Greece to back coal-free future with EUR-5bn investment
Solar farm in Greece. Source: Recom (www.recom-solar.com)
Greece intends to allocate EUR 5 billion (USD 5.9bn) to support the phase-out of coal in power generation by 2028.
Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis made the announcement on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters, saying that the overall amount will come from state funds, money from the European Union (EU) and debt from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The investment will support infrastructure projects, new businesses, training programmes and the promotion of green energy in Eastern Macedonia and Megalopoli, Peloponnese. Those regions are the country's main suppliers of lignite resources and will be the most affected by the phase-out.
According to Hatzidakis, the economy of the two regions will be supported by a range of private investments, including in renewables. State-owned utility PPC SA (ATH:PPC) already has plans to install 2.3 GW of solar parks in Western Macedonia, and there is a proposal by Hellenic Petroleum to develop another solar scheme in the region, entailing an investment of EUR 130 million.
Tax incentives to new businesses are being considered as well.
The plan, which will be open to public consultation until October 31, is in line with the country’s goal to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under the EU’s 2050 climate targets. As part of it, the government last year pledged to shut down 80% of the coal power generation capacity of PPC by 2023.
Greece will submit the proposal for approval to the Parliament and EU regulators by the end of this year.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.