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Greek Energy Forum Newsletter, 15th May 2017

 

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Greek Energy Forum Newsletter, 15th May 2017

Seen in the context of Europe's efforts to lessen its dependence on Russian gas, it is telling that as Gazprom's Turkish Stream gas pipeline started laying the offshore section of the project in the Black Sea, it became known that the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline, aimed at enhancing security and diversification of gas supply in southeast Europe, has been delayed once more.

Another long-delayed 'project' however, DESFA's partial privatisation seems to be attracting healthy interest from multiple market articipants in the new tender organised by the Greek government. Furthermore, Chinese investments in the Greek energy sector are given the go-ahead by the European Commission, while others are being actively promoted by Athens. In the meantime, however, and as Cyprus is adding more solar power in its electricity mix, Greece is being accused of still spending millions of euros in coal subsidies and suffering from multi-million losses in its electricity sector due to power theft.

Don't forget to check our upcoming events such as the one scheduled in Athens in late May with the participation of many prominent speakers. And for those of you who are university students or young professionals, hurry up and secure your place in our 'Energy Union Future Leaders Academy' organised by the Greek Energy Forum and the Energy & Environmental Policy Laboratory of the University of Piraeus under the auspices of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union. And if you don't already, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for more energy-related content!

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Policy & Regulation

Greece spending €151m per year on coal subsidies, ODI study notes

In contrast to EU’s commitment to counter climate change, coal subsidies continue to be offered in ten EU member states. Despite Greece’s commitment to end all environmentally harmful subsidies, including those relating to fossil fuels, by 2020, Greece continues to provide high subsidies for coal. (energypress)

Experts grapple with EU’s ‘labyrinthine’ electricity network codes

The legislation for the EU new electricity market design is almost in place; but implementation of the hugely complex ‘Network Codes’ is troubling regulators and grid operators alike. (Euractiv)

Do-or-die: EU pushes Trump to stick to Paris climate deal

EU officials are scrambling to persuade US President Donald Trump not pull out of the Paris climate accord after his advisers warned of legal problems if Washington stayed in but lowered its commitments. (Euractiv)

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Oil & Gas

Gazprom starts construction of Turkish Stream

Gazprom started construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline begun on May 7 in the Black Sea near the Russian coast. The first 15.75 bcm/year string of the gas pipeline, due to come on stream in 2019, is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. (New Europe)

IGB launch date reset for first quarter of 2020 in revised project plan

Construction work on the prospective IGB (Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector) has been rescheduled to start within 2018 and the commercial launch set for the first quarter of 2020. ICGB presented its revised IGB plan as part of the effort to seek PCI (Projects of Common Interest) classification, which would ensure EU funds. As a result, a crucial third market test, during which prospective IGB users will need to submit binding offers for capacity reservations, will be rescheduled. Authorities had planned to stage the test in May or early summer. (energypress)

Many players interested in DESFA resale

At least eight possible buyers, acting either alone or in partnerships, have expressed an interest in DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, to Greece’s energy ministry and TAIPED, the state privatization fund, ahead of a second tender being planned for the sale of a 66pc stake. The prospective bidders include Belgium’s Fluxys and Italy’s Snam, both involved in the previous tender that failed, Dutch operator Gasunie, Spain’s Enaga and Romania’s Transgaz. (energypress)

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Power Markets

Power theft costs PPC €170m per year

Estimates by the Regulatory Authority for Energy indicate that electricity theft costs PPC around €170mn per year. The number of theft cases has risen by nearly 20% since 2012 and is considered to be a major issue for the state-owned power utility given its weak economic position. (kathimerini)

PPC hydropower unit sales not included in revised bailout

Greece’s hydropower stations currently owned by the Public Power Corporation (PPC) will not need to be included in the current bailout deal. The deal only includes a 'soft' term of potential further measures after assessing investors' interest for lignite-fired power units. Recently, Elpedison officials clarified that a lignite-fired only sale package would not be of interest to them. (energypress)

SGCC agreement for 24% of IPTO endorsed by Brussels

The European Commission has concluded that the sale of 24% of IPTO from Greece’s Public Power Corporation to the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) does not breach any EU competition rules. The acquisition is priced at €320mn and IPTO’s split and sale procedure is expected to receive final approval in the shareholders' meeting scheduled for the 23rd of May. (energypress)

PM, PPC boss to discuss energy collaborations on China visit

Alexis Tsipras and Manolis Panagiotakis are expected to discuss a series of potential Chinese investments in Greece during their visit to China. Panagiotakis will also seek to appease Chinese concerns raised by the recent announcement of the Greek Energy minister regarding the need for a new tender for the Vevi mine. (energypress)

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Renewables

EBRD finances solar plants in Cyprus

On May 11, a 1.5 MW solar power plant in Nisou, Cyprus, sent its first electricity into the national grid, one of a cluster of five brand new solar plants, financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. When all five solar plants are on stream they will account for 12% of Cyprus' solar energy production. (New Europe)

ACER proposes removing priority dispatch for existing RES units

The European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators – ACER – recommends three changes to the European Commission’s Clean Energy proposals, calling for EU legislators to integrate Renewable Energy Sources (RES) fully into the market. (energypress)

EU pollutant limits threaten large coal power plants - IEEFA research

Europe's coal-fired power plant fleet is facing a challenging future as EU air quality regulations could require costly upgrades that can lead to an average of €10/MWh rise in their generation costs. Eight major European companies, including Greece's PPC, own more than 50% of Europe’s coal-fired capacity. (energyworld)

PV associations back LAGIE in payment delay case against IPTO

SPEF and PSAF, two major Greek solar PV associations, have testified against IPTO and in support of LAGIE regarding the overdue payments concerning the RES special account. (energypress)

Πώς επηρεάζεται η εθνική οικονομία από τις διακυμάνσεις των τιμών πετρελαίου και ενέργειας; |GEF Event

· Πέτρος Δούκας – τ.Υφυπουργός Εξωτερικών και Οικονομίας (Θεμ.Ενότητα: Ανταγωνιστικότητα)

· Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη – τ.Υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Βουλευτής (Θεμ.Ενότητα: Εξωτερικές Σχέσεις)

· Ντίνος Μπενρουμπή – CEO, Protergia (Θεμ.Ενότητα: Ηλεκτροπαραγωγή / Ενεργειακό Κόστος)

· Μαθιός Ρήγας – Πρόεδρος & Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος, Energean Oil&Gas (Θεμ.Ενότητα: Εξορύξεις υδρογονανθράκων)

· Γκίκας Χαρδούβελης – τ.Υπουργός Οικονομίας, Καθηγητής (Θεμ.Ενότητα: Εθνικός Προϋπολογισμός/Εθνική Οικονομία)

Energy Union Future Leaders

Under the auspices of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President, Energy Union, European Commission

Brought to you by the Greek Energy Forum and the Energy & Environmental Policy Laboratory of the University of Piraeus

Athens, Greece - September 2017

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