The natural gas sector will benefit most from the country’s plan to decarbonize by 2028 but new infrastructure will be needed to cope with the higher gas demand, officials have pointed out at an Athens forum.
Greece’s overall natural gas demand forecast for 2030 has now been revised upwards and is expected to exceed 8 billion cubic meters. Also, LNG appears likely to dominate over pipeline-supplied gas.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a decarbonization objective for Greece by 2028 while delivering a speech at the recent UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
Prior to this announcement, domestic natural gas demand was forecast to rise to 6 billion cubic meters by 2030 with a possible additional amount of up to one billion cubic meters, depending on the number of new gas-fueled power stations to be developed in coming years.
The revised gas demand forecasts for Greece were presented yesterday by gas grid operator DESFA and Gastrade company officials at the Athens Investment Forum.
Gastrade general manager Konstantinos Sifneos projected annual gas demand will increase to 7 billion cubic meters over the next five years.
Gas demand increased by 17 percent this year, while, for the first time, LNG quantities exceeded pipeline gas, it was noted.
Demand for natural gas demand grew by more than 20 percent in 2017, primarily driven by the electricity generation sector, which absorbed 18.6 percent more natural gas during the year to capture a 66.8 percent share of overall demand for natural gas in Greece.
The total amount of natural gas transmitted through the country’s distribution system reached 4.64 billion Nm3 in 2017, up from 3.84 billion Nm3 in 2016, a 21.06 percent increase. In energy terms, 53.57 billion kWh was distributed last year compared to 44.42 billion kWh in 2016, a 20.6 percent increase.
Small-scale industry, households and enterprises captured 19.5 percent of overall natural gas demand following a distribution increase of 10.5 percent.
Large-scale industry also experienced an impressive consumption increase of 64.9 percent, which took its share of overall natural gas demand to 13.7 percent.
Part of the overall increase has been attributed to the particularly heavy winter experienced around Greece in 2016-2017, which led to an increase in demand for natural gas-fueled electricity generation as well as natural gas through the pipelines for heating purposes.
The share of natural gas used for electricity generation increased to 31.5 percent in 2017 from 26.6 percent a year earlier. Total electricity production grew to 52.04 TWh in 2017 from 51.24 TWh in 2016, a 1.56 percent increase.
Increased natural gas consumption in the industrial sector, which became apparent during the final months of 2016, remained consistently higher throughout 2017.