Power utility PPC’s prospective Ptolemaida V power station in northern Greece, whose construction has almost been completed, is expected to undergo a test run this coming summer, as a lignite-fired facility, ahead of its launch late in the year or early 2022, while the unit will be converted into a natural gas-fired unit as of 2025, top-ranked company officials have informed.
The officials ruled out any possibility of a deviation away from the corporation’s natural gas conversion plan for the facility by 2025.
Any delay would be detrimental for PPC given the rising cost of carbon emission rights, currently at a level of approximately 90 euros per ton, leading to losses.
Carbon emission rights would need to drop to a level of no more than 45 euros per ton for Ptolemaida V to cover its operating costs as a lignite-fired facility, the PPC officials noted.
Meanwhile, a recent European Commission decision on its Taxonomy, essentially excluding ultra-modern power stations that are exclusively fueled by natural gas from its list of green investments, comes as a setback for the financing terms achievable for such facilities, the PPC officials pointed out.
The PPC officials admitted, however, that this Brussels decision will push investors to seek emission-reducing solutions, such as mixed natural gas and hydrogen solutions.
PPC is preparing such ventures following a recent announcement concerning a related collaboration with Motor Oil.
The European Commission’s Taxonomy is intended to serve as a guide for private and public-sector investments required to achieve climate neutrality over the next 30 years.
A number of improvements have been made to criteria concerning the entry of natural gas-fueled power stations to the “transitional activities” section of the European Commission’s Taxonomy, intended to serve as a guide for private and public-sector investments required to achieve climate neutrality over the next 30 years.
However, an emissions limit for natural gas-fueled power stations included in the initial plan has been maintained, despite being considered unfeasible by producers.
The elimination of intermediate objectives for green hydrogen incorporation at natural gas-fueled power stations has been embraced as an important improvement by electricity producers.
Initially, authorities had planned intermediate objectives that would have required hydrogen to represent 30 percent of generation at gas-fueled plants by 2026 and 55 percent by 2030. Under the revisions, green hydrogen will need to fully represent generation at these plants as of 2036.
Consultation on the Taxonomy has just been completed, while supplementary terms have been finalized.
Criteria concerning the entry of natural gas-fueled power stations to the EU’s Taxonomy are crucial for Greece, given the country’s number of investment plans for new natural gas-fueled power stations.
These units, according to the National Energy and Climate Plan, will be called on to play an important role in ensuring grid stability and supply sufficiency as the RES sector further penetrates the energy mix.
The Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers (ESAI/HAIPP) has called for the establishment of a higher transitional CO2 emission limit of 340 grams per KWh produced for new natural gas-fired power stations until hydrogen-based electricity production is generated in abundance.
The association submitted its proposal to energy minister Kostas Skrekas ahead of the completion, this Friday, of ongoing consultation between the European Commission and the Greek government on a green energy framework, the Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act.
ESAI/HAIPP has also proposed that the CO2 limit for existing low-polluting natural gas-fired power stations be raised to 450 grams per KWh produced from the present level of 380 grams.
The association is striving for the European Taxonomy to also cater to the needs of natural gas-fired power stations so that their loan obligations can be met without alarm.
ESAI/HAIPP has stressed that a 270-gram limit proposed by the European Commission for new natural gas-fired power stations is not feasible.
The European Commission’s just-launched public consultation procedure for new conditions that would recognize certain gas and nuclear activities as green activities, included in a 60-page Taxonomy Complementary Delegated Act distributed to member states at the turn of the year, has prompted uncertainty over the sustainability of new natural gas-fired power stations.
The Taxonomy will determine whether these facilities will be eligible for financial support, and to what extent, through European financing institutions and, possibly, the private sector.
Domestic energy producers are already preparing to forward questions to the energy ministry for clarification on a number of issues.
The Taxonomy stipulates that natural gas-fired generation can be regarded as an energy transition activity as long as new power stations approved before 2030, as replacements for facilities using conventional fossil fuels, emit less than 270 grams of CO2 per KWh.
The European Commission’s plan for completion of the Taxonomy’s public consultation procedure by the end of January, ahead of its implementation by this coming July, is not expected to remain on schedule.
The Taxonomy is intended to serve as a guide for private and public-sector investments required to achieve climate neutrality over the next 30 years.