With electricity prices on the rise, Nikos Mantzaris spoke to Periklis Vassilopoulos about the role of renewables in reducing energy prices and what Greece can do to further exploit its huge wind and solar potential.
Specifically, Nikos Mantzaris explained that renewables not only reduce the wholesale price of electricity, but also contribute more than any other technology to the Energy Transition Fund which subsidizes consumers’ electricity bills. As renewables are by far the cheapest technology for electricity production, they have the lowest cap and therefore the largest difference from the daily price on the wholesale market. Since it is precisely the amount of this difference that ends up in the Energy Transition Fund, renewables have contributed about 60% of the 2.3bn that has flowed into this fund in the 2.5 months since the enforcement of the cap.
At the same time, renewables contribute significantly to the huge reduction of gas and therefore to the reduction of the country’s dependence from imported energy sources.
Hence, if Greece keeps its promises for renewables’ deployment up to 80% by 2030, it will minimize dependence on expensive and polluting fossil fuels while having a direct positive impact on electricity bills and the quality of life for all citizens.
However, a policy in this direction requires grids, a specific updated and adequate plan for the proper sitting of renewables, financial support for renewable energy projects by non-profit energy communities in order to maximise the benefits of the energy transition for citizens, as well as a plan to inform and consult with the cistizens on issues related to renewables.
Nikos Mantzaris also referred to the Emissions Trading System and how it has achieved significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors it covers. Despite the distortions and difficulties in its implementation, he reiterated that EU ETS remains the most effective climate policy tool at the EU’s disposal, as evidenced by the fact that he rising carbon prices in the last three years have already pushed Member States to abandon lignite and hard coal and utilize cheaper, abundant and climate-friendly renewable energy sources.
The interview was held on Saturday, 22 October 2022.
More information on the radio show is available at ertecho.gr.
The interview with Nikos Mantzaris can be heard on mixcloud (in Greek).