Two years of REPowerEU: Positive developments and potential threats to Greece

On the occasion of the 2-year anniversary of the REPowerEU package, the European Commission pointed out in a report that Greece has made great progress in terms of RES deployment during this period. It has also made efforts towards further RES penetration, such as the interconnection of the Cyclades and Crete with the mainland, and the submission of a plan to increase the capacity of the grid.

However, the increase in fossil gas seen in recent months threatens the growth of renewables. Greece ranked 20th among EU Member States in terms of gas consumption reduction in the period August 2022-January 2024, narrowly achieving the -15% target.

According to The Green Tank’s analyses, the low ranking was mainly due to the increase of gas consumption in recent months. During the period of voluntary reduction (April 2023-March 2024), Greece fell far short of the -15% target, achieving a consumption reduction of only 8.4% and thus dropping to the 23rd position. In contrast, during the eight-month period of mandatory gas consumption reduction (August 2022-March 2023), it had managed to reduce consumption by 20.9%, thus ranking 10th among the EU-27.

In addition, the European Commission acknowledged Greece’s effort on diversifying its mineral gas sources and boosting exports with the IGB pipeline to Bulgaria and the FSRU in Alexandroupoli. However, based on DESFA data, gas exports in the first quarter of 2024 decreased drastically (-94.9% compared to 2023). Combined with the gas consumption reduction targets at European level set by REPowerEU itself, the sustainability and necessity of current and planned gas infrastructures is questionable.

Finally, regarding the measures and initiatives taken by Greece, the Commission highlighted the shift of domestic industries towards the production of renewable energy technologies, as well as investments in energy efficiency and green infrastructure through the Cohesion Fund.

Read more in the summary for Greece here.