Greece breaks records in renewables, energy efficiency in 2023


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January 24, 2024



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January 24, 2024



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The share of renewable electricity production including large hydropower plants reached a historic high in 2023 in Greece – 57%. Moreover, the sector covered more than half of demand for the first time. Gas consumption declined 10.1%, compared to the drop of 2.9% in electricity demand. Wind power capacity topped 5 GW.

Power prices fell substantially from the energy crisis peak, but even in combination with economic growth, energy consumption decreased last year in Greece, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) reported. In cooperation with Green Tank, it presented a list of records and milestones in the market including the penetration of renewables.

Renewable energy sources and large hydropower plants, calculated separately, accounted for 47.9% and 9.1% of production, respectively, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Independent Power Transmission Operator. The company is also known for its acronym IPTO or, in Greek, Admie.

Green Tank’s Mantzaris: The phenomenon is cementing the changes in behavior and giving hope

The combined 57% level, calculated for the January-November period, was an all-time high in modern history. It was attributed to investments in green energy and grid development. Moreover, the sector covered more than half of demand for the first time – 51.2%. The participation of fossil fuels in the energy balance has dropped and consumers are shifting to installations for self-consumption of electricity.

Natural gas consumption fell 10.1% in 2023, of which 17.1% in power production. Demand for electricity in the first eleven months was 2.9% lower than in the previous year. It also fell below the reading for 2020, a time of the most stringent lockdowns.

Among numerous records is almost one month in total without coal power

The phenomenon is cementing the changes in behavior and giving hope for a more decisive shift toward sustainability in the country’s energy sector, according to Green Tank’s energy policy analyst Nikos Mantzaris.

The list of records and achievements goes on and on. In 2023, Greece didn’t consume any coal power for 672 hours or 28 days. Coal production was the lowest since the 1970s. Fossil gas and lignite together contributed to power output with 19.2 TWh or 4.3 TWh under the previous low.

An overall 19.2 TWh of electricity was generated from fossil gas and lignite in 2023 or 4.3 TWh under the previous low

In the first 11 months, the shares of lignite in electricity production (9.9%) and demand coverage (8.9%) landed below the 10% mark for the first time.

In production, renewables and large hydroelectric facilities surpassed natural gas and lignite, at 19.6 TWh against 17.5 TWh.

Emissions from electricity production tumbled 23% through November on an annual basis. They hit a record low of 13.25 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The figure includes oil-fired plants on non-interconnected islands.

Heating oil demand tumbles by one third year over year

Prosumers, energy communities and other categories of producers of electricity for self-consumption had 421.3 MW installed at the end of December or almost twice as much as one year before. The level has roughly doubled every year since 2019.

Consumption of oil derivatives came in at 7% under the 2022 reading, driven by a whopping 32% fall in demand for heating oil. On the other hand, the demand for gasoline and diesel grew by 4% and 3%, respectively.

ELETAEN: Greece adds 153 wind turbines

Separately, the Hellenic Wind Energy Association (HWEA or ELETAEN) revealed that 153 wind turbines were installed in 2023. Their combined capacity was 542.8 MW. Total wind power in Greece topped 5 GW for the first time, reaching 5.23 GW.

Last year was second best only to 2019 in additions. At the end of December, more than 850 MW was under construction or ready to build. More than 300 MW is expected to come online by the end of this year.

Terna Energy had the most capacity under operation: 1.03 GW, followed by Motor Oil’s subsidiary MORE (766 MW). The GEK Terna conglomerate’s subsidiary completed its 330 MW Kafireas wind park on Evia island, also called Euboea. One part was already put into operation in 2022. The facility is located in Karystos.

Iberdrola Rokas was third with 409 MW. Enel Green Power (368 MW) and TotalEnergies (250 MW) are in the top five, too.

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