Survey Recommends Transformation of Lignite Units into Energy Storage Centers

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, heavy excavators and vehicles of the Public Power Company, PPC, operate in the South Field lignite mine near Kozani town, northern Greece. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

KOZANI, Greece – The transformation of lignite units in West Macedonia into energy storage centers, not only for Greece but for the Balkans as well, are among the recommendations made by World Bank for the transition into the post-lignite era in Greece.

The survey by “Greek Tank”, presented on Tuesday, said that Public Power Corporation was accumulated losses of 683 million euros from the operation of lignite units in the period January 2016-June 2019 and noted that unless PPC withdrew its lignite units the lignite industry could accumulated losses of 1.3 billion euros in the next 3,5 years.

Presenting the survey, Nikos Mantzaris, a policy analyst for energy and climate, said that World Bank has started this year a survey on the post-lignite era in places like Ptolemaida and Silesia, Poland One of the alternatives examined, Mantzaris said, was the storage of energy produced from renewable energy sources and its transformation into electricity using the lignite units’ generators when where is increased demand. This model could be examined for the Ptolemaida 5 project and warned that the lignite unit will not be profitable.

Greek Tank recommends the retirement of 9 lignite units in PPC and noted that the losses suffered by lignite and hydroelectric production auctions were comparable (683 million and 600 million euros, respectively). The survey said that the additional cost for public health from increased Cos, Sulphur and smaller particles was estimated at around 583 million euros annually. It added that the lignite power business produced more CO2 than transport, industry and waste together.

The survey was conducted following the failure of PPC to sell its lignite units in Megalopoli and Florina.

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