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Greece's 44 bln euro green revolution and the challenges ahead

Βy 2030, 82,000 electricity-powered cars need to hit Greece's streets, when the figure in 2018 reached just 315. Also, by the end of the next decade, Greece needs to offer 7 GW of wind power, versus 3.6 GW currently, in order to meet ambitious goals set out in its National Plan for Energy and the Environment (ESEK). 

The energy performance of six hundred thousand homes, or 60,000 per year, needs to be improved by 2030. In the same year, 82,000 electricity-powered cars need to hit Greece's streets, when the figure in 2018 reached just 315. Also, by the end of the next decade, Greece needs to offer 7 GW of wind power, versus 3.6 GW currently, in order to meet ambitious goals set out in its National Plan for Energy and the Environment (ESEK). 

The above are just a few of the challenges outlined in the country's new energy roadmap for the next decade, which was put up for public debate last week and will be presented to relevant groups at a special event to be held by the Bank of Greece today. By the end of the year, the plan will be sent to the European Commission for approval.

In a 307 page document, Greece's conservative government sets out its green agenda but the 44 billion investment plan forecast in the plan requires strong growth and a sharp improvement in the way that the country's state services operate.

In order for all of the above to occur, Greece must cease being one of Europe's most wasteful energy countries. 

The ambitious goals set out in the plan include:

  • 61 percent of electricity consumed, power that covers our needs, will be green by 2030, versus 27 percent today and a forecast for 29 percent in 2030.
  • New investments in renewable power by the end of the next decade will reach 9 billion euros. 
  • 11 billion euros will be invested in creating energy savings, mainly for buildings. Along with renewable energy sources, this will create more than 60,000 jobs.
  • 3.5 billion euros need to be invested in the development of electricity grid networks and digitalization.
  • 2.2 billion euros will be spent on cross border natural gas pipelines
  • 2 billion euros will be invested in new natural gas networks and storage units
  • 800 million euros to go towards research and innovation
  • 0% will be the percentage of energy created by lignite powered units as by 2028 when none of PPC's coal-powered plants will operate. The respective goal for Germany has been set for 2038
  • Energy consumption will be cut by 38.5 percent, when compared with 2007 levels, versus the European target for a reduction of 32.5 percent.
  • The reduction of greenhouse emissions will need to reach 55 percent (from 2007 levels), versus the previous goal for a cut of 48 percent.

These goals, however, will not be met unless (1) the country's mainland power grid is connected with the islands by 2030 allowing the country to take advantage of their ability to create wind and solar power (2) Greece boosts international power connections so that it can export part of the renewable energy it creates.

Other necessary changes include the simplification of energy permits (that sometimes take up to six years to be issued) and for storage units to be developed in a move that will allow for the higher penetration of green power, as seen in other countries.

The future of energy will be vastly different from what we have today. Seven million smart energy meters will replace conventional ones, while energy will be priced on seven different scales over 24 hours. Transponders on street poles will combine the 5G network with the electrical power network so that companies will be able to provide new combined packages of services to consumers by 2030. 

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