Stalled RES projects totaling 3.6 GW to face ultimatums

RES projects that have received final connection offers in the past from power grid operator IPTO but have remained stagnant as a result of failing to submit contract applications will be set deadlines, as part of an energy ministry effort to free up urgently needed grid capacity.

A related amendment has been included in an energy ministry multi-bill covering a range of matters. It will be taken to Parliament next week for debate and ratification.

Older RES projects representing a total capacity of 2.4 GW are estimated to have stalled since receiving final connection offers, along with a further 1.2 GW in green-energy projects that had submitted their applications collectively.

Sector officials believe that older RES projects representing 1.5 GW of this 3.6 GW tally in stalled projects will be withdrawn as a result of the deadlines to be set by the energy ministry, freeing up coveted space for new RES investments.

According to the ministry’s new terms, RES projects that received final connection offers up until December 31, 2020 will need to submit their contract applications by June 30, 2023. RES projects that received final connection offers between January 1 and December 31 in 2021 will have until August 31, 2023 to submit contract applications.

RES units currently operating in Greece represent a total capacity of 11 GW.

Top energy sector officials taking part at Power & Gas Forum, March 22-23

The government’s top-ranked energy sector officials as well as a host of other leading figures from political, institutional, academic and business domains will be talking part in the Power & Gas Forum on March 22 and 23 at the Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel, an event being staged by energypress for a fourth time. Conference speakers and attendees will participate in person.

Speakers at the event will include Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas; the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou; secretary-general of transport at the ministry of infrastructure and transport Ioannis Xifaras; RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) president Athanasios Dagoumas; EFET’s (European Federation of Energy Traders) Jerome Le Page; Tomás Llobet of European Energy Retailers (EER); two former Greek energy ministers, Giannis Maniatis and Giorgos Stathakis; Sokratis Famellos, a member of the main opposition leftist Syriza party; and Haris Doukas of the PASOK-KINAL socialist party.

Other conference participants will include power grid operator IPTO’s chief executive officer Manos Manousakis and his deputy Giannis Margaris; gas grid operator DESFA’s chief executive Maria Rita Galli; RES market operator DAPEEP’s president and CEO Giannis Giarentis; distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s chief executive Anastasios Manos; EDEYEP (Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company) president Aristofanis Stefatos; the Hellenic Energy Exchange’s newly appointed CEO Alexandros Papageorgiou; EDA THESS general manager and EDA ATTIKI CEO Leonidas Bakouras; the Greek prime minister’s special adviser for energy Nikos Tsafos; energy ministry adviser Theodoros Tsakiris; and energy markets guru Alex Papalexopoulos.

The academic community will be represented by professors Pantelis Kapros, Stavros Papathanasiou, Pantelis Biskas, Nikolaos Hatziargyriou and Antonis Metaxas.

As always, energy-sector authorities will also participate at the event. They include Loukas Dimitriou (ESAI/HAIPP – Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers); Antonis Kontoleon (EVIKEN – Association of Industrial Energy Consumers); Giannis Mitropoulos and Miltos Aslanoglou (ESPEN – Greek Energy Suppliers Association); Irodotos Antonopoulos (ESEPIE – Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies); Panagiotis Lostarakos and Panagiotis Papastamatiou (ELETAEN – Greek Wind Energy Association); Stelios Loumakis (SPEF – Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers); and Stelios Psomas (SEF/HELAPCO – Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies).

Key sector entrpreneurs and executives who have so far confirmed their participation include: Ioannis Kalafatas (Mytilineos); Kyriakos Kofinas (PPC); Nikolaos Zahariadis (Elpedison); Anastasios Lostarakos (NRG); Dinos Nikolaou (Energean); Kostis Sifnaios (Gastrade); Nikolaos Satras (Dioryga Gas); Panos Nikou (Volterra); and Ioannis Kokkotos (ABB).

The forum’s full agenda will be finalized and announced in the coming days.

IPTO’s Western Corridor power line to be delivered next month

A much-delayed section of a power transmission line project in Greece’s west, dubbed the Western Corridor, for which its developer, IPTO, the power grid operator, was forced to bypass a monastery in the Kalvryta area following objections and legal action taken by its nuns, is expected to be delivered by the end of this month, enabling the wider project’s launch by mid-April, energypress sources have informed.

The new 400-KV double circuit transmission line will enable a high-voltage center in Megalopoli, central Peloponnese, to be connected to 400-KV circuits at Antirio, on the mainland’s southern coast. This will boost the Peloponnese’s existing transmission line connections, currently entirely facilitated by 150-KV transmission lines linked with the wider Athens area and western Greece.

The new Western Corridor transmission line, comprised of aerial, underground and underwater sections, has been 98-percent ready since 2019, the missing link being a section that was originally planned to run by the monastery, at a 500-meter distance. Legal action taken by the Kalavryta-area monastery’s nuns blocked the installation of two pylons, forcing a change of course further away from the monastery.

This section’s development was put on hold for several months as a result of the legal action taken by the monastery.

The project’s launch will not offer additional grid capacity for RES projects. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has already factored in the additional increased capacity that would be freed up by the project.

Increased grid capacity will, however, be made available for new RES project additions once the Eastern Corridor, a 400-kV transmission line linking Megalopoli, Corinth and Athens, is completed.

PPC close to signing first PPAs with industrial consumers

Power utility PPC and a number of industrial players are examining a series of details, including legal matters, before signing the country’s first round of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for supply of lower-cost green energy.

PPC and industrial consumers are aiming to sign PPAs by Monday, though it remains uncertain if this target will be achieved, energypress sources have informed.

Procedures leading towards the country’s first PPAs between PPC and industrial groups have moved rapidly since a recent announcement by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, exempting PPAs from a wholesale electricity market price cap. This measure comes into effect as of tomorrow.

The PPAs involving PPC and industrial consumers are planned to have ten-year durations. Industrial consumers will need to be supplied electricity through thermal power stations for the first two years of these ten-year periods, providing energy supply coverage until new and required RES facilities being developed by the power utility are up and running.

PPC’s launch date of new solar farms, which will ensure green energy supply to industrial consumers, is a key matter in the final-stage talks before PPAs are signed. According to sector officials, these RES projects are expected to be launched in 2025.

Some of these RES facilities have already obtained connection terms from power grid operator IPTO, but most have not, preventing absolute certainty of their launches in 2025, as projected.

Heightened market activity ahead of demand-response service launch

Preparations are in full swing for the introduction of a demand-response service into the wholesale electricity market, expected to be launched in the coming weeks, initially in the balancing market, followed by other energy exchange markets.

Although this is still a relatively new service in Europe and internationally, strong interest is being expressed by participants in Greece, sources have informed.

Companies wishing to take part in the demand-response service need to take care of three key issues as part of their preparation.

Firstly, they must successfully integrate an appropriate operating system and become familiar with it, by no means an easy matter, according to the same sources.

Secondly, companies need to recruit and train appropriate personnel for this service.

A third step interested parties will need to take to complete their preparation process is to convince partners of the importance and value of the demand-response service.

According to market estimates, providers are not confronting solid resistance, but some degree of skepticism does exist, which is no surprise given the service’s novelty aspect.

According to market officials closely following the overall process, power grid operator IPTO has prepared well and is currently in the process of settling certain pending issues, including configuration of web services facilitating communication between participants and the operator.

Power demand continues fall in January, RES dominate output

Electricity demand plunged by 13.24 percent in January, compared to the same month a year earlier, registering a drop for a seventh successive month, a monthly report published by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

Households, businesses and industrial producers have cut back on power usage in an effort to contain their energy costs.

January’s contraction in electricity demand ranks as the second-biggest recorded during the seven successive months of decline and is one of the biggest reductions ever recorded in Greece.

Households registered the biggest cut in electricity usage in January, down 15 percent compared to January, 2022, while heavy industry also cut back on consumption, by 7.8 percent, the January figures showed.

Overall electricity demand fell to 4,235 GWh in January from 4,881 GWh in January, 2022, the IPTO data showed.

Subsequently, the drop in electricity demand prompted a generation reduction of 25.75 percent in January, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to the IPTO data.

Renewables and hydropower dominated the country’s energy mix in January, capturing a 53.6 percent share. Natural gas and lignite-generated electricity captured a 30.5 percent share.


Demand-response tool to enter day-ahead, intraday markets

The demand-response mechanism is the latest tool being prepared for entry into Greek energy exchange markets, within the next few weeks, as a move intended to contribute to the system’s balancing and proper functioning, energypress sources have informed.

Besides its basic use in the balancing market, the demand-response mechanism’s coverage will now also be extended into the energy exchange’s day-ahead and intraday markets.

The Hellenic Energy Exchange and power grid operator IPTO, the two authorities handling the procedure, have made progress on the matter.

The energy exchange has already forwarded its related proposal for necessary day-ahead market and intraday market revisions to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, while IPTO plans to do likewise within the next few weeks.

IPTO has already made technical adjustments to its systems for the demand-response mechanism’s integration in the day-ahead market and intraday markets, while test runs are now being carried out.

IPTO announces provisional contractors for island substations

TERNA and a partnership comprising Nari and Electromec have been named provisional winners of a tender staged by power grid operator IPTO for contracts to develop substations at the Greek islands Folegandros, Milos and Serifos, all planned to be interconnected to the mainland grid by 2025.

TERNA was named provisional contractor for the development of substations on Folegandros and Milos, the first section of the tender, while Nari and Electromec were named provisional contractors for a substation on Serifos, the second section of the tender.

IPTO aims to have contracts signed for these projects by June. These two tenders are part of the fourth phase of grid interconnections linking the Cyclades with the mainland.

Interested parties faced a July, 6, 2022 deadline. A total of six companies or partners submitted bids for this tender, three for each section.

IPTO has already awarded contracts for the installation of subsea cables to link Folegandros, Milos and Serifos with the mainland grid. The winning bidders were announced by the operator last November.

Hellenic Cables was awarded a contract to install subsea cables from coastal Lavrio, southeast of Athens, to Serifos and from Serifos to Milos, two sections covering a total length of 170 kilometers and priced at 195 million euros.

The Prysmian group was awarded a contract to install subsea cables from Milos to Folegandros and Folegandros to Santorini, two sections covering a total length of 127 kilometers and priced at 150 million euros.

The 4th phase of the Cyclades grid interconnection is budgeted at 524 million euros in total, of which 165 million euros is being covered by the recovery fund.

Once completed, the 4th phase of the Cyclades grid interconnection is expected to reduce annual carbon emissions by approximately 150,000 tons, create grid capacity of up to 730 MW for the development of RES facilities in the region, and also significantly reduce public service compensation (YKO) surcharges added to electricity bills for subsidizing high-cost local power generation on Greek islands.

Ptolemaida V power station’s full-scale launch just weeks away

Power utility PPC is just weeks away from commercially launching its new Ptolemaida V power station, a 660-MW facility in the country’s north now undergoing a final stage of trial runs.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, scheduled to visit the area next week, is expected to highlight the significance of this project, including its role in the country’s anticipated post-lignite era.

Ptolemaida V, to initially operate as a low-emitting lignite-fired power station before eventually converting to natural gas, promises to greatly contribute to the grid’s energy sufficiency.

According to a latest estimate provided by power grid operator IPTO, in an energy sufficiency study, the facility may operate as a lignite-fired power station until the end of 2028 before being withdrawn for a two-year period and relaunched, at the beginning of 2031, as a 1,000-MW gas-fueled power station.

However, the power station’s switch to natural gas at a sooner date cannot be ruled out if gas prices de-escalate in the long-term and remain stable at lower price levels.

Project of national importance status for interconnection in north

The government has declared a new 400-kV electrical interconnection being developed by power grid operator IPTO from Filippoi to Nea Sanda in northern Greece as a project of national importance, a move promising unhindered development as the classification limits any potential obstacles that may arise in terms of licensing or environmental issues.

The electrical interconnection, to run a length of approximately 140 kilometers, was declared a project of national significance by the energy ministry as well as the development and investment ministry.

A number of factors were taken into account, including the objective of IPTO, owner and operator of the country’s grid, to ensure adequate, continuous, secure, efficient and reliable electricity supply to the country.

Balancing market interests as well as cross-border trade, based on principles of transparency, equality and free competition, were also taken into account.

So, too, was the potential offered by the project to increase storage capacity and distribution of electricity production, especially that of renewables, mainly large-scale wind farms, plus conventional power stations in the wider region.

Growing interest for RES units combining energy storage

Investor interest for RES systems combining behind-the-meter energy storage units is constantly growing, as highlighted by the number of licenses issued for such projects by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, now numbering 36 for a total capacity of approximately 2.5 GW.

Of these projects, six, offering an overall capacity of roughly 1 GW, concern RES units with storage systems not able to absorb energy from the grid. The other 30 projects, offering 1.55 GW, are systems with energy storage units able to absorb energy from the grid.

The growing eagerness of investors to develop RES systems combining behind-the-meter energy storage units has been spurred by recently introduced government incentives in the form of priority status for connection terms offered by power grid operator IPTO. A related ministerial decision was signed in August.

The RAE licenses issued for RES systems with energy storage units mainly concern modest-sized projects with existing producer certificates and which have been modified for the addition of accumulators.

RES generation biggest energy-mix contributor for first time ever in 2022

Renewable energy was ranked the country’s biggest electricity producer for the first time ever in 2022, capturing a 41.6 percent share of the energy mix for output totaling 19.7 TWh, data provided by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

Natural gas-fueled generation, previously the country’s biggest producer, was ranked second in 2022 with a 38 percent share of Greece’s energy mix and output of 17.9 TWh. It was followed by lignite, once the country’s leading source of electricity production until it was overtaken by natural gas, with an 11.8 percent share and 5.6 TWh. Hydropower ranked fourth in terms of output in 2022, capturing an 8.5 percent share with output totaling 4 TWh.

Combining the energy-mix shares captured by the RES sector and hydropower adds up to 50.1 percent, meaning these two energy source categories edged past fossil fuels as Greece’s main producer of electricity.

Last year, natural gas-fueled generation fell by just over 4 percent compared to 2021, dropping from a leading energy-mix share of 42.8 percent.

All EU member states have set objectives, on a voluntary basis, to reduce natural gas consumption by 15 percent this winter.

In 2021, the RES sector was ranked second in terms of electricity generation in Greece with a 35.3 percent share of the energy mix followed by lignite, whose share hardly changed. Compared to 2022, hydropower output was slightly higher in 2021, when it had captured a share of approximately 11 percent.


RES overproduction prompts near-zero price levels for 3 hrs

Renewable energy production has reached extremely high levels today, nearing an all-time high, for a 58 percent share of the energy mix, if RES units on Crete are taken into account, and a share of over 60 percent should hydropower stations be included in the calculations, day-ahead market figures have shown.

RES output will reach levels ranging between 3,290 MW and 5,370 MW, depending on the time of day, producing a total of 76,000 GWh, according to data provided by power grid operator IPTO.

Price levels dropped close to zero for three hours last night, between 3 am and 5 am, and will drop to 9.7 euros for an hour at midday.

It is worth noting conventional power stations continued operating during the nighttime hours of near-zero price levels. More specifically, natural gas-fueled power stations produced 127 MW and lignite-fired units generated 420 MW, for reasons concerning grid stability and exports.

It was a similar situation on October 7, when RES facilities fully covered the country’s energy needs for a five-hour period. On that day, IPTO, the power grid operator, explained a small proportion of conventionally generated electricity would be maintained to ensure grid stability and cover for any RES output fluctuations.


Ministry scheme to filter out idle RES plans, representing vast majority

An overwhelming majority of RES projects that have received finalized connection terms from power grid operator IPTO can be considered stagnant as their investors have failed to sign agreements taking them to the next stage of the licensing procedure.

Of 11.3 GW in RES projects that received connection terms from IPTO in 2022, projects representing 8.9 GW have yet to sign agreements.

This slow movement by green investors is hindering the country’s ambitious RES objectives set for 2030 as stagnant RES projects are essentially reserving grid capacity that could otherwise be utilized by more robust investors.

In response, the energy ministry intends to soon deliver a draft bill that would prompt the withdrawal of idle RES projects taking up valuable grid capacity for extended periods, without any limits. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had first announced this plan at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September.

IPTO has delivered a related proposal, filtering out idle RES projects, to the energy ministry.

Projects that have received connection term offers up to December 31, 2022 will need to submit grid connection applications no later than 30 days after the energy ministry’s related legislative revision has been ratified, sources informed.

RES project links up 60% in ’22, better grid utilization needed

RES projects ended 2022 having recorded one of the best performances in recent years in terms of new unit connections to the transmission system, adding a green energy capacity of 583 MW, up from a total of 370 MW in 2021, an increase of approximately 60 percent in a year.

This spectacular increase highlights the tremendous level of interest expressed by investors for the development of new RES projects in Greece. It puts the country on the right track towards achieving ambitious green energy targets set for 2030.

According to the revised National Energy and Climate Plan, Greece is striving for a RES energy-mix share of 80 percent by the end of the decade.

Against this backdrop, priority now needs to be given to better utilize the existing network through legislative initiatives that will free up reserved electricity space from stagnant RES projects.

Also, RES project licensing procedures need to be further simplified so that grid projects included in power grid operator IPTO’s 10-year investment program may proceed even faster.

Turbine installed at GEK TERNA-Motor Oil gas-fueled power station

A Siemens HL-class gas turbine, the first to be used in Greece, has been installed at a prospective 877-MW state-of-the-art combined cycle, gas-fueled power station being developed by GEK-TERNA and Motor Oil Hellas in Komotini, northeastern Greece, planned to be launched in early 2024, Motor Oil Hellas has announced.

The project, Thermoilektriki Komotinis, an investment estimated to be worth 375 million euros, promises to be one of the most efficient power plants in Greece. Once operational, it will emit 75 percent less CO2 than lignite-fired power plants.

Thermoilektriki Komotinis is the second gas-fueled power station that has undergone development in Greece over recent years, following the construction, by the Mytilineos group, of an 825-MW unit in Viotia, northwest of Athens, whose commercial launch is imminent.

Construction of a third gas-fueled power station, in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, as a joint venture by power utility PPC, gas utility DEPA and the Copelouzos group, is scheduled to officially commence this Saturday.

The country requires at least three additional power stations to secure energy sufficiency, according to a recent study conducted by power grid operator IPTO for 2025 to 2035.

IPTO: At least 3 new gas-fired power stations will be required

At least three new gas-fired power stations will be needed to ensure energy sufficiency within the next few years, but these new facilities will require a support mechanism to remain sustainable, a study conducted by power grid operator IPTO, looking ahead to the period between 2025 and 2035, has determined.

This IPTO study, whose findings have been unofficially handed over to the energy ministry, is essentially transitional as its outlook regarding the increase in RES and energy storage installations falls short of announcements made recently by energy minister Kostas Skrekas for the country’s updated National Energy and Climate Plan.

IPTO will make related revisions to the study once an upgraded NECP is officially approved.

Even so, two fundamental issues raised by the IPTO study appear unlikely to change. Firstly, the growing presence of wind and solar energy units in the energy system will need to be accompanied by the installation of more thermal plants, especially gas-fired power stations, given the existing capabilities of energy storage technology, in order to ensure electricity sufficiency.

Besides the new Ptolemaida V power station, now gearing up for a full-scale launch by the end of February – initially as a low-emitting lignite-fired power station before eventually converting to natural gas – at least three big gas-fired power stations will also be needed.

The IPTO study’s second fundamental finding unlikely to change concerns the need for support mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of both new and old power stations, given the concurrent installation of new RES units, energy storage facilities and gas-fired power stations. The energy ministry, as a result, will need to seek European Commission approval of Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms (CRM).

The IPTO study takes into account two RES penetration scenarios, one based on the existing NECP, established in 2019, forecasting RES installations of 15.5 GW and energy storage installations of 1.8 GW by 2030. The other scenario, more ambitious, assumes RES installations of 24 GW and energy storage installations of 3 GW by 2030.

Electricity demand falls again, sliding 9.87 percent

Electricity demand has recorded a new overall reduction, falling 9.87 percent in November, latest monthly market data published by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

The biggest reduction, 11.9 percent, or 395 GWh, was recorded on the mainland grid. Demand through the Cretan grid interconnection fell by 10 GWh, while demand recorded by high-voltage consumers dropped by 8 GWh, or 1.4 percent, the IPTO data showed.

Power utility PPC increased its share of the electricity market to 61.14 percent, up from 56.51 percent in the previous month, according to the IPTO data.

Mytilineos captured a market share of 8.74 percent, down from 12.89 percent. Heron followed with a market share of 7.25 percent, from 7.46 percent. Elpedison was next with 6.31 percent from 6.51 percent, followed by NRG, at 4.64 percent from 4.71 percent, Fysiko Aerio at 2.4 percent from 2.33 percent, Volterra at 2.12 percent from 2.36 percent, Watt & Volt at 2 percent from 1.91 percent; Zenith at 1.98 percent from 1.84 percent, Volton at 1.01 percent from 1.03 percent and the remainder of companies at 2.40 percent from 2.45 percent.


IPTO connection term offers reach 3 GW, clear-out needed

Power grid operator IPTO has offered connection terms to new RES projects representing a total capacity of 3 GW since August, when a priority system was implemented to put in line applications submitted as far back as early 2021.

IPTO has moved at a fast rate. The 3-GW capacity in connection terms offered by the operator to RES project applicants over the past four months, following the signing of a related ministerial decision, would have taken an entire year to accumulate not too long ago.

IPTO, market officials estimate, has already covered 44 percent of grid capacity available for green energy priority groups, meaning roughly just 3 GW is still available for prospective projects.

Older RES projects still not developed despite having received connection terms quite some time ago need to be cleared out in order to prevent saturation of the grid’s diminishing capacity, market officials have pointed out, echoing a message delivered by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at September’s Thessaloniki International Fair.

Sector officials estimate the grid’s maximum capacity to be available in 2030 will be 28 GW.



Grid input limits for new RES and storage units discussed

Market operators have launched a consultation procedure to define energy grid input restrictions on new wind and solar energy parks, as well as energy storage units, both stand-alone and behind-the-meter, in order to make optimal use of available grid capacity and enable grid entry for as many new projects as possible.

Energy input limits were officially introduced through a legislative revision made to facilitate a second round of measures simplifying the licensing procedure for green energy investments.

Renewable energy units already operating, or either scheduled to operate or be officially declared ready-to-operate by December 31, will not be subject to the new grid input restrictions.

Power grid operator IPTO has proposed a grid input restriction representing 72 percent of full capacity for large-scale solar energy projects.

According to the proposal, wind farms installed or planned to be installed in south Evia, Crete, as well as interconnected Cyclades islands should be exempted from grid input restrictions.

Grid input restrictions for wind energy parks elsewhere should apply between 9am and 5pm, an eight-hour period when solar farms are producing at maximum levels, the operator has proposed. Penalties could be set for infringements.

RES investors adding storage units for grid connection priority

A considerable number of RES investors are opting to add energy storage units to their prospective renewable energy projects in order to gain priority status for grid connections, following incentives offered by authorities.

Since a ministerial decision was signed three and a half months ago by the energy ministry for revisions to a connection terms framework, RES investors have submitted applications for energy storage additions to prospective RES projects representing a total capacity of 1,380 MW.

According to the ministerial decision, RES projects combining storage units that do not absorb energy from the grid will be given priority status for connection terms offered by IPTO, the power grid operator. RES units must not exceed 250 MW to be valid for priority connection status.


Greek energy market attracting major interest at London roadshow

Foreign funds are expressing major investment interest in Greece’s renewable energy market as well as the country’s plan for green energy transportation from the Middle East, while major international energy groups appear extremely interested in Greek upstream developments and the ongoing transformation of Greece as a natural gas hub, a series of one-on-one and group meetings between highly ranked officials of Greek energy groups and international investors have highlighted following the first day of a roadshow in London.

The London event, co-organized by the Athens bourse and Morgan Stanley, has already indicated that 2023 could be a bumper year for foreign investments in Greece’s energy sector.

Of 29 Greek companies taking part in the road show, ten hail from the energy sector, a representation highlighting the strong international investment interest in Greece’s energy market.

Power grid operator IPTO’s ADMIE Holdings, Cenergy, Ellaktor, Elvalhalcor, Helleniq Energy, Motor Oil, Mytilineos, PPC, TERNA and Viohalko, the ten Greek energy groups taking part, will hold further meetings with investors today. These sessions could lay the foundations for new deals.

Over 300 meetings are scheduled to take place at the London event. Many of these will purely focus on energy matters.


Over 20% of older RES applications no longer valid

Between 20 and 30 percent of older RES project applications submitted to power grid operator IPTO have been cancelled as a result of the failure of project investors to deliver letters of guarantee by a November 4 deadline.

This deadline has essentially served as a filter removing abandoned RES projects for which grid capacity bids had been submitted by investors.

The cancelled RES applications represent a total capacity of 4 to 6 GW, while investors behind RES projects representing between 14 to 16 GW reconfirmed their interest.

Authorities estimate that available grid capacity for these older RES applications will total 6.5 GW, meaning grid capacity will still be insufficient to host all these projects.




Electricity demand falls for fourth consecutive month

Electricity demand in the household and business categories fell for a fourth consecutive month in October, plunging 9.25 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

This downward trend highlights the efforts being made by anxious consumers to keep their energy costs down. At this rate, Greece appears to be on target to achieve the country’s energy-saving goals.

Electricity demand had fallen 3.27 percent in September, 13.17 percent in August, and 11.78 percent in July.

In terms of quantity, electricity demand fell to 3,604 GWh last month from 3,971 GWh in October, 2021, according to the IPTO report.

Domestic electricity production also dropped sharply last month, falling 22.94 percent compared to October, 2021, to 3,155 GWh.

Market shares of electricity retailers also changed. Power power PPC’s market share dropped below 60 percent for the first time in months, reaching 56.73 percent, down from 60.81 percent in September.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, gained from PPC’s loss, its market share climbing, for a second consecutive month, to 12.88 percent from 8.77 percent in September.

Heron maintained third place with a 7.31 percent market share, followed by Elpedison (6.50%), NRG (4.66%), Fysiko Aerio (2.32%), Volterra (2.29%), Watt & Volt (1.93%), Zenith (1.87%) and Volton (1.04%).



Environmental permit delays for storage units up to 100 MW

Investors seeking to obtain environmental permits for energy storage units with capacities of up to 100 MW, after having secured project licenses, are experiencing delays.

This problem has arisen as prospective energy storage units of up to 100 MW have been placed in a second-tier category lacking a standardized formula for environmental permits. As a result, regional administrations around the country are each following separate procedures as they see fit.

The energy ministry issued a circular just weeks ago seeking to straighten out the issue, noting environmental reports concerning energy storage projects should lead to environmental permits, but some regional administrations have remained wary.

On the contrary, investors behind bigger energy storage projects, are not experiencing delays and are completing their environmental permit procedures, sources told energypress.

Investors in this category are moving ahead with energy storage projects to offer capacities of between 200 and 220 MW and have submitted connection-term applications to power grid operator IPTO.

Auction for lower electricity usage pay by end of November

The energy ministry is aiming to stage a first auction by the end of this month for remuneration of high and medium-voltage enterprises cutting back on electricity usage as of December 1, through a mechanism being prepared by IPTO, the power grid operator.

All EU members will need to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent during peak demand as of December 1.

In Greece, high and medium-voltage enterprises will bid for remuneration amounts at auction as compensation for reduced electricity usage.

The 5 percent reduction of electricity usage for low-voltage consumers will be optional, one reason beign that households have yet to be installed with smart meters, meaning their electricity consumption levels at specific times of the day cannot be tracked.

Consumers in Greece will be set a three-hour low-consumption period, between 6 pm and 9 pm, throughout the week. Households will need to try and avoid using energy-intensive appliances during these hours.

Electricity usage drops for third consecutive month

Household and business electricity consumption levels fell for a third consecutive month in September, down by 5.55 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, a latest monthly report issued by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

This reduction of electricity usage, however, was lower than the contraction rates recorded in August and July, 12.71 percent and 11.24 percent, respectively.

September’s lower reduction rate was attributed to the return of consumers following summer holidays and post-summer business re-openings.

In the low and medium-voltage categories, electricity usage in September fell 3.98 percent, well below August’s reduction of more than 13 percent.

On the contrary, high-voltage electricity consumption fell 4.25 percent in September, which was higher than the fall of 3.98 percent in August. September’s greater drop in electricity usage by industrial players was prompted by their switches to alternative energy sources, such as diesel, in an effort to reduce energy costs.

Overall electricity consumption during the year’s first nine-month period fell by 5.13 percent, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, the IPTO data showed.

Also, domestic electricity generation in September dropped by 13.83 percent, to 3,454 GWh, compared to the same month last year, the IPTO data showed.

PPA-linked RES project interest surges, favorable conditions

Investment interest in wind and solar energy projects planned to offer their output through power purchase agreements (PPAs) has grown sharply, as indicated by a large number of preliminary PPA agreements submitted by investors to power grid operator IPTO for entry into a priority-status category established through a ministerial decision.

A 1,500-MW limit that had been set by the ministerial decision for this category has been greatly exceeded, according to energypress sources. The energy ministry has already decided to elevate this limit, but it remains unclear if the bar will be raised sufficiently to fully cover the heightened level of investment interest being declared.

RES producers are turning to PPAs in greater numbers as a result of lower fixed tariffs being offered at RES auctions staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, market officials have pointed out.

Another key factor behind this trend is the greater need for green power generation being expressed by suppliers, due to a wholesale cap, as well as industrial players, all of which is creating favorable PPA conditions offering RES producers higher fees.

A considerable amount of grid capacity for PPA-based RES projects is expected to be made available through the cancellation, by energy authorities, of RES projects that have held connection terms for quite some time but inexplicably remained stagnant.

RES output doubled, wholesale electricity price plunges 44%

Doubled RES production in recent days has been a key factor in a 44 percent decrease in the price of wholesale electricity over the past three days, down to levels last registered roughly a year ago.

Day-ahead market prices yesterday dropped to 166.12 euros per MWh, from 298.97 euros per MWh last Thursday.

Besides the doubled RES production, lower electricity demand over the weekend was cited as another factor in this price drop, according to the Hellenic Energy Exchange and power grid operator IPTO. Electricity demand dropped by roughly 20 percent over the weekend, compared to the preceding weekdays, IPTO figures showed.

On October 13, RES and hydropower facilities represented 34.4 percent of the energy mix, their participation rising to 68 percent yesterday.

As a result, natural gas and lignite-fired power stations played a lesser role over the past few days. Natural gas and lignite-fired power stations yesterday represented 8.55 percent and 4.74 percent of the energy mix, respectively, from 31.42 percent and 8.83 percent last Thursday.

Yesterday, between 12pm and 3pm, RES units covered 83 percent of the country’s energy mix.


Energy storage totaling 3 GW needed by 2030, study shows

Energy storage systems offering a total capacity of 3 GW, including pumped storage stations, will need to be installed by 2030, according to the results of an energy sufficiency study, power grid operator IPTO’s vice president Giannis Margaris has told an energy storage conference.

This projection’s calculations are based on two key assumptions, a 30-GW green portfolio in Greece by the end of this decade, triple the current capacity of 10 GW, as well as the launch of all planned thermal power stations by then, according to the IPTO official.

It has already become clear that energy storage units would not be financially sustainable under current conditions in terms of cost, investment cost and economic factors, meaning support mechanisms will be required to maintain these energy storage facilities, the IPTO official noted.

On the other hand, as was noted by the IPTO vice president, the contribution of energy storage to energy sufficiency will be crucial.