The long-awaited draft of the offshore wind energy development program was announced today by the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (HEREMA) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
During a special event, the offshore wind program was presented with its strategic environmental impact assessment (SEIA). It consists of 25 areas covering a total of 2,712 square kilometers, with an estimated minimum capacity of 12.4 GW. The majority of the proposed offshore areas are suitable for floating wind power technology.
“We feel proud knowing that the submission of the program and the SEIA is the first step on a path that will create important opportunities for sustainable development, both economically and socially, and also optimistic to see the strong representation of the national and international investor community at today’s event. We are already preparing for the next steps in order to create the right framework for the rapid development of this new sector,” HEREMA’s CEO Aristofanis Stefatos said.
The plan, which has already been submitted to the Spatial Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, qualifies ten eligible areas for development by 2030-2032. The overall capacity of approximately 4.9 GW is mainly for floating projects. The said zones do not include the marine area between Evros and Samothraki, which is defined as an area for the development of pilot offshore wind projects.
Five regions selected for the first stage
This is the list of Offshore Wind Farms Organized Development Areas (OWF-ODA) eligible for the medium-term development phase:
– Eastern Crete, where it is estimated that projects with a total capacity of 800 MW will be developed;
– Southern Rhodes, with a maximum installed capacity of between 300 MW and 550 MW;
– Central Aegean, with a maximum installed capacity of between 200 MW and 450 MW;
– Evia-Chios axis, with a maximum installed capacity of 300 MW;
– Ionian Sea, with a maximum installed capacity of 450 MW.
The following map shows the marine regions for offshore wind development with respective capacities:
Benefits of EUR 1.9 billion for the economy
In addition, HEREMA commissioned the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) to conduct a study on the economic benefits of the development of offshore wind in Greece. It includes the assessment of the importance of developing a domestic supply chain for their construction and operation, the key findings of which were presented at the event.
According to the study, the deployment of offshore wind can boost the gross domestic product by up to EUR 1.9 billion per year on average over the period 2024-2050 while annual government revenues can rise up to EUR 440 million, said George Maniatis, Head of IOBE’s Sectoral Studies Department. Over the same period, it can make a significant contribution to employment, supporting up to 44,400 jobs per year.
Skylakakis: National plan will strengthen Greece’s role as a regional energy hub
The Greek Wind Energy Association, ELETAEN, said the national program is a positive step for the development of the sector. However, mistakes made in onshore wind must not be repeated, it warned. ELETAEN added that a flexible licensing system must be applied together with the rapid construction of international power interconnections to make the most of this opportunity.
“The development of these projects is a national priority not only because it will contribute decisively to our energy independence, but also because it enables us to export green energy in the future. It therefore gives us the opportunity for further economic growth and the opportunity to strengthen our country’s role as a critical regional energy hub,” Minister of Environment and Energy Thodoros Skylakakis said.