“Greek Energy Directory 2021” - An in depth overview of Greece’s buoyant energy market

“Greek Energy Directory 2021” - An in depth overview of Greece’s buoyant energy marketAs Energy Transition gathers pace across Europe, and worldwide, so are developments in Greece’s energy sector which over the past years has emerged as a pilar of the country’s economy and a major pivot of economic growth. Although the energy sector in Greece corresponds to just less than 5% of its GDP, its role in terms of investments and as prime mover in cross border economic cooperation is of vital importance.

As Energy Transition gathers pace across Europe, and worldwide, so are developments in Greece’s energy sector which over the past years has emerged as a pilar of the country’s economy and a major pivot of economic growth. Although the energy sector in Greece corresponds to just less than 5% of its GDP, its role in terms of investments and as prime mover in cross border economic cooperation is of vital importance. In addition to enabling the further development and upgrading of energy infrastructure with some €2,5 to € 3,0 billion investment on average per year, a major chunk of funds are now channeled to marketing activities, following electricity and gas deregulation and increased competition at retail level.

All major developments in Greece’s energy sector are reported in the Greek Energy Directory 2021 which was presented on Monday (15/11) to a select group of senior government officials, energy executives, foreign dignitaries and to the Press in a special event which took place at the headquarters of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). The Secretary General for Energy and Minerals of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Mrs. Alexandra Sdoukou, as well as the President of ACCI, Giannis Bratakos, addressed the gathering.

The Greek Energy Directory 2021 is an important initiative of energia.gr, the oldest Greek energy portal, which this year celebrated 20 years of continuous operation. Written exclusively in English, the Greek Energy Directory 2021 aims, among others, to enhance the country's extrovert drive and also assist in the promotion of Greek energy products and services. The Directory consists of nine chapters and contains 28 articles contributed by experts, academics, as well as the heads of the largest companies in the Greek energy market in the fields of oil, gas, electricity, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, energy legislation and research.

The event at ACCI was chaired by Christos Dimas, member of the Board of Governors of IENE, Chairman of the Geopolitics and Energy Committee of the Institute, as well as Honorary President of the Greek-Russian Chamber of Commerce. In his inaugural address, the President of ACCI, Giannis Bratakos, stressed that this new edition of the Directory coincides with a period of high challenges in the energy field, not only in Greece but also internationally. "Climate change mitigation requires the acceleration of green transition. This demand calls on the energy markets and consumers as well as the economy in general to adapt while facing cyclical upheavals such as the energy crisis, which is hitting households and businesses with rising prices and is threatening economic recovery. This crisis is due in part to the effects of the pandemic and the sharp fluctuations in consumption. However, it is also related to the under-investment that has been presented in recent years in energy and especially in the oil and gas sectors. In order to normalize the situation, it is necessary to seek appropriate solutions at structural level and in a timely manner. Hence, a realistic plan for the future of energy in Europe is required," as he pointed out.

In her address the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Mrs. Alexandra Sdoukou, underlined that both in Greece and in the rest of Europe, the political leadership managed to contain the negative effects of the pandemic in the energy sector at a tolerable level. Mrs. Sdoukou gave a brief presentation of the Ministry's policy per sector, emphasizing the development of natural gas solutions, which she described as an absolutely necessary fuel in the process of energy transition, but also the need for increased RES penetration in the country's electricity system. She also described the introduction of the target model in the domestic electricity market as an important milestone in the development of the country’s electricity market and pointed out that the policy of decarbonization is a fully conscious choice of the Greek government. Furthermore Mrs. Sdoukou referred to the crucial role of energy efficiency for the success of the policies promoted by the European Green Deal, as well as the importance of electrical interconnections in Greece. Finally, she made clear that the government's hydrocarbon policy had to change, as the EU is now focused on creating a clean energy grid that will make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Τhe Chairman and Executive Director of IENE, Costis Stambolis, took the floor and made a brief presentation of the Directory. "As energy transition is accelerated throughout Europe and worldwide, the same happens with developments in the energy sector of Greece, which in recent years has emerged as lever for economic development attracting serious investment and cross-border economic cooperation, " he said, underlining that the exported energy products correspond to roughly 30% of the country's total exports according to 2020 data. "IENE estimates that energy exports will increase further in absolute numbers, even reaching € 15 billion by 2025 from € 9 billion today," he said. Mr. Stambolis also stressed that since the publication of the previous edition of the Directory, in 2016, there have been a number of important changes in the domestic energy market, which are duly reported in the current edition.

In her own short intervention Mrs. Christina Sakallaridi, President of the Panhellenic Exporters Association, referred to the importance of the energy sector in the country's trade balance, while she proposed the development of new tools that, as she said, will help stimulate Greek exports.

During a highly stimulating address, Prof. George Ioannou, CEO of the Hellenic Energy Exchange (EnEx), made a brief presentation of the achievements of the institution during the three years since its inception, as well as the movements and prospects of the electricity market immediately after the introduction of the Target Model a year ago. Finally, he characterized the Greek Energy Directory as the epitome of the energy market in our country.

The statement of Andreas Petropouleas, Director of Energy Management at ELPEDISON, caused a stir, as he got down to examining the reasons behind the current crisis of energy prices and he hold the decision-making centers of Brussels responsible for the situation. According to Mr. Petropouleas RES are an unreliable solution, because "when we need them we do not have them and vice versa", as he characteristically said and argued that the spike in gas prices is not due to speculative games, but simply because of lack of gas. Finally, he said that as many as 15 million homes in China are connected to the gas network each year, so prices in Europe will inevitably rise as global gas demand strengthens, and he predicted that the current energy crisis will last, with short breaks, until after 2030.       

The last speaker in this launch event was Dr. Dinos Nikolaou, Vice President of Energean, who, in turn, did not mince his words when talking about the problems that the green policy of Brussels has brought to the domestic hydrocarbon sector. "At some point we will adopt clean energy solutions. But until then, we will always need fossil fuels." He also revealed that Energean's long-term plans for Prinos consist of turning it into a carbon dioxide underground deposit.

The presentation of the new edition of the Greek Energy Directory was completed with brief comments and discussion among the energy executives present, as well as with a summary and concluding remarks by Kostas Theofylaktos, Secretary General and Chairman of the Energy Efficiency Committee of IENE.

All the content of the Greek Energy Directory 2021 is freely available at energia.gr.

EVENTS Presentation Greek Energy Directory 2021 Energy & Development 2021 IENE Seminar "Managing Energy Markets in a Complex World"

ADVISORY SERVICES Green Bonds

PUBLICATIONS The Greek Energy Sector 2020 Long-Term Gas Contracting Terms, definitions, pricing - Therory and practice SEEEO 2016-2017 More

COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS IEA Energy Institute Energy Community Eurelectric Eurogas Energy Management Institute BBSPA AERS ROEC BPIE