Nikos Mantzaris spoke to pv magazine and columnist Ilias Tsagas about the European Green Deal, the EU recovery package from the COVID-19 pandemic and the developments regarding the Just Transition of lignite regions.
With the announcement of the European Green Deal in December 2019 as the starting point, the article presents recent European developments. It highlights the prospects for solar energy in order to attain climate neutrality by 2050.
The article focuses on the planning of the energy transition, especially in lignite regions, with Greece emerging in a surprising leading role. The proposed European Just Transition Mechanism and the additional resources for the European Just Transition Fund, available from the proposed EU recovery package, are particularly highlighted.
Comments by Nikos Mantzaris concentrate on the Just Transition Fund Regulation, which is still under negotiation in Brussels. He notes that the Regulation requires the development of territorial just transition plans, which must be in line with the National Energy and Climate Plans of each member state and must be prepared, implemented and monitored with the participation of all involved stakeholders.
In addition, Nikos Mantzaris highlights the need for revisions in the Commission’s proposal regarding the criteria for the allocation of funds via the Just Transition Fund. The criteria must be fairer, must reflect the speed of transition away from coal of each member state as well as the dependence of the local economies on lignite and coal. Indeed, he noted that after years of almost absolute dependence on lignite, the local economies must be diversified and based on sustainable activities.
The article titled “A green road to recovery” was published in the June issue of pv magazine.