ECONOMY

Good tailwinds for RES

Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis yesterday approved four new power production licenses for plants tapping renewable energy sources (RES), totaling new capacity of 14.4 megawatts which has already attracted significant foreign investment. Three of the licenses are for new hydroelectric projects, while the last is for an extension to a wind power unit. «The intense investment interest expressed in the last three months by foreign companies has created an air of optimism and, if continued, will enable Greece to meet its obligations to the EU for RES’s share in the energy balance,» Salagoudis said in reference to Greece’s target of 20.1 percent of total power consumption to come from RES-produced electricity by 2010. The country already produces 9.5 percent of its energy requirements via RES and the ministry is continuing efforts to modernize relevant legislation. Salagoudis said foreign direct investment in RES has reached 85 million euros in the last three months, including the purchase of 21 percent of Greece’s leading wind power producer H. Rokas by Spain’s Iberdrola and wind park company CESA. Spanish group GAMESA and German companies have also been involved in large RES projects in Greece. The Spanish companies’ investment totals 50 million euros.