Newsletter March,2022,03


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Greece’s growing role as energy hub for Southeast Europe, Eastern Mediterranean

From the wind power of the Aegean Sea to the sun power of the Sahara Desert, from new liquefied natural gas facilities to new high-voltage undersea power cables, Greece is at the epicenter of a rapidly changing energy landscape.

In the past few weeks, the European Commission has backed an ambitious plan to connect Greece with the power grids of Cyprus and Israel, while Greece has signed a landmark agreement with Egypt to do the same. The leading regional utilities in Southeast Europe have given the final go-ahead to invest in a new LNG terminal in northern Greece – and are already planning a second − that will expand their access to international energy markets.

As the world faces new geopolitical uncertainties that have driven energy prices to multiyear highs, Greece is emerging as a safe hub of energy supply. Neighboring countries, such as Bulgaria, are increasingly coordinating with Greece on national gas supplies and infrastructure, as well as on future power projects for the region.

“In recent years, important investment projects have been supported and promoted, such as the TAP natural gas pipeline, the increase of storage capacity and the upgrading of the liquefied gas terminals in Revithoussa and near Alexandroupolis, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria that is being implemented, as well as the EuroAsia interconnector that is under construction,” said Ioannis Smyrlis, Chairman of Enterprise Greece.

At the same time, Greece has seen billions of euros invested in new renewable energy projects over the past several years, particularly in new wind and solar facilities, and in supporting infrastructure, like the extension of the national power grid to Crete and the Aegean Islands. Later this year, the Greek government will introduce a new regulatory framework for the development of offshore windfarms, something that has already drawn foreign investor interest.

More than a third of Greek energy consumption currently comes from renewable energy sources. And under the National Climate & Energy Plan, Greece aims to almost double installed capacity for renewable energy to 18.9 Gigawatts, up from 11 GW currently. In total, the National Energy and Climate Plan foresees more than €40 billion in investment in the energy sector this decade.