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IENE Special Event Outlined the Electricity Market Transition in Greece and Europe

IENE Special Event Outlined the Electricity Market Transition  in Greece and EuropeIn view of the ongoing developments at European and country level, IENE decided to organize an in-depth discussion on Greece’s electricity market, currently in transition and how this relates to European developments. Hence, on March 28, IENE convened in Athens a special afternoon colloquium, under the title “The Electricity Market in Transition – Latest Developments in Greece and Europe”

In view of the ongoing developments at European and country level, IENE decided to organize an in-depth discussion on Greece’s electricity market, currently in transition and how this relates to European developments. Hence, on March 28, IENE convened in Athens a special afternoon colloquium, under the title "The Electricity Market in Transition – Latest Developments in Greece and Europe”. The event attracted record attendance from market players, senior executives from all major energy companies and several well-known experts.

In this IENE event, the necessary changes in the organization and operation of the domestic retail market in view of the ongoing decrease of incumbent PPC’s market share, decarbonization process and the entry of several new players were also discussed. Key questions about the future of Greece’s electricity market and competition in its retail market sparked a broad discussion, facilitating the exchange of views between involved players and consumers.

In his introductory speech, IENE’s Chairman, Mr. John Chadjivassiliades, outlined the landscape currently under formation in the energy market and the major changes currently underway. According to Mr. Chadjivassiliades, investments in the transmission network as well as in strong interconnections are some of the most crucial challenges facing the further developments of Greece’s electricity system.

As it was pointed out in the introductory session of the colloquium, the European Union, through coordinated efforts, has over the last few years been promoting the creation of an integrated electricity market. The "target model” for the integrated European market identifies the minimum requirements that the individual national electricity markets of each EU member state, including Greece, should adopt in order to establish a common operating architecture that will in turn lead to the coupling of European markets and to increased competition for the benefit of the final consumer. The main objective of the integrated electricity market being the reduction of the energy costs and the strengthening of security of supply, through the formation and gradual convergence of electricity supply prices via mechanisms such as energy exchanges as well as the strengthening and expansion of electricity interconnections among EU member states.

From his part, Dr. Miltiades Aslanoglou (Energy and Regulatory Economics Consultant, Alternate of the Board of Appeal, ACER, and former Deputy Chairman, Regulatory Authority of Energy -RAE, Greece) stressed that Greece needs to improve its digital infrastructure in electricity and natural gas, and also to stop wasting money on things with no future instead of exploiting assets that remain idle.

Mr. Vassilis Rallis, Senior Advisor, Energy Markets - ‎Regulatory Authority for Energy, Greece, described the advantages of the Energy Exchange to be established by the end of 2018 in Greece. The Energy Exchange will contribute towards the establishment of a market with benefits to market participants and end users, noted Mr. Rallis. The General Director of Greece’s TSO (ADMIE S.A.), Dr. Ioannis Kambouris, focused on the significance of developing the country’s electricity network and the relevant interconnections, especially in the islands but also with neighbouring countries.

The second session, chaired by Dr. Aslanoglou, concerned power generation and trading. Mr. StavrosGoutsos, Deputy CEO of PPC (Greece’s Public Power Corporation) S.A., stressed that the company’ s future relies on natural gas and RES as it gradually withdraws from lignite use. As far as the Energy Exchange is concerned, he underlined that the new regulatory and legal framework, of lower taxation and genuine competition, has to be established as soon as possible.

Speaking in the same session, Mr. Dinos Benroubi, Chief Exec Director of Electric Power at Mytilineos Holdings S.A., stressed the "paradox” of PPC’s lignite units forcing out of the market’ s natural gas units, while CO2 prices in EU ETS are very high and are getting even higher. He added that NOME auctions have failed so far to bring about the liberalization of the retail electricity market.

Mr. George Kouvaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heron Thermoelectric S.A., underlined that independent natural gas units are in operation only to avoid the take-or-pay clause, thus suffering from frequent damages. From his part, Mr. AndreasPetropouleas, Energy Management Director at Elpedison S.A., urgently asked for measures, since, under the present status, the cost falls on the shoulders of the producers.

 The European Union, through coordinated efforts, has over the last few years been promoting the creation of an integrated electricity market. At the same time, the EU targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions have lead to the radical transformation of the power sector; thus, both electricity markets and networks are in transition. While most European countries have already developed integrated electricity markets, this does not hold for most countries in SE Europe where developments are not particularly satisfactory, despite the fact that Energy Community countries (see the Western Balkans) are already committed to get every country coupled with at least one of their neighbors by the middle of 2018.

The event concluded with a session and a roundtable discussion on some crucial issues of "The Greek Market in Transition”, chaired by IENE’s Executive Director, Mr. Costis Stambolis, with the participation of representatives from RES and power trading associations and companies. The transition of RES autoproducers to a competitive market and participation in the daily market was discussed at length. Several difficulties were identified in the transition phase for the large majority of RES producers.

The main sponsors of this IENE colloquium included PPC, Mytilineos Holdings S.A., Heron Thermoelectric S.A. and ENSCO A.G. Greece’s leading energy portal, Energia.Gr, the "Naftemporiki” newspaper and www.naftemporiki.gr website were the event’s media partner.

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