ECONOMY

Long-term energy plan sees emissions stabilizing after 2012

The government yesterday unveiled the first part of a blueprint on «Greece’s Long-Term Energy Planning, 2008-2020,» whose basic scenario envisages a reduction in power production from solid fuels (mainly lignite), a doubling of the number of gas-fired stations and an increase in the output of plants using renewable energy sources (RES). «Based on this report, and the government’s energy policy, we are aiming to ensure the security of energy supplies, the protection of the environment and those conditions that will make our economy more productive and competitive,» said Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas after handing the document to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The document as a whole, including the second part which is expected to be completed by year end, will be presented for public consultation before being finalized. The whole report will include an action plan with specific measures and policies with a view to achieving the energy targets set, taking into account developments in all sectors of the economy. The three scenarios examined in the report are based on different estimates of the evolution of international oil and gas prices, while taking into account the country’s commitments to reduce emissions, in the frame of European Union policy. All three scenarios envisage that Greece will be able to keep down atmospheric emissions from the energy sector after 2012 at the average level of the 2008-2012 period, while also raising production from renewable sources to account for 12 percent of the total. Also, a significant increase in the combined cycle production of heat and electricity is planned, with considerable energy savings. Under Scenario 1, «Business As Usual,» the use of lignite-fired stations will remain at present levels and drop slightly after 2020. The use of natural gas in power production will carry on rising, from 17 TWh in 2010 and 20 TWh in 2020. Installed capacity of wind parks is projected at 1.5 GW in 2010 and that of combined production plants at 1 GW. In 2020, the capacity of wind parks is projected at 3.5 GW, of hydroelectric facilities at 3.9 GW, of plants using biomass at 200 MW and of combined cycle plants at 2 GW. Scenario 2, «Stabilization of Emissions with Average Oil Prices,» envisages a small reduction of 5 GW in the present capacity of lignite-fired stations and installed wind park capacity by 2020. Under Scenario 3, «Stabilization of Emissions with High Oil Prices,» which is considered unlikely, greater use is foreseen of imported coal-fired stations (four new plants by 2020).