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Greece Hopes Energy Supply Boost Blowing in the Wind

Αssociated Press

Wind turbines are seen on a dike near Urk, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Greece’s energy hunt isn’t confined to looking for oil and gas in the seas but also more wind power, with the New Democracy government putting together legislation to develop more offshore schemes.

WindEurope said that, given the characteristics of Greek waters, it is likely it will mostly be not on land while the National Energy and Climate Plan envisages 7 gigawatts GW of wind energy in the country by 2030.

Currently Greece has only 4 GW of installed, all onshore, covering just 12 percent of its electricity demand, the reliance still on coal in the 21st century and without nuclear power plants.

The potential for wind energy in Greece offshore is much bigger, said the site Riviera, as the breezes blow frequently and often heavy in the seas, so much so it can even hamper ferry passages.

The wind resource is good and offshore wind could help islands gain energy autonomy as they are isolated and also rely on supplies being delivered by boat to meet their needs.

In 2020, the New Democracy government said it was considering a new legislative framework for the development of offshore wind. The Greek wind energy association, ELETAEN, is running a consultation up to Feb. 1.

Wind Europe said that for the new framework to be most effective, it should consider defining an ambitious pipeline of projects and a schedule of auctions, ensuring stable revenues for projects via contracts for difference, investigating and allocating sites efficiently and offering financing for new infrastructure.

The Hellenic Wind Energy Association (HWEA said, Greece added 727MW of new wind capacity in 2019, bringing its total to 3,576MW. Greece plans to close all lignite-power plants by 2028, Wind Power reported.

This was nearly four times the annual average for the last decade, said HWEA CEO Panagiotis Papastamatiou. New sites included Italian firm Enel’s 154MW Kafireas wind farm on the island of Elvira, Greece’s largest.

The country’s updated national energy and climate plan targets 7GW of wind energy by 2030, 0.4GW more than in the initial plan, and 7.7GW of solar photovoltaic, 0.9GW above its previous target set earlier.