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Greece promises to liberalize its electricity market by 2015

16 March 2014 / 13:03:10  GRReporter
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Fátima Taboada López, Intern

The Electricity and Gas Directives issued by the European Commission have set the objective for the integration of regional Member States into a single market, in order to ensure energy efficiency, security of supply, competitiveness and lower prices. Greece has been making efforts in order to liberalize its national electricity system and make it competitive. Despite the fact that all eligible customers have been able to choose their electricity supplier since July 2007, the actual market opening has been limited so far.

Investments to the amount of 1 trillion euro will be necessary in the next seven years for the energy sector of the European Union, of which 200 billion euro will come from cross-border transport infrastructure. ''Next week a law regarding the Public Power Corporation or PPC will be submitted to Parliament, while the process for the sale of the new company will be completed in about a year'', said Konstantinos Mathioudakis, General Secretary for Energy and Climate Change. Furthermore, he said that investors have already shown interest in participating in the contest. “Competition always provides better opportunities for consumers, companies and the functioning of the market”.

Some people are against the liberalization arguing that it will cause a rise in electricity bills. The liberalization of electricity in Greece, at which the government is aiming, will be launched in the coming months. For the first time, private companies, both Greek and foreign ones, may invest in this sector. Members of the Greek government explained that the privatization of enterprises will be carried out in three phases and completed in 2015.

SYRIZA MP Thanasis Petrakos pointed out that, in the last 5 years, the cost of electricity increased by 60%, demand fell by 12%, 300,000 households did not have electricity and unpaid bills amounted to 1.3 billion euro. Petrakos also criticized the Energy Regulatory Authority stating that it works against the Greek Public Power Corporation and favours particular interests. He also stressed the need for reduction of energy costs via substantial investments coming from a transparent State aid for guaranteed prices.

Arthouros Zervos, president of the Public Power Corporation said that it is necessary to rationalize the energy market and adapt the model to European standards, with bilateral contracts for producers and suppliers of power exchange. The World Bank estimates that investments to the amount of more than 30 billion euro will be necessary by 2020 for the upgrading and construction of power plants, transportation and distribution of energy, as well as for renewable energy sources.

Tags: Electricity energy prices market liberalization the Greek Public Power Corporation investments
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