The pandemic’s second wave, now gaining momentum, is once again spooking the energy market and serving as a strong reminder of problems encountered in the sector during the first wave’s difficult three-month period between March and May.
During the first wave, fuel and electricity consumption fell drastically, the ability of consumers to service their bills was impacted, and the RES special account deficit widened. Its deficit is estimated to be 290 million euros.
The pandemic’s second wave, already considerably bigger, could inflict even greater damage on the energy market.
Energy suppliers, including power utility PPC and independent firms, operators, RES producers and the energy ministry are all concerned about bleak times ahead.
The problems for renewable energy producers had begun prior to the pandemic when authorities reduced a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge covered by consumers through electricity bills. This led to a reduction of RES special account inflow, an unfavorable development that was then exacerbated by the pandemic.
Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, managing the public service compensation (YKO) account, is seeing this account’s deficit widen by the month.
Funded by electricity bill surcharges to subsidize high-cost electricity generation on Greece’s non-interconnected islands and offer lower-cost electricity for underprivileged households, the public service compensation has a deficit of 90 million euros, latest data has shown.
DEDDIE/HEDNO is well aware of the fact that this deficit will need to be eliminated before possible buyers of the operator, headed for privatization, imminently, can enter a virtual data room to assess the sale and consider bids.
A new drop in consumption levels, one of two basic market fears at present, would exacerbate the deficit issues faced by the RES special account and the public service compensation account. The financial standing of consumers is the other major concern.
If the magnitude and duration of the pandemic’s second wave are both extensive, the country’s energy market could face zero growth, even contraction, in 2021.