Renewables

Greek PPC may offer residents of coal regions to invest in solar power

Greek PPC residents coal regions invest solar power

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Published

October 19, 2020

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Published:

October 19, 2020

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Government-controlled PPC is proposing to give the opportunity to the people in areas dependent on coal to participate in the Greek decarbonization push at EUR 1,000 per share in the planned solar power projects that should replace the mines and lignite-fueled electricity production.

Chief Executive Officer of Public Power Corp. (PPC) Georgios Stassis is suggesting the abolition of subsidies for photovoltaic and wind power plants, and that the dominant Greek electricity producer would allow inhabitants of areas where coal is about to be abandoned to participate in the switch to solar power.

He told Kathimerini the state-owned company is focused on investments in state-of-the-art technology, mostly in renewable energy sources. During the devastating economic crisis over the past decade in Greece, Stassis added, PPC has lagged far behind in investments for its modernization. In his view, the utility is able to handle the transition on its own.

Population affected by coal phaseout can share gains with PPC

In the coal-dependent Western Macedonia region and Megalopolis, which is located in the Peloponnese, PPC intends to build and operate photovoltaic parks of 2.5 GW in total. Stassis said the plan is to offer 5% of the projects to the local population at EUR 1,000 per share, so that people in the affected areas could enjoy returns of 8% to 10% per year.

He pointed to the profitability of the proposed investment at a time when savings deposit rates are “almost negative.” Only the residents of the lignite regions undergoing decarbonization will get the opportunity to share the gains with PPC, he stressed.

The company’s subsidiary PPC Renewables is tasked with implementing the energy transition.

Target model instead of subsidies for wind, solar power

Stassis noted it has become cheaper to build a wind farm or a photovoltaic park from scratch than to generate electricity from fossil fuels. The consumer does not need to incur additional costs to finance new investments in photovoltaics and wind, which are completely competitive”, he said.

Consumers mustn’t incur additional costs for the development of new capacity in the two sectors, PPC’s chief executive claims

Photovoltaics and wind power just need support for equal participation in the market, so the target model, where producers can clinch bilateral power purchase agreements with consumers, is being introduced in November, the CEO underscored. He said consumers mustn’t incur additional costs for the development of new capacity in the two sectors.

Turning to resistance in some areas, particularly islands, to the construction of wind farms, Stassis vowed there would be no excessive expansion and recalled that coal is expensive and that it is being phased out.

Minister says subsidies distort market, burden industrial producers

The Greek government is currently debating on how to lower energy costs in general, but also the enormous deficit in its renewable energy sources fund. The decision makers have hinted they could slash subsidies for older producers.

According to Minister of Environment and Energy Kostis Hatzidakis, said the deficit in the said special account, called ELAPE, is the result of the coronavirus effect and the drop in energy consumption. In his view, the industry is under pressure as owners of wind farms get EUR 90 per MWh and photovoltaics are worth EUR 280 per MWh, while the wholesale price is EUR 40 per MWh.

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