Friday, 20 October 2023
Efi Karra, the Sustainability and Policy Advocacy Officer of ELETAEN, participated as a speaker to the conference “Greek offshore renewable energy conference 2023”, which was organized by “Bluesign” on October 19th 2023, in Athens.
Μs. Karra by her speech provided a strategic overview of the prospects and the challenges for Offshore Wind sector in Greece, its benefits for Greece as well as the relevant efforts and initiatives of ELETAEN the previous years:
“Aeschylus, the ancient tragic poet said ‘’Where there is no wind, the departure of the boat is not allowed’’. As “departure”, Aeschylus means the progress, the battle for prosperity and wind, has always been an important pylon for prosperity in Greece.
Wind energy has a strategic role in the Energy Security. The massive development of Renewable Energy Sources, and in particular onshore and offshore wind potential, is crucial for the Greek energy policy, and above all, for its dynamic contribution to Europe’s energy security. This way, wind energy can also contribute to the stability, the security and peace in the broader area.
Offshore wind development will be a game changer for Greece. As an Association we strongly support this initiative, and it is something we have been anticipating for years. During the last 5 years, we were strongly trying to promote offshore wind and persuade the administration about its necessity. It is important to note, that offshore wind has attracted a strong political commitment from both biggest parties in Greece. In particular, ELETAEN has collaborated closely with the competent Ministry, as well as the previous Government, and participated in numerous sessions and conferences.
Since 2019 ELETAEN has organized 3 workshops on offshore wind and one public consultation for the appropriate institutional framework. By the end of 2020, and in partnership with the Norwegian Wind Energy Association, ELETAEN submitted to the administration a study for the legal framework for offshore wind energy in Greece.
ELETAEN currently participates in a project in partnership with the NTUA and the Hellenic Air Forces. This project aims to design, develop and evaluate an innovative and reliable software tool, in order to assess and mitigate the effects of electromagnetic waves, scattering from the neighboring wind turbines on the radar systems. The scope of this tool, will be to facilitate the competent licensing agencies, to examine the relevant applications promptly, and also enhance the cooperation between the wind energy sector and the national defense services. Such tools are very important for Offshore wind, in order to support the exploitation of the Aegean Sea wind potential to the maximum possible, with the consent of the national defense services.
Offshore wind has significant competitive advantages:
- It provides massive wind MWs without significant conflicts with other human activities.
- It supports the establishment of a significant local supply chain. In this way it provides added value to the Greek economy, such as shipyards, ports, cables, logistics etc.
- It will contribute to strengthening the country’s geostrategic position
- It will make Greece exporter of green electricity
There is a very good momentum for Greece, to shift towards Offshore wind although its development, still remains a big challenge for our country. The investment appetite is significant this period, with local and foreign investors eagering to join the market.
Since summer of 2022, Greece has its own legislative framework for offshore wind development, which will assist the enhancement of the wind energy deployment in the country. Our bet now, is to secure the fast and effective practical application of this law, without the mistakes our country has made, the last 3 decades, with onshore investments. We need to avoid:
- planning deficits,
- licensing delays and
- unnecessary bureaucracy.
The appointment of the public entity, HEREMA, to be in charge of the law implementation, is encouraging.
In order to keep this momentum, it is crucial to set long-term ambitious plans and goals. In the draft National Energy and Climate Plan, the preliminary target is 1,9GW for offshore wind by 2030, and 17,3GW by 2050. In order for us to meet the targets beyond 2030, we need to work and plan for the exploitation of wind potential, throughout the whole Aegean Sea, based on the international Sea Law and the best European practices.
Furthermore, to maximize the value of the offshore wind for society, we need to develop a domestic offshore wind energy supply chain. The latter requires investments in manufacturing facilities, ports, vessels and a trained workforce to produce, transport and install the major technical components, required, for an offshore wind energy project. International cooperation, synergies and know-how transfer are important. That’s why, ELETAEN is working on a project with the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster, trying to determine the challenges, the opportunities, and the necessary approach, for the domestic supply chain industry for OW in Greece.
Offshore wind energy is expected to be the most important source of electricity in Europe, in 2040.
The wind industry and the government must jointly commit to the development of offshore wind.”