The energy tradition of Western Macedonia and Arcadia, Greece’s lignite regions, has driven local communities to actively participate in the Just Transition through the use of Energy Communities.
Greece’s two lignite regions differ significantly with regard to energy community development and characteristics.
Over a period of one year (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022), 85 new Energy Communities were launched in Western Macedonia (48% increase), 72 of which were established in the region’s purely lignite areas (Kozani, Ptolemaida, Florina).
Only 3 new Energy Communities were established in Arcadia over the same period of time (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022); moreover, they were established in Tripoli rather than in the lignite area of Megalopolis.
Commercial Projects by Energy Communities
- Western Macedonia: requests for commercial Energy Community RES projects increased by 14% (from 686 in Nov 2021 to 782 in Nov 2022), namely, at a significantly higher rate compared to the nationwide corresponding rate of 9% (from 5,370 requests in Nov 2021 to 5,867 in Nov 2022).
- Arcadia: connection requests for commercial Energy Community projects increased by a mere 1.5% (66 in November 2021 compared to 67 in November 2022), at a significantly lower rate compared to the country as a whole (9%).
Western Macedonia: 133% increase in electrified projects (from 43 to 100), accompanied by a 156% increase in installed capacity (from 24.6 MW to 63 MW) (Nov 2021 to Nov 2022).
Arcadia: an increase was recorded in both electrified projects (from 3 to 9) and installed capacity (from 1.3 MW to 5.29 MW) in low-medium voltage (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022).
Western Macedonia: the electrified capacity of Energy Community RES projects accounts for 20% of the total installed capacity of RES projects in the Region of Western Macedonia (Nov 2022).
Arcadia: the electrified capacity of Energy Community RES projects accounts for 3.5% of the total installed capacity of RES projects in the Regional Unit of Arcadia (Nov 2022).
Self-Production by Energy Communities
Western Macedonia: this Region ranks second in terms of project requests in 2022 (31 requests). Citizens’ interest in meeting their own needs through Energy Communities is consistently high.
Arcadia: up until November 2022, no requests have been recorded for virtual net-metering projects by Energy Communities, even though interest does exist in the Peloponnese Region (11 requests).
Western Macedonia: 1 electrified project (0.03MW); 19 requests have been rejected by the HEDNO due to inability to connect and 2 have been cancelled.
- In the lignite region of Western Macedonia, the increase in requests for virtual net-metering projects over the period November 2021 – November 2022 is much higher (244%) than that recorded for projects in low and medium voltage (14%).
- Energy Communities in lignite areas are developing faster as a business activity and slower -but at a steadily growing rate- as a tool for meeting own energy needs.