by offering broader access to the platform, energy ministry officials explained.

Revisions were also made to simplify application procedures for subsidy bids concerning apartment blocks. Subsequently, applicants belonging to this category do not need to provide bank account details until a latter date.

Today’s platform relaunch began with subsidy applications for the east Macedonia and Thrace region.

The online platform opens for west Macedonia residents on January 27, property owners in central Macedonia can submit applications as of January 29, while interested parties in Thessaly can lodge bids as of February 1. The category for apartment blocks opens February 3 for the entire country.

The platform’s opening time, 10am, remains unchanged.

Saving at Home subsidy platform restarting following improvements

The Saving at Home subsidy program supporting energy efficiency upgrades of properties is set to be relaunched on January 25 after being suspended for two weeks to make technical improvements to its online platform accepting applications.

A severe imbalance in the processing of bids prompted the intervention.

Larger-scale professionals of the building industry, such as big civil engineering firms backed by specialized software, were able to achieve collective and swifter processing of their applications, blocking out, as a consequence, bids lodged by individuals or smaller professional firms.

Application deadlines for the remainder of regions around the country still not serviced have been deferred by two weeks.

Interested parties in the east Macedonia and Thrace region may lodge their subsidy applications as of January 25. The online platform opens for west Macedonia residents on January 27, property owners in central Macedonia can submit applications as of January 29, while interested parties in Thessaly can lodge bids as of February 1.

The category for apartment blocks opens February 3 for the entire country.

Swift action taken for Saving at Home subsidy platform issues

The energy ministry is making technical improvements to an online platform accepting subsidy applications for energy efficiency upgrades of buildings following reports of a severe imbalance in the processing of bids.

‘Saving at Home’ subsidy program applications submitted by larger-scale professionals of the building industry, such as big civil engineering firms, are being processed collectively and making it through the system, blocking out, as a consequence, bids lodged by individuals or smaller professional firms.

Newly appointed energy minister Kostas Skrekas has ordered swift action for functional improvements of the platform after being notified of the imbalances by ministry officials and the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE).

Also, the minister has decided to delay, by two weeks, the starting date of the platform for the remainder of regions around the country still not serviced.

Professionals want more time ahead of energy upgrade offer

Civil engineers and architects, citing inevitable lockdown-related obstacles, are calling for a delay in the launch of the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades and energy independence system installations at existing properties.

The Technical Chamber of Greece, the official technical advisor of the Greek state, could offer an opinion today or tomorrow on whether a delayed launch is necessary.

The energy ministry has not ruled out new dates, in various regions, for the launch of the subsidy program’s platform.

At present, the program is scheduled to start on November 30 in Crete, the north Aegean and the south Aegean. A December 2 starting date has been set for east Macedonia and Thrace. The starting date for west Macedonia is December 4 start and December 7 for central Macedonia. The dates for all other regions are: Thessaly – December 9; Epirus, Ionian Islands – December 11; Wider Athens area – December 14; mainland Greece, Peloponnese – December 16; western Greece – December 18. A January 11, 2021 starting date has been set for apartment blocks.

 

Energy ministry seeks recovery fund support for many domains

The energy ministry, seeking to ensure EU recovery-fund support for mature projects in key energy-related domains, has proposed their inclusion in a national plan whose first draft will be submitted by the government to the European Commission this month.

Greece is entitled to approximately 32 billion euros from the EU recovery fund, worth a total of 750 billion euros (390bn in subsidies and 360bn in loans) and established to counter the impact of the global pandemic.

Approximately 37 percent of the recovery funds will be used for green-energy development.

Energy efficiency upgrades of buildings; grid interconnections and RES initiatives, including energy storage; electromobility; nature protection; decarbonization; spatial planning for RES development; solid and liquid waste management; and smart power meter installations, a severely delayed project in Greece, are among the domains the energy ministry wants included in the national plan for EU recovery funds.

The energy ministry has previously sought support for some of these domains through the National Strategic Reference Framework.

A total of 130,000 efficiency upgrades of buildings have so far received subsidy support over a decade-long period through Greece’s Saving at Home program. The ministry is looking to significantly increase this rate to 60,000 upgrades per year through the recovery funds program.

Greece’s energy ministry will also seek recovery fund support for two major electricity interconnections – Crete’s major-scale interconnection,  to link the island’s grid with Athens; and the fourth phase of the Cyclades interconnection – both being developed by power grid operator IPTO.

 

First look at new ‘Saving at Home’ program imminent, launch long way off

A first impression of the latest Saving at Home subsidy program, supporting energy efficiency upgrades of existing properties, is expected within the next few days, possibly by the end of this week.

The energy ministry is preparing to announce details on categories eligible for the subsidy program, sources said.

Even so, the finalized plan is still be a long way off, the sources added, as numerous details need to be resolved before the subsidy platform can be launched.

Roof-mounted PVs, energy storage systems, smart home systems and electric vehicle recharging facilities will be added to the new program.

It will offer energy efficiency upgrade subsidies of up to 85 percent and be made available to virtually all property owners as income-related criteria will be relaxed. For example, families with annual income totals of as much as 120,000 euros will be eligible.

Greater subsidy amounts will also be made available for applicants following an increase of a previous 25,000-euro upper limit to 50,000 euros.

In addition, home owners with more than one property will be able to submit multiple subsidy applications. In such cases, a subsidy limit of 100,000 euros is expected to be imposed.

The new subsidy package will also include bonus amounts of 10 percent as COVID-19 premiums.

 

EC calls for CO2 cuts; NECP revisions, RES boost ahead

The European Commission has announced a new European Climate Law proposal for even more ambitious CO2 emission cuts in the EU, calling for reductions of 55 percent by 2030, instead of the present goal of 40 percent. If adopted, this proposal will prompt further revisions of National Energy and Climate Plans and RES installation increases by EU member states.

Compared to previous NECP objectives, RES facilities in most parts of the EU will need to increase by levels of between 20 and 30 percent by 2030, while energy consumption must drop further, between 15 and 20 percent, if the new Brussels proposal is adopted, reliable sources have informed.

Adoption of the proposal will require greater green-policy effort by member states and much bigger investments.

CO2 emissions produced by vehicles and buildings could be taxed, while more generous subsidy programs could be offered for energy efficiency upgrades.

In Greece, a 55 percent CO2 emissions cut by 2030 would require a further increase in RES installations so that a 19-GW target, by 2030, included in the country’s current NECP may be exceeded.

This more ambitious objective will enable the actualization of a greater number of possible projects on stand-by, currently representing a capacity of 76 GW. However, bigger investments for network reinforcement, increased interconnections and energy storage facility installations will be needed.

 

Electromobility, home energy efficiency upgrade subsidies in pipeline

The environment, transport and finance ministries are scheduled to sign a joint ministerial decision tomorrow for a subsidy program supporting electromobility purchases.

Once the joint ministerial decision is published in the government gazette, interested parties will be able to proceed with electric vehicle purchases and apply for subsidies by lodging related invoice information onto an online platform as soon as it is launched, approximately in mid-August.

Tomorrow’s joint ministerial decision will provide the program’s full details, including the procedure and eligibility criteria.

The program is expected to be divided into three categories for private owners, taxi drivers and companies. 

The package will offer subsidies of up to 6,000 euros for electric car purchases by private owners, plus additional bonuses if these purchases are combined with withdrawals of old vehicles.

Taxi drivers will be offered subsidies of up to 8,000 euros plus 2,500 euros for compulsory withdrawals of old taxis.

Companies will be offered subsidies of 5,500 euros for each of up to three electric car purchases. 

Besides the electromobility subsidy support program, the energy ministry is also preparing an updated Saving at Home package for energy efficiency upgrades of existing buildings. An initial guide is expected to be released next week.

The new Saving at Home program will offer subsidies for RES generation and storage, electric vehicle recharging stations, as well as smart home energy management systems.

Plans submitted will need to promise property energy efficiency lifts by at least three categories in order to be eligible.

Previous Saving at Home subsidy programs were limited to casing, doors, windows and heating-cooling systems, including insulation.

Over €500m secured for new energy efficiency upgrades fund

Greece has secured over 500 million euros for a third “Saving at Home” subsidy program promoting energy efficiency upgrades of homes. This amount will stem from a sum of 32 billion euros allotted to Greece through the EU’s new post-coronavirus recovery package, energypress sources have informed.

The new program, to offer generous incentives to medium and high-income earners, will be set an objective to annually upgrade 60,000 homes into smart homes. This target could be raised to 80,000 homes buildings, according to some sources.

Smart energy management systems, electric vehicle recharging units and roof-mounted solar modules are among the projects to be eligible for subsidized funding through the new third round of the Saving at Home program, to be officially announced within the next few days ahead of a September launch.

The third Saving at Home program is expected to be followed by a long series of new-generation programs to become available from 2021 over a three-year period as part of a national strategy, now being shaped, to be funded by Greece’s 32 billion-euro share of the EU post-coronavirus recovery package.

According to energy ministry estimates, annual sums of at least 750 million euros are expected to be injected into smart home upgrades between 2021 and 2023, project activity that should reach a sum of between 2 and 2.5 billion euros.

Expanded energy efficiency upgrade program planned

A new subsidy program for domestic energy efficiency upgrades, to replace a preceding Saving at Home model in autumn, will feature more ambitious objectives than those set in the National Energy and Climate Plan, be constantly open for applicants, carry greater capital, and apply for a wider range of energy efficiency interventions, including smart home technology installations, deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas has pointed out in an interview with Greek daily to Ethnos.

Over the past decade, some 130,000 homes were upgraded at a cost of 1.3 billion euros, but a swifter rate will be sought through the new subsidy program, the minister noted.

The achievement of national energy policy objectives will require some 60,000 domestic energy efficiency upgrades per year and approximately 8 billion euros in funds until 2030, Thomas explained, adding that Greece will seek greater capital amounts through the EU recovery fund.

“Due to the requirements created in the context of the recent macroeconomic conditions and forecasts, we are working on a modern and much more ambitious framework to reinforce household energy upgrades for a transition to a support system offering energy upgrades and autonomy,” Thomas noted. “The new program is a direct government response to the post-pandemic era, the aim being to boost economic activity in domestic value-added sectors such as construction, manufacturing of building materials and solar systems, and also strengthen households by reducing energy costs.”

An even wider base of households will be eligible for the new subsidy program, while increased subsidy rates will be offered if predetermined energy efficiency targets are achieved by interventions, he added.

 

Green energy to remain a catalyst for Greek economic growth

Local authorities, in the coming months, will focus on reigniting green energy investment interest expressed by many international funds until February, when the coronavirus outbreak began halting plans.

The restart could be a challenging task as certain funds may hold back following losses on stock exchanges.

Even so, the pandemic’s impact on green energy markets is expected to be far milder compared to other sectors.

Market analysts throughout the continent believe prospective investments in renewable energy, waste management, energy efficiency upgrades for buildings, as well as decarbonization initiatives, will serve as key factors for economic growth in Europe, including Greece.

The European Green Deal, aiming for a climate-neutral EU of zero greenhouse gases by 2050, will not be endangered by the current pandemic-induced crisis as it is a short-term condition that pales by comparison to the grander plan set out for the next 30 years, energy ministry sources told energypress.

However, a slight regression of green energy investment plans is initially anticipated, compared to positions in February.

Between 70 and 80 percent of foreign investors are expected to remain interested in Greece’s green energy sector in the months ahead, analysts believe.

 

 

RES plan official processing prioritized in 5 categories

A ministerial decision prioritizing RES investment plan processing by authorities has just been signed by deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas.

The decision prioritizes processing of RES investment plans – applications and provision of connection terms – in five categories. Priority levels are determined by EU regulations and the contribution potential of investment plans to the National Energy and Climate Plan.

Green energy investments facilitating network utilization, such as self production, are promised top-priority categorization. This also applies for investments concerning energy efficiency, waste management and biogas.

Energy community investment applications will be given a one-month advantage in the waiting line. In other words, such applications will be examined as if submitted a month earlier.

Energy community plans involving local government organizations or over 60 members are promised an even bigger time advantage of four months.

Priority processing will also be offered to investment plans in northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, whose lignite-dependent local economy must be restructured as a result of the government’s decarbonization effort.

Energy savings a key factor for new NECP’s ambitious objectives

Energy savings, or, more specifically, a reduction of the environmental footprint of buildings and vehicles, will be a key factor in the government’s ambitious objectives included in the new National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).

The plan, to be presented to market officials today at a Bank of Greece event, reduces a 2030 energy consumption reduction target set in 2007 by 38.5 percent.

The country’s previous Syriza-led administration had initially set a reduction target of 27 percent before revising this figure to a more aggressive – yet non-binding – 30 percent and finally accepting a European Commission decision last year for 32.5 percent. This was the target officially adopted for the previous NECP by former energy minister Giorgos Stathakis.

Seen, at the time, as highly ambitious for the standards of a country such as Greece, the NECP’s energy consumption reduction target has now been pushed even higher, by six percentage points.

Approximately 600,000 buildings will need to be made more energy efficient by 2030 if the target is to be achieved. Also, at least 82,000 new electric cars must enter the country’s fleet by 2030, from a mere 315 last year. Generous incentives will need to be offered if these numbers are to be reached.

 

Greater public-private sector partnerships for energy efficiency

Public-Private Sector Partnerships for energy efficiency investments are soon expected to gain impetus as officials throughout Europe, including Greece, have realized emission reduction targets cannot be achieved without energy consumption reductions at privately owned buildings.

The European Mortgage Bank, joined by 45 banks, has designed home loan products that place far greater emphasis on environmental aspects.

In designing these loan products, the banks anticipate reduced energy consumption will increase disposable income and, as a result, offer greater security for the servicing of these loans while also increasing the value of properties. Greek banks are also involved in the overall effort.

The initiative also promises to offer support for energy efficiency upgrades of public buildings as related work conducted through Public-Private Sector Partnerships will not add to municipal debts or deficits, a concern that has deterred the borrowing ability of municipalities in the past.

According to European Commission data, existing energy efficiency upgrade needs at buildings around Europe are estimated at 170 billion euros annually until 2030, if emission reduction targets are to be met.

 

New energy saving subsidy program for aggregators

The energy ministry is working on a new energy efficiency subsidy program for homes and businesses to be offered alongside a new round of the ‘Saving At Home’ program, scheduled to be launched in June.

Unlike the ‘Saving At Home’ subsidy program, the new energy efficiency program will be based on a competitive procedure whose aim will be to maximize energy cost savings per euro in subsidized support, energypress sources informed.

Aggregators – major-scale construction firms or enterprises specializing in energy efficiency technologies – will be able to participate in descending-price auctions. The winning bidder will then reach out to households and businesses and take on the task of maximizing energy cost savings for eligible parties through a range of options.

A total of 36 million euros is available for the prospective program. A fraction of this amount is planned to be offered within 2019 for a pilot program intended to spot and correct any problems ahead of a full-scale launch.

The overall effort remains at a preliminary stage. One of a variety of competitive procedures that have already been implemented in other parts of Europe will be picked after these are fully surveyed.

National Energy and Climate Plan until 2030 set for Brussels delivery

Greece’s National Energy and Climate Plan until 2030 could be submitted to the European Commission today, or, if not, will definitely be delivered to Brussels by the end of the month for approval, energy ministry sources have informed.

The plan, which presents investment plans exceeding 30 billion euros and envisioned for development over the next decade, embodies the country’s international commitments aimed at tackling climate change. It serves as road map for Greece’s green-energy future.

Greece’s National Energy and Climate Plan is based on three main components. It sets an energy savings objective that is expected to improve at an annual rate of 1.5 percent. Approximately 50,000 houses will need to be environmentally upgraded each year if such a rate is to be achieved, according to the plan.

The plan also envisions an increased RES energy role to 32 percent of total consumption and between 55 and 57 percent of electricity production, as well as an objective to restrict lignite for electricity generation to 17 percent. RES investments of 8.5 billion euros for electricity production are envisioned in the National Energy and Climate Plan.

The plan’s third main component focuses on combating energy poverty as a means of making energy accessible for all. Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has described this objective as a top priority for the government.