Energy transition: The 3+1 scenarios for Greece

Nikos Mantzaris participated in the “Renewables and in the long run nuclear energy – Strategies for the ‘green’ transition”conference, organized on 20 May 2024 by Clima21 in collaboration with the National Research Foundation and funded by the Green Fund.

In his presentation he focused on the electricity production sector, mentioning initially the current situation in the EU-27 and Greece. He then presented different scenarios for the evolution of the electricity mix in Greece until 2030, based on the latest version of the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) presented in April 2024.

He underlined that this is an improved version compared to the November 2023 draft submitted for comments to the European Commission, as it is more ambitious in terms of penetration of renewable energy sources, limits more drastically the use of fossil gas in electricity production and prevents the “waste” of green hydrogen for electricity and heating.

On the other hand, Nikos Mantzaris talked about the risk of achieving the objectives of the new NECP in a financially detrimental way, as the plan maintains a huge fleet of fossil gas units for the production of very small amounts of electricity, so that the economic survival of new gas units in particular requires support mechanisms that all consumers will pay for.

There is also a serious risk that the energy transition will be carried out in a non participatory way, leaving citizens, institutions and small & medium-sized enterprises on the sidelines. This is a possible scenario if the very large progress made in self-production over the last three years is frozen.

Finally, he commented on the serious possibility that the NECP targets could be left on paper as a result of renewable energy curtailments, lack of electricity space or delays in the installation of critical infrastructure to support increased clean energy penetration, such as electricity storage infrastructure and grids.

The discussion was moderated by Elias Efthimiopoulos, head of the Clima21 Initiative. Other speakers included: the Director and Chairman of the Board of the National Research Foundation, Professor Demosthenes Sarigiannis; the Secretary General of Energy of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Aristotelis Aivaliotis; George Stamtsis, Deputy Secretary of the Energy sector of PASOK and President of Develop Athens; Panagiotis Papastamatiou, Director General of ELETAEN; George Karalis, NTUA researcher; Kimon Hadjibiros, Professor Emeritus of NTUA; Mayor of Athens Haris Doukas; Petros Kokkalis, Member of the European Parliament with the Greens, Secretary of the party “Kosmos”; and Kostis Grimanis, Head of the Energy & Climate Campaign of Greenpeace.

You can watch the entire conference in Greek here.