It is an issue of social justice to distribute the benefits of renewables equally

The increasing deployment of renewable energy sources in the country’s energy mix is followed by the demand for an energy model that will be socially just and will distribute the benefits of RES equally to society; and this is an issue of decision making. This was the key message by Nikos Mantzaris in his interview to Avgi Sunday Edition and Dimitris Avarlis on Greece’s energy transition in the midst of the energy crisis.

As Nikos Mantzaris pointed out, the data show the notable dynamics of renewables that is radically changing the energy landscape, while at the same time citizens swiftly turn to the development of energy communities and self-production from renewables. In fact, the latest figures show an increase of up to 200% in the capacity of requests to connect to the grid. At the same time, scenarios for a return to lignite are proving to be unnecessary and remain economically nonviable, not only because of the poor quality of Greek lignite but also because of the shift in PPC’s investments to renewable energy sources. “With the current dynamics of renewables, we will never see a return to fossil fuels again, unless progress is artificially impeded,” he says.

A key prerequisite to ensure the country’s socially just energy transition with citizen participation is the modernization of electricity grids and storage (pumped storage, batteries and thermal storage), the formulation of a special spatial plan for renewables and consultation with local communities.

The interview was published in Avgi Sunday Edition on January 15, 2023 (in Greek).