YES but with asterisks by the Green Tank to the plans of supporting energy communities and installing heat pumps in transition regions

The Green Tank participated with comments in the 3rd written process of the Just Transition Development Program (JTDP) 2021-2027 as a member of the Monitoring Committee of this program with the right to vote.

The 3rd written process includes three actions with a total budget of 62.24 million euros, financing in particular self-production renewables projects by energy communities (41.80 million), the installation of heat pumps in Western Macedonia’s residential sector (12.14 million) and energy savings projects in university and hospital public buildings in Western Macedonia as well (8.31 million). Together with the previous written procedures, a total of € 629.34 million has been mobilized, corresponding to 38.6 % of the € 1.63 billion JDTP programme.

Despite the significant delay in mobilizing the Just Transition Fund resources for self-production renewables projects from energy communities, heat pumps and energy savings which could have contributed a lot in the midst of the energy crisis, all three actions are in the right direction and for this reason the Green Tank votes in principle positively. However, there are serious objections to specific features of two (out of the three) programs for the correction of which, the  Green Tank submitted recommendation for their improvement. In particular, with regard to the action to support self-production renewables projects by energy communities, the following were proposed:

  1. To include citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises as beneficiaries of the program supporting self-production projects by energy communities.
  2. To formulate a second support program for energy community projects from the resources of the Just Transition Fund in the immediate future due to the increased interest and needs.
  3. To include electromobility and heat pump projects by energy communities among eligible projects for municipalities.
  4. To explain in the specialization issue the criteria according to which the distribution of resources will be made among the regions under transition.

Regarding the action to support the installation of heat pumps in Western Macedonia, the following were proposed:

  1. To include among the beneficiaries of the action the residents of the country’s 5 largest lignite cities (Kozani, Florina, Ptolemaida, Amyntaio, Megalopolis). In the specialization issue as it currently stands, these cities are excluded from the specific program, since fossil (natural) gas is wrongly promoted as a means of heating there, either through district heating, or through subsidizing domestic heating systems, all based on fossil gas.
  2. To augment the budget for this action to cover a significant percentage of the needs of the 5 largest lignite cities of the country instead of limiting the action exclusively to the smaller towns and villages which are not connected to the existing district heating network.
  3. To extend the action to the transition areas of Arcadia (Peloponnese).
  4. The potential beneficiaries of this action should be those who are replacing heating systems based on all fossil fuels (solid, liquid and gas) and have not received any other grant to replace the existing system from a public body.

You can read the Green Tank’s detailed comments on the three proposed actions included in the 3rd written process of the JDTP 2021-2027 in Greek here