Germany energy group RWE has expressed an interest in developing offshore wind parks in Greece, more than a decade after its unsuccessful attempt to work with power company PPC on creating coal-powered units.
In talks held in Athens earlier this week, RWE officials said they view the Greek market favorably as part of plans to expand in renewable power globally. They are also looking to take an active role in PPC's planning for the post-coal period, after having announced a similar program in Germany.
RWE, Europe's largest producer of CO2 emissions, is the world's second-largest investor in offshore wind parks, a segment of the market that remains closed in Greece. Due to institutional problems that grew in Greece under the previous government, the country has not been able to make use of its sea and wind energy. The German group has been continually expanding in offshore wind parks and recently took on new deals in Germany, France, and Britain, in projects totaling 2GW.
In regards to traditional wind parks, RWE is Europe's third-largest producer after having acquired the portfolio of E.On. Europe's top two players in this market are Spain's Iberdrola and Italy's Enel - both companies that are active in Greece. The German's are looking for more opportunities in southern Europe after already operating wind parks in Spain (450 MW) and Italy (385 MW).
This interest comes as PPC looks to cover lost ground on the renewable energy market and recover from losses stemming from the planned shut down of its lignite units.
Greece has set some high targets for its post lignite era, goals that are more ambitious than those seen in Germany. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced that by 2028, all of PPC's coal-powered units will either be shut down or run on a different power source.
On the other hand, RWE has announced that by 2040 the company will be neutral on CO2 issues, reducing production of the gas by 70 percent by 2030.