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Economy

Ukraine Invasion Energy Crisis Pushing Greece Back to Coal Plants

ATHENS – Greece’s plans to get off coal by 2050 as the major source of producing power took a hit with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that set fuel prices soaring and showed the country’s dependence on Russian and foreign energy sources.

That likely means the targets to get away from fossil fuels in the 21st Century, with Greece not taking full advantage of its abundant wind and solar power capabilities, will not be met, said Kathimerini.

The Energy Ministry, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, producers and other involved parties are reviewing plans on the fuel mix and infrastructures, but the prospect for getting off coal doesn’t look good.

A temporary swing back to coal and oil could slash gas imports by 28 billion cubic meters but lead to more emissions and further affect the environment, said European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Having a backup plan if European Union sanctions temporarily lead to losing much or all of its Russian supplies, which account for 40 percent of the bloc’s needs, Greece is looking for other energy sources, the report said.

That includes reopening coal-fired plants and an oil-fired facility on Crete and transforming five gas-power plants to diesel, further limiting the ability to reduce emissions, pollution and help deal with climate change.

With few domestic sources to produce energy, Greece is reliant on Russia and other supplies that also ties the hands of any government if there are geopolitical crises, such as happened with the Ukraine invasion and fallout.

And while Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has ruled out nuclear power because of Greece’s suscepibility to earthquakes, his government is working to acquire nuclear energy from Bulgara, which uses Russian-built reactors.

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