NEWS

Power shortage likely in summer

Greece is likely to experience energy shortages until 2010 due to power demand exceeding supply, according to a report seen by Kathimerini. The National Power Strategy Council, which belongs to the Development Ministry, said in a report recently that Greece will be reliant on lignite for the next few years until power from natural gas and renewable energy sources start to increase. EU directives state that by 2020 Greece is obliged to get 18 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources such as solar and wind power. The government examined the council’s report at a Cabinet meeting last week but no decisions were made, a source said. Meanwhile, fears are also rising that the country will experience power shortages this summer due to the extensive use of energy-hungry air conditioners. Concerns over power supply have risen due to low levels of rainfall last winter that have lowered the capacity of hydroelectric plants. Earlier this month, Takis Athanassopoulos, PPC president and CEO, acknowledged that a lot more rain is needed to avoid the problem. «I don’t know whether we can avoid power cuts this summer; we are currently considering all the options for better management (of available resources),» he said. Sources said the Finance Ministry is examining whether to introduce financial incentives to get consumers to discard their old air conditioner and replace it with a more energy-efficient model.