ECONOMY

RAE prepares to ward off power shortages

A tough summer lies ahead as far as the adequate supply of electricity is concerned, said the president of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Michalis Karamanis, yesterday. Demand is expected to peak at 10,900 megawatts, while the deficit in production potential will reach 800 MW, he said. The measures to be applied to cover demand and avoid blackouts include the exhaustion of import potential, economic incentives for saving energy, along with an information campaign by RAE and cuts in supply to major consumers in return for rate reductions. Karamanis and the chief executive of the distribution manager (DESMHE), Ioannis Theodorakopoulos, revealed ongoing negotiations with Albania for the possible import of 100 MW during peak hours in the summer. Next month will see the start of the interconnection between Greece and Turkey from which another 250 MW is expected. Production capacity will also be strengthened this year with the Aluminium of Greece plant of starting operation and providing another 334 MW. Karamanis said that a ministerial decision will soon approve its entry onto the country’s grid. They also said that the incentives for a reduction in consumption by domestic consumers will apply this year too. This process meant that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) had to return some 19.4 million euros to its consumers last year. During peak hours, the supply of power to PPC mines and irrigation systems will also be reduced. RAE is immediately starting an information campaign for saving energy, toward the expansion of the use of natural gas and alternative energy sources. Karamanis said that the balance in the demand and supply of electrical energy will return within two or three years, when new production units by PPC and private investors will start operating.