Fast-track procedures pursued for green island pilot project

Fast-track licensing procedures deviating current regulations will be pursued by authorities to transform Agios Efstatios, colloquially referred to as Ai Stratis, a small island in the northeast Aegean, into a green island with RES production systems covering 85 percent of local energy needs for a population of less than 300.

This renewable energy pilot project, organized and developed by KAPE, Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), with the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou is expected to be completed in two years.

A RES hybrid station, telethermal unit converting excess RES output into thermal energy stored in hot water tanks, and a telethermal network fully covering local needs will all be developed.

 

Floating wind turbines tender likely in second half of 2020

Greece is making plans to begin installing floating wind turbines and could introduce this renewable energy technology by the second half of next year, the energy ministry’s secretary general Mihalis Veriopoulos (photo) has announced.

The official, who took part in a recent related workshop co-organized by the Norwegian Embassy in Athens and ELETAEN, the Greek Wind Energy Association, said the energy ministry intends to soon select one of the sea regions defined by an older study and stage a pilot tender in the second half of 2020.

KAPE/CRES, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving, established 12 offshore zones in a study dating back to 2010. One of these will be selected for the pilot tender.

Investors backed by wind turbine technology suitable for Greece’s deep waters are expected to participate in the tender.

Floating wind turbines remain an expensive technology that is still at a relatively nascent stage. The objective is to reduce this technology’s energy production cost to a level of between 40 and 60 euros per MWh by the end of the next decade, Arne Eik, a representative of Norwegian firm Equinor, told the Athens workshop.

Floating wind turbines will significantly contribute to Greece’s effort to reach RES objectives, Dr. Dionysis Papachristou, a sector specialist heading the Public Relations and Press Office at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, told the event.

Panagiotis Ladakakos, director at ELETAEN, noted floating wind turbines promise to greatly contribute to the country’s GDP growth. Turbine technology constitutes just 40 percent of the overall cost, meaning that the other 60 percent, including floating platforms and anchoring systems, can be developed locally, Ladakakos stressed.

 

Energy cooperatives draft bill expected next month

Legal framework to permit the establishment of energy cooperatives, a move essentially offering energy consumers the right to become shareholders in ventures, is being swiftly prepared by the energy ministry, working closely with RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, and KAPE, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving.

A range of officials dealing with economic, technical, scientific and other aspects are contributing to the preparations. The draft bill is expected to be ready for Parliament next month.

Besides launch and operating regulations concerning energy cooperatives, the draft bill in the making is also expected to encourage the participation of local communities. According to energypress sources, it will enable two types of energy cooperatives, local energy communities and renewable energy communities.

Local energy communities will be able to develop and lease distribution networks, while renewable energy communities will be able to produce, consume, store and sell renewable energy without being subject to disproportionate charges that do not reflect actual costs.

The government intends to incorporate its energy cooperatives initiative into its social policy by promoting the option as a form of protection for small investors against bigger players.

Market officials believe the energy cooperatives could reignite investment activity in the RES sector and also offer support to market tools such as net metering, virtual net metering and smart power meters.

Energy cooperatives already exist in a number of European countries, including Germany, Belgium and Denmark.