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.

Energy exchange platform for PPAs standardized with some flexibility

Procedures leading to the establishment of an Energy Exchange platform hosting green-energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) have restarted following a short break of a few weeks.

Though still at a preliminary stage, the procedure has already indicated that the PPA platform being prepared by an energy exchange working group will offer largely standardized terms as a means of fostering agreements, especially during the platform’s early stage, while also offering some degree of flexibility, as too much rigidity could hamper agreements.

As a next step, the working group intends to focus on two other key aspects, one concerning aggregation details and the other whether bids submitted should be binding or not. Further ahead, tools related to risk management and clearing capability will be looked at.

The energy exchange’s leadership, newly appointed, is now examining a related recommendation delivered by Grant Thornton, serving as the exchange’s consultant on the new platform.

The energy exchange is also looking at comments and observations provided by participants of a related consultation procedure staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

In addition, the energy exchange is preparing to distribute a questionnaire to prospective PPA platform participants, the aim being to cater to market needs as best as possible.

Once finalized, the PPA platform must be approved by RAE. If given the green light, the energy exchange’s administration will need to proceed with the search for an information system provider, a major stage in the process of setting up the PPA platform.

Lignite-fired generation cost overtakes CCGT in March

Lignite-fired power station generation price levels have risen above those of combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants for the first time since the introduction of a temporary recovery mechanism, prompting market officials to declare the end of lignite as an energy source that can be relied on for lower-cost energy production.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, set a regulated price of 227.27 euros per MWh for lignite-fired power stations for March, above the price level of 191.73 euros per MWh for CCGTs.

These figures, reflecting the operating costs of the two power-generating technologies, show that lignite-fired plants now cost more to run than gas-fueled power stations.

RAE, in setting its prices, has also taken into account a surcharge of 10 euros per MWh imposed on natural gas intended for electricity generation.

Just months ago, in January, the regulated price for lignite-fired power stations was set at 216.27 euros per MWh, well under that for CCGTs, at 343.64 euros per MWh.

Regulated prices levels for the two power-generating technologies converged in February. They were set at 205.61 euros per MWh for lignite-fired power stations and 210.44 euros per MWh for CCGTs, before a complete overturn in March.

DESFA market test pivotal for gas network investment plan

A market test to soon be announced by gas grid operator DESFA will be instrumental in shaping the operator’s investment plan intended to reinforce and expand the country’s gas network.

Final details of the market test are currently being worked on by DESFA’s legal team before its first round, a non-binding stage, is announced.

Interested parties will be invited to note gas network points of entry and exit they would like to use, as well as gas quantities they plan to transport through the system. This feedback will then be used by DESFA for the establishment of a demand assessment report.

To be divided into demand-related scenarios linked with specific investments for network infrastructure projects, this report will need to be approved by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, before a second-round market test can be staged.

DESFA plans to complete the market test’s first round by summer and the second round by the end of the year.

Windfall tax sum for electricity producers trimmed to €340m

A sum of just over 340 million euros stands to be collected by the State through an extraordinary 90 percent windfall tax imposed on electricity producers for excess earnings between October, 2021 and June, 2022, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has been informed following processing of all related data by chartered accountants.

This amount is less than an initial sum of 373.5 million euros that had been estimated, based on an inspection of preliminary data.

Most of this 33.5 million-euro discrepancy concerns power utility PPC, which will be required to pay a windfall tax that is 31 million euros less than an initial estimate of 276 million euros, now reduced to 245 million euros for this company.

The country’s privately run electricity producers, Mytilineos, Elpedison and Heron, will need to pay an additional sum of 1.2 million euros for this windfall tax, based on the processing of finalized data.

The extraordinary tax measure imposed on electricity producers for the aforementioned nine-month period will, based on current market conditions, not need to be extended.

A major de-escalation in wholesale electricity prices over recent months has greatly reduced revenues amassed by electricity producers and also lessened subsidy support needs for residential electricity consumption.


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.

Ministry draft bill for pending energy-sector issues this week

The energy ministry intends to address a series of pending energy-sector issues this week by submitting to Parliament a draft bill carrying related legislative revisions.

Pending issues which the ministry is pushing to have resolved before the country’s next national election, to take place in spring, some time between April and May, include exempting power purchase agreements (PPAs) from a mechanism recovering windfall earnings of electricity producers. This would enable power utility PPC and energy-intensive industries to establish PPAs for lower-cost renewable energy supply to industry.

The details of this exemption were agreed to last week at a meeting involving officials representing the energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, the industrial sector and PPC.

Another top-priority matter on the energy ministry’s agenda is a plan to extend, beyond 2022, the ability of small-scale RES facilities to secure tariffs through administrative procedures instead of competitive procedures.

This revision is expected to enable solar energy facilities possessing capacities of up to 500 KW – and which have submitted connection term applications to distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO prior to the beginning of 2023 – to continue securing tariffs through administrative procedures.

The upcoming revisions could also include new terms permitting solar and wind energy units that have already secured fixed tariffs to participate in wholesale electricity markets on a temporary basis. This revision is imminent, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, Alexandra Sdoukou, told a recent event staged by SPEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers.


Gas distribution operator 5-year investment plans worth €788m

The country’s three gas distribution operators, EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA, covering Athens, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and the rest of Greece, respectively, have proposed investments totaling 788 million euros for the network’s development over a five-year period between 2023 and 2027.

Italgas, the new owner of the EDA companies, has set ambitious objectives to expand Greece’s existing gas distribution network in order to facilitate further market penetration of gas around the country.

The three gas distribution operators have been forwarded their network development plans to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for consultation.

DEDA, covering the country’s north, northwest, west, as well as the Peloponnese, has forwarded the biggest investment plan of the three gas distribution operators. It is worth 378.3 million euros and aims to increase the number of customers in these regions to 103,127 by 2027.

During this same five-year period, DEDA aims to develop low and medium-pressure distribution networks of more than 2,600 kilometers. This extension is expected to enable gas quantity distribution quantities of 4.7 million MWh for households and businesses in five years’ time.

EDA Attiki, covering the wider Athens area, has submitted a five-year network development plan budgeted at 159.59 million euros, its aim being to increase the number of customers to 531,939 from 430,147 at present.

EDA Thess has proposed a five-year network development plan for Thessaloniki worth 136.6 million euros for projects to include an additional 359.7 kilometers to the city’s distribution network, enabling an increase in the number of customers to more than 331,818 from 275,172 at present.

The EDA Thess network development plan for Thessaly is worth 113.9 million euros and expected to enable the number of customers in this region to reach 147,177 by 2027 from 118,512.


Grid-injection limit proposals for RES, storage units face opposition

Renewable energy associations and producers, taking part in a consultation procedure staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, have rejected a proposal for universal grid-injection restrictions on RES facilities and energy storage units, instead calling for a plan offering greater flexibility.

ESIAPE, the Greek Association of Renewable Energy Source Electricity Producers, rejected a proposal for grid-injection restrictions, noting their imposition would come as an outdated and unsubstantiated move. The association has proposed more focused, demand-related restrictions, rather than universal ones, as the only viable solution that would minimize the loss of RES production.

The Mytilineos energy group also sees definite advantages in focused, demand-related restrictions as they could be applied in real time as well as on a localized basis.

SEF/HELAPCO, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies, was one of many consultation participants who also spoke out against proposed universal, permanent grid-injection restrictions on energy storage units.

The association noted these restrictions would impact the financial feasibility of energy storage systems, adding that, by definition, these systems are meant to optimize grid infrastructure and the network and should not face restrictions.


Final touches added to draft bill for RAE’s expanded role

Final touches are now being added to a draft bill concerning the new administrative structure at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, set to assume expanded executive powers also giving the authority water and waste management duties.

The authority will be renamed RAAEY, or the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water. Its expanded role will facilitate the country’s eligibility for EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds.

Three new divisions will be created as part of the authority’s expansion, each supervising its respective sector. These divisions, all of which will remain under the control of the expanded RAAEY authority, will each consist of a vice chairman and three or – based on a latest proposal – four committee members.

Also, a main board to be headed by the RAAEY president will include the three vice presidents of each division as well as their committee members.

RAE’s current president Athanasios Dagoumas will hold the vice chairman’s position of the energy division during the authority’s transition from RAE to RAAEY. He is also a candidate for RAAEY’s presidency, a political decision to be decided on at a latter date.

Also, RAE’s current board members will be given the opportunity to occupy posts at either the water or waste management divisions.

DESFA market test for gas network upgrade imminent

A market test to be staged by gas grid operator DESFA to gauge the level of investment interest and need for a network capacity increase is imminent and could be launched as early as this week or, if not, by the end of the month at the very latest, energypress sources have informed.

DESFA has determined a gas network upgrade and capacity boost are needed as the continent’s efforts to end reliance on Russian gas supply are changing Europe’s energy map and reversing the flow of gas.

The developments have elevated the role of Greece as an important gas supplier to markets north of the country, meaning the country’s gas infrastructure needs to be upgraded in order to handle the increased gas quantities expected to flow through the country in a northward direction. In previous decades, natural gas, supplied by Russia, flowed from north to south.

When offering its approval of DESFA’s ten-year development plan, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, requested a market test from the operator for the gas network upgrade plan.

DESFA, sources informed, intends to stage the first round of a market test for the project imminently, the aim being to complete this procedure by summer and follow it up with a second round of binding bids, which the operator wants completed by the end of the year.

DESFA plans to stage an international road show to attract investors and potential buyers, the sources noted.

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.

Green bilateral deals platform combined with industry PPAs

An energy exchange platform for green energy bilateral agreements is planned to operate in tandem with power purchase agreements (PPAs) for industry. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will, as a next step leading to this prospect, forward to the Energy Exchange comments accumulated through a related consultation procedure.

Authorities need to decide which of three platform alternatives will be adopted. One of the three options included in the consultation procedure is believed to have been rejected by all participants.

The aim is to bring together a platform for green energy bilateral agreements with another being developed by the energy ministry to facilitate PPAs for industrial consumers in place of supply agreements they held, until recently, with PPC, the power utility.

Prospective legislation to exempt bilateral contracts involving physical delivery from caps on fees for all electricity producers in wholesale electricity spot markets is central to the effort.

This exemption will enable RES producers to be remunerated at the market clearing price. Otherwise, electricity purchases and sales made through the Energy Exchange would not be able to take place at price levels agreed to between buyers and sellers.

Expanded RAE role to bring about administrative changes

A prospective expansion of the executive powers at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to result in the addition of water and waste management duties, will bring about administrative changes at the authority, which will be renamed RAAEY, or the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water.

Three new divisions will be created as part of the authority’s expansion, each supervising its respective sector. These divisions, all under the control of the expanded authority, will each consist of a vice chairman and three members.

Also, a main board will be comprised of 13 members, chaired by the RAAEY president.

The energy ministry plans to soon stage a consultation procedure for a draft bill concerning the authority’s expanded role.

RAE’s expanded role will facilitate the country’s eligibility for EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds.

HEDNO €2.2bn investments for 2022-26 feature 139 projects

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s five-year investment plan for 2022 to 2026, budgeted at 2.2 billion euros, will focus on digital transformation and modernization, as well as an upgrade of the electricity distribution network and its services, the operator has announced in a text just posted by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for consultation.

The investment plan includes a total of 139 sub-projects, including 71 worth 255.71 million euros for network reinforcement work.

Other entries include 32 sub-projects with a total budget of 437.91 million euros for network replacement and restoration work, as well as 525.22 million euros for the installation of telemetry systems.

Also, a sum of 481 million euros is planned to be used for projects such as the construction of new transmission and distribution sub-stations required, as well as reinforcement of existing such units, prompted by new grid-user connections or a shift in the requirements of existing users, both producers and consumers, following related applications. This category also includes street lighting projects.


RAE prepares list of crucial industries for gas rationing exemption

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has prioritized industrial enterprises for a ranking system exempting the most crucial players from natural gas rationing in 2023, should such an emergency measure be necessary.

This list of prioritized industries is needed so that a revised emergency plan for 2023, prepared by gas grid operator DESFA and approved by RAE, can be implemented, if needed.

The European Commission requires all EU member states to deliver lists prioritizing industries for the year as part of an EU’s emergency plan designed to weather extreme energy market conditions.

In Greece, a total of 104 industries have been divided and prioritized in eight groups. Industries belonging to the highest-ranked group would be the first to be subject to rationing, while industries in the lowest-ranked group are least likely to be subject to gas rationing.

Industries in the highest-ranked group could convert to alternative fuels and second-tier industries could reduce gas consumption without any major impact on their operations.

Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin auctions in first half

Auctions for Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin, providing transparency to consumers about the proportion of electricity that suppliers source from renewable generation, a scheme required of all EU member states, are planned to be launched in Greece during the first half of the year.

These auctions promise to create new conditions in Greece for the establishment of green electricity tariffs for consumers wishing to support the decarbonization of the country’s energy mix.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has put forth, for consultation, Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin regulations proposed by DAPEEP, the RES market operator. This procedure is scheduled to be completed on January 9.

The authority is expected to have approved the regulations for Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin auctions by the end of this month, thus establishing a comprehensive framework for the creation of a trading system for “green” certificates in Greece.

PPC limit on bilateral contract power supply relaxed to 30%

Power utility PPC will be able to offer up to 30 percent of overall electricity quantities supplied to customers through bilateral contracts in 2023, up from 20 percent in 2022, according to a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

RAE, prior to relaxing this limit imposed on PPC, had asked the Energy Hellenic Exchange for an updated study on the prospect of a rate increase for PPC and the impact this move would have.

The Energy Hellenic Exchange commissioned Ecco International, a global energy consulting and software company, to conduct the study, which decided that a cap of between 20 and 30 percent on PPC would be appropriate.

This decision takes into account RES limitations and wholesale market irregularities that fail to produce clearing prices that accurately reflect short-term generation costs.


RAE approves EDA development programs covering 2022 to 2026

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved five-year development programs submitted by Greece’s three gas distribution operators, EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA, covering Athens, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and the rest of Greece, respectively, energypress sources have informed.

RAE is expected to soon publish these development programs, the sources noted.

The three operators have already submitted their ensuing five-year development plans, covering 2023 to 2027, to the authority, expected to offer its approval within the next two to three months, after two pending issues are settled.

Italgas, the new owner of the EDA companies, has set ambitious objectives to expand Greece’s existing gas distribution network in order to facilitate further market penetration of gas around the country.

Italgas aims to increase total gas connections in Greece to a level of one million by 2028, from roughly 600,000 at present.

However, RAE has maintained a cautious stance as it wants to ensure these investments do not end up becoming an excessive burden for consumers.


Gas meters to be replaced with digital equivalents by 2027

Gas distributors EDA Attiki and EDA THESS plan to gradually replace 400,000 existing natural gas meters in Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly, the areas they cover, by 2027 with upgraded smart versions, a project estimated to cost between 40 and 50 million euros.

The upgrade promises to play an important role in the digitization of the country’s gas distribution, greatly improving its performance as well as services offered to households and businesses using natural gas.

The gas companies aim to have this ambitious project included in development programs covering 2023 to 2027.

The two operators have already prepared a cost-benefit analysis that will soon be forwarded for consultation by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The authority will then recommend an overall strategy for the project to the energy ministry, which, in turn, will deliver a ministerial decision paving the way for the project’s launch through development programs.


RAE, operators far apart on WACC levels for 2023-2026

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the country’s gas distribution network operators appear to be far apart on WACC (weighted average cost of capital) figures for the next regulatory period covering 2023 to 2026, energypress sources have informed.

The authority is expected to set its levels early in 2023, the sources noted. Locking in the WACC level for the four-year period will enable Required Income levels to be determined along with tariffs for each of the operators.

The distribution network operators, EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA, have yet to announce their desired WACC levels for 2023 to 2026, but it is believed they want a significant increase on the current levels.

The current regulatory period is ending with a WACC level of 7.03 percent, the level recorded in 2021, following levels of 8.18 percent in 2019 and 7.45 percent in 2020.

RAE contends there is no reason to deviate from the current WACC formula, which, it has noted, includes all the factors that reflect the economic environment in which EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA operate, including inflation and country risk.

Given its approach, RAE appears likely to set just marginally higher WACC figures for the next four-year regulatory period.

‘Windfall tax must take into account month’s likely losses’

Electricity suppliers are reacting against a new windfall profit tax, to be applied on a quarterly basis without taking into account end-of-year financial figures and possible losses.

Many of the country’s electricity suppliers have forwarded financial data such as volume sales, customer arrears and bad debt expected by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, still awaiting data from the remainder of suppliers before it establishes a profit margin recommendation, linked to a new windfall tax. The authority plans to forwards its proposal to the energy ministry next week.

RAE will take into account the financial data forwarded by suppliers to establish a windfall tax rate for an initial first three-month period, covering August 1 to October 31.

According to the new tax measure, suppliers will need to pay 60 percent of any resulting windfall profit tax by December 23, meaning the measure’s details will need to be finalized within the next two weeks.

Some of the country’s electricity suppliers could incur operating losses in December as a result of rising wholesale electricity prices and a recently introduced rule requiring them to announce their prices for each ensuing month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Suppliers have announced retail electricity prices ranging from 28 to 38 cents per KWh for December. Those pursuing more aggressive pricing policies stand to incur losses this month as a result of the latest rise in energy prices.


Demand response for electricity markets in first quarter of 2023

The Energy Exchange is preparing a demand-response mechanism for all electricity markets, in accordance with the European framework, and is aiming for a launch within the first quarter of 2023.

Brussels’ Clean Energy Package and subsequent European Regulations enable full access of demand response mechanisms into electricity markets. EU member states, market operators, and energy exchanges have been requested to take all necessary measures to make this possible.

The basic idea is to actively involve demand response mechanisms (consumption side) to ultimately allow for better management of the energy market.

For its part, the Energy Exchange is taking all necessary steps to provide the technical capacity offering this service to participants.

Distribution loads or industrial loads will be able to participate, on competitive terms, in all markets with electricity producers, while at the same time setting signals for the balancing market.

As for regulatory matters, the Energy Exchange is already preparing an amendment to day-ahead and intraday market regulation, which will soon be forwarded to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, so that it may stage public consultation before adopting relevant regulation.

Energy firms want DAM non-compliance fee formula reviewed

Consultation staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, on a formula determining a non-compliance fee for unlawful submission of sales orders in the day-ahead market for 2023 has prompted reaction from energy companies, fearing excessive penalties.

A formula proposed by the Energy Exchange is particularly strict, the Mytilineos group has commented, as it uses the average day-ahead market (DAM) clearing price for the day when the unlawful submission of a sale order by a production unit has taken place.

As price levels in the day-ahead market have increased significantly this year and are currently at 280 euros per MWh, the Energy Exchange’s proposed formula would lead to non-compliance charges worth hundreds of thousands of euros.

Power utility PPC, another participant in RAE’s consultation procedure, also believes the formula proposed by the Energy Exchange results in an excessive non-compliance fee. It has called for a review and implementation of tiered charges.


New extension for South Kavala UGS tender most likely, investors hesitant

The government appears to have reached a decision to order yet another deadline extension for the submission of binding bids in a tender staged by privatization fund TAIPED for the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, being offered for the development and operation of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) for a 50-year period.

The current deadline expires today, but, according to sources, authorities fear the tender’s final-round qualifiers will not submit bids as they have complained pricing regulations established by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, do not make the investment viable.

Energean and a partnership bringing together gas grid operator DESFA and construction company GEK Terna have qualified for the tender’s final-round.



Expanded RAE role to include water and waste management

The executive powers of RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will be expanded to also cover water and waste management. Energy minister Kostas Skrekas will present the fundamentals of a related draft bill facilitating this change at a cabinet meeting today.

RAE’s expanded role will facilitate the country’s eligibility for EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds.

RAE is significantly understaffed at present, but possesses the necessary organizational and building infrastructure, as well as experienced staff, all of which should help the authority meet the demands of its expanded role.

A number of other EU member states have already established expanded authorities overseeing energy, water and environmental matters. Ireland, for example, has established the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Bulgaria has established its Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), while Malta has also founded an equivalent body.



Standardized gas billing discussed at RAE session

Guidelines for natural gas billing presentation revisions promising household and business consumers greater price-comparison ability are on the agenda of today’s plenary session at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The authority has already standardized billing presentations for electricity suppliers and is now doing likewise in the retail gas market.

As was the case in the retail electricity market, it will not be compulsory for gas suppliers to adopt the upcoming billing revisions, but suppliers who choose to do so will be endorsed by RAE.

Besides promising greater price-comparison clarity for consumers, the revisions will also make it easier for potential customers to decipher the details of offers made by gas suppliers.

RAE is determined to offer consumers full clarity on their gas bills as energy costs are expected to be elevated this coming winter.

RAE reserved about Italgas’ network expansion plan

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is deeply concerned about the prospect of gas distribution network expansions into new geographical territories as, at present, amid the energy crisis, it remains unclear whether an expanded network would result in a greater number of overall gas users in Greece or, on the contrary, excessively increase the cost of this fuel for existing gas users through higher charges on regulated tariffs.

Italgas, following up on its recent 733 million-euro acquisition of DEPA Infrastructure, one of Greece’s biggest energy-sector privatizations, is keen to expand the country’s gas network through three DEPA Infrastructure subsidiaries, EDA Attiki, EDA THESS and DEDA. The expansion project is included in their investment plans for 2022 to 2026.

RAE will soon need to decide on whether to approve these gas network expansion plans.

Italgas has made clear it views geographical expansion of the country’s gas network as am approach that will increase gas usage in the Greek energy market.

Italgas aims to increase the number of gas users in Greece from approximately 600,000 at present to one million by 2028.