Can Greece decouple from fossil gas?

In the shadow of the energy crisis and as citizens are increasingly experiencing the effects of climate crisis, attention is turning to the country’s energy planning for 2030. The crucial question is whether the country will set ambitious targets for decoupling from fossil gas, investing in sustainable alternatives for its energy mix. Τhis potential is examined thoroughly by Nikos Mantzaris in his longread for Inside Story and Macropolis titled “Is Greece on track to decouple from fossil gas?

Setting as a point of departure the fact that dependence on fossil fuels is the common denominator of the energy and climate crisis, Nikos Mantzaris presents data showing that especially during the energy crisis Greece succeeded in drastically reducing its dependence on Russian gas and gas overall, following EU commitments.

However, the current energy planning as reflected in the draft of the revised National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) presents contradictions in relation to this performance and the medium-term European policy. The analysis highlights developments involving fossil gas and in particular new LNG plants, new power plants, and new infrastructure for building heating and district heating, which put at risk the sustainability of the energy model and the finances of households in Greece. Another major contradiction in the Greek energy plan is the insistence on the exploitation of domestic hydrocarbon deposits with an emphasis on fossil gas.

The article concludes by exploring alternatives and long term sustainable solutions in the context of the revision of the NECP.

The article was published simultaneously in Inside Story (Greek) and Macropolis (English) on 29 February 2024, and it was carried out with support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Athens as part of a climate journalism project.

You can read it at the links below: