In his article on NAFTEMPORIKI’s special issue on energy, titled “the de-lignitization process must continue”, Nikos Mantzaris explains the main reasons why a possible return to lignite, as proposed by analysts and considered by the government in Greece, would be the wrong political choice.
More specifically, lignite plants are not legally allowed to operate for many hours without making very expensive and time-consuming retrofits. Such investments do not make sense given the time horizon of the full lignite phase out by 2028. Secondly, lignite-based electricity generation will remain high, especially in Greece, mainly due to the high carbon prices as all relevant analyses show. Third, a return to lignite would de facto jeopardize the impressive shift towards sustainability that PPC has been making in recent years through divesting from lignite, investing heavily in renewable energy and financing this transition via three sustainability-linked bonds.
The article concludes that de-lignitization and the impressive improvement of the country’s climate performance due to it, is the greatest success in the field of environmental policy in recent years. The government must stick to the retirement timeline decided in 2019 and reflect this in the revised National Energy and Climate Plan. It owes it to the environment, the citizens of the lignite regions and the next generations.
The article was published in the print edition of NAFTEMPORIKI on June 24, 2022.
You can read the full article (in Greek) here.