Greece: Further actions required for wind energy

Greece makes progress in wind energy, however further actions are required in order for the country to remain on the path of green energy. This is one of the basic conclusions stemming from WindEurope’s recent study, the European wind energy association, whose national representative is ELETAEN.

The study presents wind energy’s prospects for the years 2018-2022 and arrives at an opportune moment since within the next three months EU member states, including Greece, have to conclude their energy and climate national plans. Until the end of 2018, all member states must submit their plans to the European Commission, where renewables penetration targets for 2030 will be included.

Estimations about Greece

Greece stands in a particularly climate-sensitive geographical region. Furthermore, all relevant studies expect very negative consequences for the environment, society and the economy in case of a 2°C rise in temperature. This is why the national energy planning needs to set the economy in a path of permanent decarbonization by 2050, if not sooner. This, of course, applies for Europe as a whole.

WindEurope’s analysis showed that short term prospects for wind energy by 2022 are positive, but much remains to be done. Through the study “Wind Energy in Europe: Outlook to 2022”, WindEurope maintains that 87 GW will be installed in Europe during 2018-2022. As part of a conservative scenario, Greece can install more than 1.3 GW during these five years. It is a 50% rise compared to wind capacity at the end of 2017. A satisfactory, but not adequate prospect.

Following WindEurope’s study, ELETAEN’s chairman, Mr. Panagiotis Ladakakos, said:

”Greece has to multiply its efforts and significantly exceed today’s estimate for near future wind installations in order to remain on the path towards green energy. To do that, planning and realization must proceed massively – through specific measures and policies – to advance all forms of wind energy: In continental Greece, in the islands and the sea, with great projects and large electric interconnections, with hybrid systems and storage systems. But also, with smaller investments, such as in small wind turbines”.

WindEurope’s CEO, Giles Dickson, said:

”Wind energy is on a positive path for its further advancement in Europe during the next five years. However, this growth comes primarily from decisions already made. The prospects for new investments are less clear. Most governments have not presented their plans for new wind farms by 2030. National energy and climate plans for 2030 will be crucial. They will determine what renewables quantities the states desire and how and when they will be auctioned”.

The market’s perspectives

When it comes to the market’s conditions, annual wind installations in Europe have risen, according to the study. More specifically, during the last 11 years, installations have risen from 6.7 GW in 2005 to 13.9 GW in 2016. 2017 was a record year with 16.8 GW.

At the end of June, 2018, Europe had 182 GW of installed wind capacity (165 GW on land and 16.9 GW offshore). Germany continues to be the most dynamic market in Europe, followed by Spain, the UK, France and Italy. Five more European countries (Turkey, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Portugal) have more than 5 GW in installations, while eight more European countries have more than 1 GW: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania.

WindEurope’s basic scenario contains a better estimate for wind additions in Europe during the next five years. This scenario takes into account infrastructure projects and existing law in European countries that could lead to the sector’s growth. It also reflects the influence of 2020 targets, the existence of long term national goals and initiated tenders. For offshore wind energy, the basic scenario assumes that all projects are realized according to existing expectations. Specifically about our country, it is mentioned that “in Greece and Denmark, new tenders provide hope for a rebound in 2022”.

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