Technical chamber wants lignite maintenance in energy mix

TEE, the Technical Chamber of Greece, favors the continued use of the country’s modern lignite-fired power stations for an energy-mix representation of between 10 and 12 percent over the next few years, as a means of securing electricity sufficiency and strategic reserves.

The chamber’s administration has officially approved an internal vote adopting this position. Its scientific committee, comprised of metallurgical engineers, expressed strong reservations over a government decision to prematurely terminate lignite-fired electricity production as part of the country’s decarbonization plan.

Extensive public debate and a detailed study, essential for a matter of such strategic importance for Greece, should have preceded the premature lignite withdrawal decision, the TEE scientific committee pointed out.

An approved master plan for the lignite withdrawals was rejected by regional authorities in Greece’s two lignite-dependent regions, western Macedonia, in the north, and Peloponnese’s Megalopoli, as proposals forwarded by local authorities and citizens were not considered or discussed, the committee noted.

A total of 19 months have elapsed and over 2,500 jobs lost since the government’s decision to prematurely withdraw lignite-fired units in the two areas, but the administration’s master plan for a fair transition, intended to restructure these lignite-dependent local economies, continues to lack clarity, the committee stressed.

EU funds made available for the restructuring of the two lignite-dependent economies, just over 700 million euros and well under a five billion-euro amount initially announced, are very limited for a proper and fair transition, the chamber added.

 

New ‘Saving at Home’ plan to be based on heating subsidies model

A latest edition of the Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades of households, expected to be announced towards the end of this coming summer, will be revised to feature climate and income criteria, reflecting a system already used to determine heating cost subsidy levels.

A chart previously prepared by the National Meteorological Service (EMY) to determine heating subsidy allocations will now also be adopted for the energy ministry’s latest Saving at Home program, sources informed.

The existing EMY model will be tweaked to better suit the Saving at Home program, taking into account both heating and cooling needs of individual households. Income criteria will also be taken into account, prioritizing lower-income households. Applicants with plans for energy efficiency upgrades of higher degree are also expected to benefit.

The EMY chart divides the country into 200,000 plots, offering respective details on average temperature levels and number of hours of heating needed in a day by households. A point system determines the level of heating subsidies entitled by each area.

The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) will also contribute to the energy ministry’s effort for the next Saving at Home program.

Professionals want more time ahead of energy upgrade offer

Civil engineers and architects, citing inevitable lockdown-related obstacles, are calling for a delay in the launch of the latest Saving at Home program subsidizing energy efficiency upgrades and energy independence system installations at existing properties.

The Technical Chamber of Greece, the official technical advisor of the Greek state, could offer an opinion today or tomorrow on whether a delayed launch is necessary.

The energy ministry has not ruled out new dates, in various regions, for the launch of the subsidy program’s platform.

At present, the program is scheduled to start on November 30 in Crete, the north Aegean and the south Aegean. A December 2 starting date has been set for east Macedonia and Thrace. The starting date for west Macedonia is December 4 start and December 7 for central Macedonia. The dates for all other regions are: Thessaly – December 9; Epirus, Ionian Islands – December 11; Wider Athens area – December 14; mainland Greece, Peloponnese – December 16; western Greece – December 18. A January 11, 2021 starting date has been set for apartment blocks.