Renewables

First offshore wind farms in Greece to be installed in five zones in Aegean Sea

offshore wind

photo: Tho-Ge on pixabay

Published

May 16, 2023

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Published:

May 16, 2023

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Greece aims to install its first offshore wind turbines in five areas in the Aegean Sea with a total capacity of 2.1 GW.

The regulatory framework for offshore wind farms was completed last year, while the country’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) targets 2.7 GW for 2030.

According to the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA), the first offshore wind farms will be installed in five zones established in the Aegean Sea.

HEREMA is going beyond hydrocarbons

The authority’s head, Aristotelis Stefatos, said recently that HEREMA’s new identity reflects the expansion of its responsibilities beyond hydrocarbon exploration, to underground carbon dioxide storage and the promotion of investments in offshore wind farms.

In the first phase, 2.1 GW is planned to be installed in the following marine regions:

  • 600 MW offshore Alexandroupolis
  • 900 MW in three zones in the Central Aegean, with 300 MW each
  • 600 MW offshore Crete near the eastern edge of the island

It means that later this decade, the second phase will include around 600 MW more offshore wind in order to reach the national goal.

The next steps

For the moment, HEREMA is in talks with the general staff of the armed forces to make sure that offshore wind turbines are not a threat to national security, specifically to ships, radars etc.

Afterwards, environmental studies will take place as will the specific mapping of the individual zones. National elections are scheduled for May 21 and in July, which means the activities will be paused until a new government takes over.

The greatest challenge for the development of offshore wind energy in Greece is licensing time, since it often takes over 10 years for the completion of an onshore wind farm. Many public authorities are involved in the process and have to issue their own licenses, therefore it is doubtful whether the new projects will be ready before 2030.

WindEurope’s CEO Giles Dickson said recently in an interview that it is the central issue for the development of the said technology in Greece. He added that zoning issues are also important, as the most promising areas in terms of wind availability must be used in the country.

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