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.
In Western Macedonia, in a period of about one year (Nov 2022 – Oct 2023) 32 new EnComs were established (an increase of 12.3%), considerably less than the 85 that were established in the previous year (Nov 2021 – Nov 2022).
In Arcadia, in a period of about one year (Nov 2022 – Oct 2023), the number of EnComs more than doubled (from 21 to 44). However, this increase was not recorded in the lignite region of Megalopolis but in Tripoli (22) and in other regions of Arcadia (2).
Commercial Projects by Energy Communities
- Western Macedonia: Stagnation in new projects compared to November 2022. In August 2023, 786 projects were recorded, up just 4 compared to November 2022, while the requested capacity (613.7 MW) increased by just 1.5 MW.
- Arcadia: There have been no additional projects since November 2022, so there remain 67 requests for projects of 50 MW.
- No REC or CEC projects are recorded based on the available data until August 2023 in Western Macedonia and Arcadia.
Self-Production by Energy Communities
- Self-production projects refer to the EnComs of Law 4513/2028, while no REC or CEC projects are recorded based on the available data until August 2023 in Western Macedonia and Arcadia.
- The lignite region of Western Macedonia fell to sixth place in the ranking among the regions in terms of requests for self-production projects. In November 2022, 31 applications for projects of 18.7MW were recorded, while in August 2023, 34 requests of 19.9MW.
- Western Macedonia is the first Region in the number and capacity of pending requests (465 projects, 377.5 MW) as well as in projects that have received a notification of inability to connect due to lack of grid (406 projects, 334.3 MW), while as of November 2022 only 4 new applications for commercial projects and 3 for self-production with a total capacity of 2.7MW have been submitted. These figures highlight the potential discouragement of citizens in Western Macedonia to participate in energy communities possibly due to the lack of grid availability or delays in mobilising available resources.
- 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.