Renewables

Thodoros Skylakakis to become Greece’s new minister of environment, energy

Skylakakis

Photo: Thodoros Skylakakis / Twitter

Published

June 26, 2023

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Published:

June 26, 2023

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Thodoros Skylakakis is taking over from Kostas Skrekas in the Greek Ministry of the Environment and Energy.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is about to get a new cabinet. After his New Democracy party won the general election in Greece, he picked former Deputy Minister of Finance Thodoros Skylakakis to be the minister of environment and energy.

During his tenure in the Ministry of Finance, he was responsible for fiscal policy, as well as managing the National Recovery and Resilience Fund Greece 2.0. Given the fact that a large part of it is directed to investments in green energy and environmental protection, the new minister already has relevant experience in these fields.

Skylakakis: We are responding to increasing demand for energy savings

Another change in the Ministry of Environment and Energy is that General Secretary Alexandra Sdoukou is becoming deputy minister.

In March, the Ministry of Finance asked the European Union for more funds from the Recovery and Resilience Facility as part of the REPowerEU plan. “With these extra EUR 5 billion we are requesting, we are responding to the increasing demand for investments in energy savings,” Skylakakis said at the time.

Taking over from Minister Kostas Skrekas, he needs to oversee the adoption of the updated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The document has already been submitted to the European Commission and is expected to be announced formally and fully within the next two months in order to provide a clear picture for the sector’s future all the way to 2030.

The new minister will also be called to manage energy prices if they extend the rebound from the lows of the last few months. It should be noted that the European Commission has set strict rules for any new support towards consumers. Contrary to last year, such measures must be directed to vulnerable consumers and be in line with budgetary constraints, therefore the former deputy finance minister is the right man for the job.

There is also the matter of the renewables and energy storage auctions scheduled to take place this year. Specifically, the first round for battery projects is already underway and two more are envisaged in the third and fourth quarters of the year, for a total capacity of 1 GW. A joint auction for wind and solar projects should be held in September.

Other important energy policy issues include the new program for the development of offshore wind farms, new power interconnections and renewable energy curtailment.

Of note, Vasilis Kikilias is taking over the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, which oversees plans to protect the public from extreme weather effects and disasters, from Christos Stylianides. Kilikias was the minister of health during the first two years of the coronavirus epidemic.

The new government is set to be sworn in tomorrow.

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