For the first time in history, the production of electricity from Renewable Sources in Greece this year exceeded the corresponding production from natural gas, even without taking into account the contribution of large hydroelectric plants.
The structural upheavals in the energy market brought about by the international crisis also include the fact that our country became an energy exporter and an energy channel for the Balkan countries, supporting their energy supply with Liquefied Natural Gas infrastructure.
According to Green Tank’s analysis of power generation trends:
- Cumulatively for the first 8 months of the year, Renewable Energy Sources (RES) excluding large hydro exceeded all other sources of electricity generation with 13,238 GWh, leaving second place fossil gas with 13,150 GWh, which decreased marginally for the first time from 2018. The RES lead appeared for the first time in history in July and continued in the 8th month.
-In terms of shares in demand coverage, RES covered 37.5% of demand, mineral gas 37.2% reducing its share for the first time since 2017, lignite 11.3%, large hydroelectric with 8.6%, while the share of net imports was limited to 5.4%.
-During the period January – August there was a large decrease in net electricity imports, which at 1,912 GWh in the first 8 months of 2022 were at the lowest levels since 2013. This happened as for the second consecutive month in August Greece exported more electricity than it imported (July exports: 510 gigawatt hours, August: 361 gigawatt hours).
As the Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas pointed out, with the development of RES for the first time Greece has a comparative advantage in electricity production because we have twice as much solar radiation compared to Northern Europe (as opposed to, for example, Greek lignite deposits which have low calorific value). He estimated that the production of “green” energy will mean savings of more than 2 billion euros in 2023 from the substitution of natural gas imports.
Spectacular are the developments in natural gas exports, where the Liquefied Natural Gas storage and gasification infrastructure in Revythoussa plays a leading role. As the Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas, recently stated at the Ministerial Council of the International Natural Gas Conference in Bucharest, last year the country exported 0.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas, while this year it is already approaching 2 billion. Market estimates indicate that exports will reach 3 billion cubic meters this year.
The country’s export potential will be strengthened with the commercial operation of the Greek-Bulgarian natural gas pipeline that began on October 1 and the start of operation, in 2023, of the new floating Liquefied Natural Gas station in Alexandroupolis.