RES targets out of Greek reach

EU plans for developing renewable energy sources appear elusive for lagging local market

RES targets out of Greek reach

The targets the European Commission is setting for the development of renewable energy sources in Europe appear elusive for Greece, with the local market arguing that only a strict and resourceful plan such as that in the run-up to the Athens 2004 Olympics could meet Brussels’ requirements.

In order to respond to the energy security problems arising from the disengagement from Russian gas, the Commission has set particularly ambitious targets that will make it hard even for the best organized member-states to meet.

The REPowerEU blueprint announced last Wednesday provides for RES penetration at 45% in 2030 (instead of a 40% target until recently) and for installed photovoltaics to more than double by 2025 compared to 2020 and reach 320 gigawatts, ahead of a target for 600 GW in 2030.

The plan also includes a binding target for saving energy by 13% until 2030, up from 9% today, it doubles the green hydrogen output target from 5 million to 10 million tons by 2030, and aims at the production of 35 billion cubic meters of biomethane.

The package comes complete with binding measures for meeting these targets, such as the acknowledgment of RES as public-interest investments and an obligation for installing solar panels on state and private roofs as of 2026.

The Greek market is a very long way from coming even close to these targets. The country has not managed to utilize major investment interest in onshore wind and solar facilities and has also dampened interest in storage systems, freezing licensed projects since last August, until the completion of the relevant bill, which was due in December 2021 and has yet to materialize. Athens is also keeping the early interest in offshore windfarms on hold, as the relevant framework is still being drafted.

As for the bill on hydrogen, a special committee on the issue has been set up at the Energy Ministry, but that has also not been completed yet – to say nothing of any bill allowing any imports of biomethane in the country.

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