BUSINESS

Highway operators stand in the way of wind turbine installations

CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

TAGS: Energy, Economy

Investors in renewable energy sources are facing fresh obstacles at a time when the government is setting the development of the sector as a priority, with the Energy Ministry shifting its target regarding the share of RES in total energy production in 2030 from 31 percent, as provided for in the National Plan for Energy and the Climate, to 35 percent in the revised blueprint.

Besides the delays in production permit issues by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, which have grown considerably (to more than two years), RES investors have been facing additional and unexpected obstacles in the last few months. Sector representatives have told Kathimerini that they face great difficulties in the transportation of wind turbines due to highway operators’ refusal to allow such loads on their roads.

Egnatia Odos, the company which operates the main highway across northern Greece, is the latest to have introduced such a ban, meaning that Thessaloniki and Volos, the two main ports for northern Greece, now face serious problems as regards access for very large loads.

Investors in RES say that these decisions against the road transportation of such loads are based on arbitrary limitations regarding cargo weight, although the features of the transportation required are within the highway planning standards, with a significant security margin too.

A wind park under construction in Western Macedonia has been subject to delays because wind turbine parts have been stuck at the port of Volos due to the fact that Aegean Motorway will not allow the transportation of loads of more than 44 tons on its roads.

At the same time, the Regional Authority of Thessaly has rejected a license for the transportation of turbine parts on regional roads, citing a weight limit of just 3.5 tons. Yet the main – and logical – argument of the regional authority is that heavy loads ought to be transported on highways.

RES investors and entities have already explained the problem to the political leadership of the ministries of Energy and of Transport, who appeared to grasp the significance of the matter and have said they will seek a solution. At the same time sector investors are accusing RAE that its assessment practices often go overboard, delaying the issue of permits.

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