ECONOMY

Moderate growth for renewable energy

The development of renewable energy sources (RES) remains limited in Greece, a National Bank of Greece report suggested yesterday, although its share in domestic electricity production has been growing steadily since 1999. The total installed power from RES came to 4,066 megawatts at end-2007, and to 1,048 MW if the major hydroelectric projects are excluded (against 159 MW in 1999). Yet although projects such as wind power, geothermal and photovoltaic units account for 7 percent of total installed power, they actually contribute only 4 percent of electricity production. The report also refers to the factors that hamper the further expansion of the sector, pointing out the complex and time-consuming licensing process and the lack of any land zoning plan. The bank estimates that the country’s demand for electrical energy will continue to rise in the coming years, expected to exceed 80,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020 from 53,750 GWh last year; similarly peak demand will reach 16,000 MW by 2020, from 10,600 MW in 2007. Therefore, there should be no concerns for investors regarding demand, the report concluded. Apart from hydroelectric plants, which dominate the sector with a 75 percent share, wind parks are the dominant form of RES being used in Greece with a share of 21 percent.