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Green energy and reforms are the solution for the Greek energy market

31 January 2014 / 17:01:25  GRReporter
2587 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

If Greece is actively involved in the European Union initiatives for the unification of energy networks it will be able to save half to one billion euro without any investment in networks or in ways of energy storing.
This is the conclusion of the discussion on "Energy dilemma of Greece" organized by consulting firm Kantor, Foundation for European and Foreign Policy ELIAMEP, organization "Movement of Citizens" and the Greek branch of the international organization "Transparency International".

Manager of the consulting firm Dimitris Papakanelou outlined the main issues of the Greek energy market, as follows: high end user prices, limited connections with neighbouring countries that have a negative impact on regional trade, lack of energy networks and high concentration of natural gas supplies that hamper safety and very limited competition in the particular market.

In his words, to solve these problems, it is necessary to achieve the best possible energy mix, create an appropriate infrastructure and change the legislation governing the energy market.

Deputy manager of the Greek energy regulator Miltos Aslanoglou presented the following most important steps that will save large amounts of energy: connecting the islands to the mainland electricity network, improving the conditions for natural gas supply, managing more effectively the risk in the payment of electricity bills, which has been particularly high in recent years. Aslanoglou added that it is also necessary to reduce taxation on electricity and natural gas and introduce new conditions to stimulate competition in the market for renewable energy.

Professor at the Polytechnic School at Athens University and manager of the Greek hydrocarbons management company Sofia Stamataki described the course of the exploration work related to the existence of oil and natural gas deposits in Greece. In her words, the exploration work had advanced in recent years and stagnation like the one in the period 1996-2011 should not be allowed.
She pointed out that an area of 30,500 kilometres was explored within the exploration work. The results show convincing evidence of deposits in the North Aegean Sea (south of Kavala) and in several places in the Ionian Sea. The deposits found and utilized by both Italy and Albania in their exclusive economic zones confirm these conclusions too.

Stamataki stressed that the process of verifying the existence of a particular field and of creating an area for drilling takes 7 to 10 years, the risk of finding amounts smaller than the expected ones and the difficulties associated with the deep sea beds, especially in the Ionian Sea, being serious faults. However, she pointed out that a possible positive result from the exploration work could bring significant long-term revenue to the Greek economy.

The discussion also involved an active player in the international energy markets, namely President and Managing Director of U.S. company ECCO International Alexis Papalexopoulos. He pointed out that both the Greek and the European energy markets need reforms. "We need to reduce the government funding for the installation of renewable energy sources and to replace it with incentives for market development."

According to him, the trade with green certificates could be an alternative solution to the transfer of energy from renewable sources. Papalexopoulos stressed that innovation and technology will have the final word in this sector.

Tags: EconomyMarketsEnergyEnergy mixRenewable energy sourcesHydrocarbons
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