Ahead of the incoming Greek EU Council Presidency, EUFORES was invited to hold a parliamentary workshop in the Hellenic Parliament by the Special Permanent Committee on Environmental Protection. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the renewable energy situation in Greece with Members of Parliament, government officials and various national and external experts. This workshop was organised in the framework of the Keep on Track! project, which aims to ensure Member States keep in track with their 20% renewable energy targets by 2020.
After the welcome and introduction speech of Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou, chair of the Special Permanent Committee on Environmental Protection and workshop host, the floor was opened to the Ministry for Environment, Energy and Climate Change. The speech of the Deputy Minister, presented by Dimitris Tsalemis, stated that the government is looking towards the long term contribution of RES in the system. The participants were informed that the government was reshaping various schemes, which were proposing to make energy prices competitive. Jan Geiss, EUFORES Secretary General, gave an overview of the energy issues on the EU level that will play a big part during the Greek EU Council presidency. European Commission Head of the Athens Office, Georgette Lalis, identified three main challenges to RES in Greece, namely the redesign of the support schemes, the modernisation of the infrastructure and the cost of the energy prices. Simone Steinhilber, researcher at Fraunhofer Institute, presented some further barriers to the 2020 achievement of the 20% RES target in Greece and the EU as a whole. However, she did indicate that Greece has almost reached its 2020 target in the heating sector. Diamantis Vachtsiavanos, CEO of PPC Renewables, urged that the RES licensing procedure legislation needs simplification. Giorgos Spyrou, GAREP Board Member, warned that the focus on clean/green energy was leaning towards the talk of costs rather than looking at the benefits of clean energy.Savvas Seimanides, GAREP Senior Advisor, looked towards the Greek EU Council Presidency as a chance to give a leadership view in the shaping of (international) RES policy in Greece and the EU. Panagiotis Chaviaropoulos, CRES Director, noted that it is necessary to invest in shaping a stable energy market in a most cost effective way. Nikos Charalambides, Greenpeace Greece Director, highlighted that investment in the production of RES has seen freezing but governments are still feeding the fossil fuels. Following these presentations and speeches, a lively Q&A session took place amongst the speakers and participants in which many important issues were raised.
You can watch a video of the workshop here.
Please find the workshop presentations on the conference website link below.