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International Energy Exhibition of Greece 2022

The short introductory Web PreConference, part of the International Energy Exhibition of Greece 2022 (IEEG) & 6th Cretan Energy Conference (CEC) that will place on 1 – 3 of July in 2022 at Chania, Crete has been successfully realized.

The International Energy Exhibition of Greece is under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Ministry of Maritime and Insular Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Development and Investment. The Region of Crete is supporting the event as well. Following the latest geopolitical situation, the organizing committee is opening the participation spots in order to express in the decisive worldwide energy issue. Honored Country for 2022 is Egypt. More information: cretanenergyconferences.org

Opening the new circle of participants, we would like to resume part of introductory speeches from the ‘’Pre – Virtual conference IEEG, Energy Matters: What 2022 holds’’.

Mr. John Sitilides, diplomacy consultant at the US Dept. of State, provided a geopolitical overview and assessment of the regional and global energy markets from a US perspective with main focus on the South Europe and in the frame of Ukraine crisis.

In brief, he stated that Europe has all energy sources needed, both fossil and nuclear, for countering the Russian tactic of weaponizing gas supplies -especially during US presence in Ukraine- and that the European intensive investment on renewables during last decades has failed. He paralleled Europe’s energy dependence on Russian gas to the US dependence on China as a manufacturer of energy components. Moreover, Mr. Sitilides highlighted the US as world’s top natural gas producer and estimated that without the US oil supplies to the European market, oil prices would have been even higher. US exports of LNG to satisfy Europe’s needs have exceeded Russia’s pipeline deliveries. In fact, Russian exports account for 30-40% of Europe’s gas use, while EU gas prices quadrupled.

Regarding EU commitment to green energy and long-term goals to fight climate change, Mr. Sitilides mentioned that energy crisis has provided a painful demonstration that unconditional reliance on Renewables is not realistic for covering the 21 century needs and highlighted energy affordability as the major concern, especially since commodity prices predictably will not fall as fast as they rose and will remain at exceptionally high levels throughout 2022. The democratically elected European governments will have to address border concerns about inflationary energy costs. Mitigating this damage necessitates embracing the “intermediary step” of expanding supplies of natural gas. That especially is going to be the case with TAP as a means of supplying non-Russian gas. Moreover, he mentioned that the expansion of Revithousa LNG terminal has enabled the expansion of US LNG deliveries to Greece and regional markets, and that the FSRU unit in Alexandroupolis will contribute from 2023 and on to the diversification of regional energy sources around.

Even further, Mr. Sitilides considered US commitment from the Biden Administration of reducing carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Since the US allocate 76% of their overall energy budget to their military, with the largest part of this energy coming from fossil fuels, Mr. Sitilides further questioned climate change and transition to renewables as “energy myths” that are devastating the energy industry and durability to deliver profits to the shareholders. He mentioned that practically less than 3% of global energy is RES-driven (even after the investment of 2.7 trillion $ during the past decade) and that such technologies overconsume land and minerals, while the risk of energy poverty overwhelms climate change. He brought to the audience’s attention that in Germany citizen electricity bills doubled, whereas US green energy policy of reaching net-zero in 2050 will cost 12% of US GDP and probably about 11000 $ per US citizen every year for the next 30 years.

Mr. Sitilides concluded suggesting the use of fossil fuels to be the best solution for Greek, European and international future as cost-effective and reliable source of energy.

 

Mr. John Maniatis former Minister of Energy and professor’s holistic approach included all energy sectors combining the technical, financial and political issues.

The former Minister stressed that the energy crisis started as a global crisis and mainly evolved into a European crisis. Natural Gas is highly priced for long time intervals, three times or five times more than other regions of the planet due to the needs of this continent.

Additionally it was highlighted the great wound of EU where one trillion euros will be lost and more specific Italy, which will lose 38 billion euros.

He mentioned that this crisis should teach us what we need to do and what we should avoid. EU needs to increase its natural gas independence and SE Mediterranean could be the main core of this energy strategy. Moreover he stressed that we need a new energy dogma not of 2000 but 2020 – 30 with emphasis at the pipelines and the electric pipelines EuroAsia & EuroAfrica Interconnector.

Finally, he stressed that we are heading to green transition as Europe and as Greece and we need to complete this quickly but by realizing that:

Sustainable energy is equal-sided triangle:

With equal sides and angles, where we should not forget that Europe is populated by 54 million energetically poor citizens.

 

His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Mohina, First Undersecretary for Research, Planning and Authorities Follow-up, represented the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewables. He discussed the forecasts and the planning of the Egyptian side in view of the developments in the energy market in 2022 and thanked the Greek Government for the dialogue step through this event.

He noted that Egypt perceives energy as a matter of national security and politically supports its energy sovereignty. For this reason, in its effort to deal with issues such as electricity & fuel shortages, availability of production units and transmission losses, the Ministry has since 2014 implemented major upgrade programs. It thus managed to increase its installed capacity from 32.2GW (in 2014) to 59.5GW (in 2021) in combination with the addition of 8 million more consumers to the grid and the increase of the electricity share per capita.

Regarding the penetration of RES, Egypt’s “Strategic Vision” for 2030 for sustainable development is in line with its “Energy Strategy 2035” but also the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations, aiming to cover 42.7% of the domestic production from RES to 2035 and providing strong incentives for private investment. By the end of 2021 it had achieved 6,148 GW of installed capacity, which is equivalent to approximately 20% of peak load. Indicative of the political weight of RES for Egypt is the creation of the world’s largest photovoltaic park in Aswan with a 2 billion dollar investment (1,465GW of installed capacity).

With regard to Egypt’s energy interconnection with foreign countries, the Ministry has proceeded to the expansion and gradual upgrade of the transmission and distribution networks, based on the high solar and wind potential of the country, its energy surplus, its strategic position as well as and the strong domestic manufacturing industry of electrical systems. Part of Egypt’s extroversion in this area are the current electricity interconnection projects with Greece and Cyprus, accompanied by the signing of MoU among the parties involved.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Egyptian Government has targeted and invested in future projects. These notably include the impressive 2.61 billion dollar-high pump storage project with a capacity of 2.4GW, with the main contractor being the Chinese state-owned Sinohydro, as well as “Waste to Energy” technologies, while studies on hydrogen technology infrastructure are currently ongoing. Hydrogen infrastructures have now been given special importance by the Egyptian Government resulting to a PM decree that mandates setting up an inter-ministerial committee responsible for drawing up the respective Roadmap for future steps using hydrogen, which will include the final version of the strategy. In present time, the committee has finished the final report and recommendations, whereas the necessary arrangements are being made for the preparations of the National Hydrogen Strategy.

 

The Minister of Maritime Mr. G. Plakiotakis, mentioned that the event’s actions will operate as node for exchanging ideas regarding the developing prospects of the energy sector in the coming years.

 

 

He talked about shipping where the path taken by the industry is dedicated in protecting the environment and in the gradual detoxification from carbon.

Greece strongly supports the promotion of innovations and realistic solutions for decreasing carbon dioxide emissions under the guidance of the International Marine Organization. Only within the context of IMO is it possible to take measures that do not only guarantee an essential carbon footprint improvement but also ensure the long-term sustainability of this strategic sector.

Moreover, Greece aside of being a global naval power it’s also an important hub of transit trade, due to the strategic location of its ports. Among others things, it was mentioned that Greece has 115 inhabited small and large islands, where their regular connection with Greek mainland must be ensured, as well as the transport of goods and passengers in combination with the fulfillment of international and European environmental goals.

Right now, the Ministry has created a strong legislative framework which has provided the tools needed to plan the future of Greek islands with security, realism and perspective for the future, together with the local communities. Thus, the Greek port system will actively participate in the development of local economies, as well as in the national economy of the country. Also, all those scenarios are being studied that would create in the rest of our major regional ports the necessary background that would lead them to the next day.

We are now in the final stage of utilizing the ten largest regional ports in the country, with attracting of investment interest having exceed all expectations. In 2022, the selection phase of the first contractors for four of them is expected to be completed and we will intensively continue the international tenders for the remaining six.

It was also reported that the digital platform e-pilotage is immediately activated through which all navigation processes in all ports of the country are automated. The platform will be able to extract and exchange data through interconnection with third party systems while it will result in direct communication and cooperation, between the involved entities, both in information and in the payment of navigation rights.

Finally, he stressed that for the Government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ports are not just facilities for loading and unloading goods, goods and people. They are levers of development of the Region and as they are historically closely connected with the urban tissues of the cities in which they are located, they are levers of development of the local communities, with what this implies both for the investments that will be made in them and for securing the places. but also their connection to local economies.

 

Ms. Maria Boile, Director of the Postgraduate Program in Shipping, Department of Maritime Studies, University of Piraeus but also with a broader biography in the field of shipping, also stressed that Greece is a global shipping power with about 20% of Greek shipowners controlling of the world fleet in capacity. And respectively at European level 58%. For Europe, 75% of foreign trade is transported by sea, while worldwide more than 90% of goods are transported by ship.

She spoke about the strategy that envisages a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while in terms of carbon dioxide emissions the projected reduction by 40% until 2030, with aim to reduce by 70% by 2050 and gradually eliminate carbon emissions. She referred to key proposals being evaluated including electricity, biofuels, ammonia, hydrogen and methanol. However, the shift to these fuels also presupposes appropriate technological developments on ships, appropriate storage facilities and facilities in ports, as well as facilities for the production and distribution of fuel. She also mentioned as the coordinator at European level of the Waterborne Technology Platform. The role of the Platform is particularly important, as it helps to achieve the defined objectives, through the coordination and support of research and innovation actions, which aim to serve the transition to zero-emission maritime transport.

The priority axes set by the Technology Platform are 6 and include the use of alternative fuels, electricity, energy efficiency, design and conversion, digital green and ports. In each axis, the goal is to have developed the necessary technologies, standardizing the processes and to have presented large-scale applications before 2030. Every year in this context, research actions on these issues are funded.

Coastal shipping have a particularly important role at national, economic and social level. Greece has 15,000 kilometers of coastline, over 3.5 thousand islands of which 115 are inhabited as mentioned by the Minister and about 14% of the country’s population lives on them. Coastal shipping, coastal ships, are the very roads or the imaginary bridge that connects the islands with each other and with the mainland, in order to achieve the seamless connection of all areas and to ensure the territorial continuity.

In the context of a program study prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Mobility and Transport Networks for the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, we study the coastal network with emphasis on barren lines. One of the issues we are looking at is the energy consumption of coastal vessels and the pollutants produced as well as the possibility of using alternative forms of energy. Taking into account the average age of the fleet of coastal vessels, we understand that there is an urgent need to find solutions to these issues. The solutions should focus on  the forms of energy that are suitable for the coastal shipping ships but also the way of production and storage of energy and the facilities that should exist in the ports.

 

Furthermore Mr. A. Savvakis, President of the Hellenic Energy Exchange, spoke about this newly established entity, but necessary and crucial for the future.

HEE was founded in June 2018 and consists of the Hellenic Energy Exchange SA. (Hellenic Energy Exchange SA – HEnEx) and the Energy Exchange Clearing Company (EnEx Clearing House SA -EnExClear). Since being appointed by the Hellenic Energy Regulatory Authority (RAE) as the Designated Electricity Market Administrator (ODAE), HEE has evolved according to the European agenda for a single and integrated European Energy Market.

November 2020: Integration into the European Target Model of the EU

– Integration of the Greek electricity market with the target model of the EU

– Day-Ahead Market Intra-Day Market with local auctions (LIDAs) December 2020 & May 2021: Price coupling of the Next Day Market through the interconnections of Greece with Italy (2020) and Bulgaria (2021)

– 15 December 2020 – coupling of the Greek Day-Ahead market with the EU markets – over the interconnection between Greece and Italy

– 11 May 2021 – Extension of the market coupling through the interconnection with Bulgaria

October 2021- EnExGroup and the ATHEX cooperate with the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) to establish a new model for the liquidation of the Cyprus Electricity Market. The CSE is responsible for the financial settlement of the obligations and receivables of the Market Participants as well as for the risk management in relation to their obligations. EnExClear provides ongoing support to the CSE for the development of the necessary regulatory framework and the provision of its services, while the ATHEX provides the IT support infrastructure.

November 2021: Launch of the hybrid operating model of the small connected judge system.

The Energy Exchange Group in collaboration with the Managers of IPTO, HEDNO, DAPEEP and the Energy Regulatory Authority put into productive operation on October 31, 2021 for the first day of natural delivery on November 1, 2021 the Hybrid Model of the Small Market (Small Market) based on the provisions of the Regulatory and Legislative framework that covers the first phase of the start of the interconnection of Crete with the mainland System. The integration of the market of MSS Crete with the hybrid model, proposed and implemented by EnExGroup in close collaboration with the Administrator of ESMIE one year after the launch of the Target Model, now provides the Suppliers and Producers of Crete with the advantage of a single liquidation most of their transactions for Crete in the EXE Markets maximizing the participation of RES in the MSS of Crete.

February 2022: The Athens Stock Exchange Group (ATHEXGroup) and the Energy Exchange Group (EnExGroup) jointly undertook, in the context of a public offering, to provide the Albanian Energy Exchange (ALPEX) with the Infrastructure & Services for its operation and specialization. Trading Platform for the Next Day Market and Intraday Market and the Services required for the operation of the Regulated Market in Albania and Kosovo.

HenEx already offers training programs for its participants. Participants in the Natural Gas Trading Stand can be the Transport Users and DESFA. DESFA participates by trading in short-term standardized products for reasons of balancing the National Natural Gas Transmission System. The transactions that take place are anonymous while their quantities are automatically notified to DESFA. Based on the transactions made at the Natural Trade Trading Stand, the ERA calculates and publishes a set of Reference Prices, including Closing Prices, the Next Day Gas Index (HGSIDA) and the Intraday Gas Index (HGSIW) and HGSIW Gas Balancing (OTAAE and OTPAE).

“Where do we want to go”

The establishment of a regional energy regime in the SE Mediterranean and in the Balkans in particular. Play a regional role by integrating neighboring energy markets under an efficient, secure and reliable trading umbrella, strictly based on European regulatory standards, providing shareholders with transaction transparency, low transaction costs and the elimination of hedge risk management. Given EnEx’s position in the region, we are confident that our efforts will soon bring positive results for shareholders as a whole.

 

Mr. P. Ladakakos, President of ELETAEN (the Greek entity for Wind Energy) referred to the Agenda of wind energy until 2021 as well as 2022 and the subsequent course.

The Installed Power by 2021 was 4,451 MW in the national interconnected and non-interconnected network. In 2021 we had 340 MW which was less than in 2020 and 2019 due to license delays and that with the existing rates it is difficult to catch the ESEK targets. For this reason, he suggested simplifying the licensing framework and that the key word in it is flexibility.

There are many facilities that are in the mature stages, but with the development of technology, it is necessary to update their licensing, referring to them as more modern, large, and productive wind turbines. The industry targets are fewer wind turbines, with larger engines, that increase productivity, and therefore lower production costs for the network. Therefore, lower cost risk compared to fossil fuels, ie cost predictability advantage. Hence independence from commercial & geopolitical parameters such as Natural Gas.

He also referred to the challenge for the full integration of RES in the full operation of the new electricity markets.

Finally, he stressed the new target model, that of offshore wind, which must be given great weight, for which until now we did not have the satisfactory technology but it is now mature and we can still take advantage of the large wind potential of the Aegean.

Finally, it was stated that we must seriously consider from now on and for the future the issue of energy storage as well as the proper information of local communities.

 

Dr. Pantelis Biskas, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) discussed the impact of new interconnector between Greece and Egypt in the greek wholesale electricity market in the frame of the highly important ‘’GREGY’’ project.

He mentioned that almost 1.5 years ago, the case of GREGY interconnection between Greece (region of Attica) and Egypt (Wadi El-Natroon) was studied that comprises an Extra High Voltage line with  3.000 MW of maximum transmission capacity hence allowing for bi-directional power flow between the two countries.  A 100% share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) generation is aimed to be transferred from Egypt to Greece starting from 2028. The relevant study included scenaria that considered greek load sensitivity analysis, Greece’s load profile, the RES-based and storage element installed capacities, Natural Gas pricing and CO2 costs. Particular focus was made on a favorable scenario of intermediate system loading, not expensive gas and CO2 pricing and high production and storage capacity (“S1”) as well as on an extreme scenario of high system loading, high fuel and CO2 pricing and low production and storage capacity (“S5”).

The study has shown that the exported 3000 MW from Egypt to Greece on a yearly scale (excluding meaintenance periods) will significantly affect the production planning of domestic power plants that use Natural Gas, given that the cost of the imported electricity from Egypt will be decidedly lower than the cost of their produced power. Prof. Biskas thus commented that a need for storage stations will emerge, in addition to the reduction of gas fuel imports to Greece.

The basic contribution of this study was to assess by how much GREGY interconnection could release capacity for commercial exchanges to Italy and Bulgaria (approximately 500-700 MW), which is a satisfied specific criterion set by EU Regulation 347/2013 in order for the interconnection to be considered eligible for assessment and inclusion in the European Union “Projects of Common Interest” (PCIs) list.

 

Mr. A. Marinos, Office Manager of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, spoke in detail about the Developments and new goals of FitFor55: the new Green Deal.

The latest version of the European Green Deal is the so-called Fit-For-55. Through this, the European Commission approved a package of proposals to enable the European Union’s climate, energy, land use, transport and tax policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Compared to 1990 levels. In the integration of the principles of the circular economy, so that all together contribute to the achievement of the broader goal, tackling climate change and Europe ‘s climate neutrality by 2050.

Mr. M. Dritsas, Office Manager of the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment Dr. Christos Dimas, responsible for the research – technology – innovation portfolio, referred to the energy sector of the Ministry.

Research, Technology and Innovation are the catalyst for humanity’s progress and prosperity.

The Greek innovation ecosystem includes 25 universities, 11 Research Centers, 3 Technology Bodies, 1,100 companies that are actively involved in innovation and 600 start-ups that have been registered in the National Register “Elevate Greece”.

The country participates in most of the European and international developments, while it has expressed its interest in participating in 2 important projects of common European interest ’(IPCEIs) in the field of Hydrogen as well as Batteries.

It is pointed out that Greece, in the very competitive programs of Horizon 2020, in Pillar 3, Greece did much better than the European Average in terms of participation, both in the thematic area of ​​Energy (Transport) and Transport (Transport).

 

From the 28 National Research Infrastructures financed by the Ministry of Development, we single out 3 “networks” of Research Bodies that are active in specific vertical sectors:

  • the Research Infrastructure “PROMETHEUS”, in the field of Energy
  • PANACEA “Environmental Sector” Research Infrastructure dealing with climate change and climate change
  • the INVALOR Research Infrastructure concerning waste utilization and sustainable resource management

At the national level, the flagship action “Research-Create-Innovate” in the energy sector is in progress, the approved proposals constitute 7% of the total budget. It includes 69 projects with a budget of € 50.5 million in which 216 partners participate: companies and Research Centers.

Also the energy-related sectors: Transport and Supply Chain, also accounts for 7%, while the sector Environment and Sustainable Development, 9.4%.

More “active” scientific entities in the field of Energy:

  •   The NTUA, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Patras, the     University of Crete together with the Mediterranean University, the University of West Attica, the University of Western Macedonia and the Democritus University stand out from the universities.
  • CERTH, FORTH and DEMOKRITOS stand out from the Research Centers, while the   National Observatory of Athens and the emblematic CLIMPACT initiative stand out in   terms of climate change.

At the same time, a Competence Center in the field of energy has been set up with the scientific leadership of the National Technical University of Athens, while 3 Innovation Clusters in Sustainable Development and the Circular Economy and a Cluster in Transport and Smart Mobility are also being set up.

In start-ups, 8.3% are companies active in the field of Environment and Energy. Regarding StartUps, we have registered 44 companies, where 7 of them are spin off by Research Institutions. The companies are active in the field of Energy storage through batteries, hydrogen, Renewable Energy Sources and Smart Mobility.

Today, the Ministry of Development and Investment and the GGEK, has already completed its planning for the next financial period of Research, Technology and Innovation that extends until 2030 with a total budget of the NSRF 1.3 billion and an additional 500 million. by the TAA (RRF), as well as additional Public Investment Resources and the Regular Budget.

It will participate in National Actions and European Joint Initiatives (European Partnerships).

The National Energy Research and Technology Strategy covers 9 areas:

1 Energy efficiency and energy saving

2 Energy from RES

3 Energy Saving

4 Hydrogen technologies and systems and climate neutral fuels

5 Smart grids – demand response – decentralized production

(Smart Grids – Energy Response – Decentralized Production)

6 Reduction of Fossil Fuel Impacts

7 Smart communities – cities with low energy and almost zero emissions

8 Energy and Transport

9 Energy and Agriculture

Challenges in the road towards the development of hydrogen projects

A new era is dawing for climate policies and actions towards ‘net-zero’ emissions and to decarbonization of the socio-economic system! It is now the momentum of development of low-carbon hydrogen, which is expected to be the key to decarbonisation and especially for the decarbonization of the energy sector and transportation sector (which are responsible for the majority of the GHG emissions, globally).

EU is taking the lead in the development of hydrogen infrastructure and general of the use of hydrogen as the main path to decarbonization. To this end, last year the EU published the European Hydrogen Strategy (https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/hydrogen_strategy.pdf), for a climate neutral Europe, in combination to the European Energy Sector Integration Strategy (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=COM:2020:299:FIN), which is strongly related to the decarbonization process.

But the hydrogen pathway is not without any challenges…

Several issues must be solved or at least, immediate, actions to be taken, so as to safeguarde the transition to climate neutrality based on hydrogen. First, it is very important policy makers to prioritize the development of green hydrogen production and transportation. Of course, blue hydrogen can support the transition to decarbonization, but it cannot support a climate neutral socio-economic system.

Some of the challenges that the development of green hydrogen is facing are:

  1. Gaps in regulative / permitting framework: In most countries, hydrogen is a new ‘fuel’, thus spatial, environmental and health & safety (HS) regulative gaps to be identified and new legislative acts to come in force.
  2. HS challenges: How mature is the HS legislation of handing, storing, construction and operation of hydrogen facilities?
  3. Environmental challenges: Although hydrogen is considered to have an exceptionally low footprint, potential environmental constraints (i.e., water availability, biodiversity, development of new networks etc.) need to be identified and solutions to be provided.
  4. Taxonomy Regulation challenges: Hydrogen project must be compatible to the the ‘Do No Significant Principle’.
  5. Social challenges: A great discussion on the socio-economic changes by the decarbonization has already started. Furthermore, a non-exclusive stakeholder engagement of the public and of the stakeholders on the hydrogen development in relation to decarbonization must take place.
  6. Technical barriers (i.e. electrolyzers, RES to be used etc.).

Do we have the answers? Maybe for some of the constraints, yes. For others, maybe not. But in any case, we hope this Conference to show the direction to the solutions!

 

Thomas Kollias, Environmental & Social Consultant for Energy Projects- Ecomed
Ioannis Aspirtakis, Mechanical Engineer, MSc, PhDc – ErgoProlipsis, General Manager
Vasilia Alexopoulou, Environmental Consultant, Alexopoulos and Parnters

 

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, G. Plakiotakis, writes for the 5th Cretan Energy Conference – International Energy Exhibition of Greece

Reduction of GHG emissions is a distinct challenge

The history, culture and economy of Greece are inextricably linked to sea and shipping. Shipping has constantly and substantially supported economic development bringing at the same time added value to all connected sectors.

Though the country accounts for only 0.16% of the world’s population, Greek ship-owners own 21% of global tonnage and, post Brexit, 58% of the EU’s controlled tonnage. The Greek maritime cluster comprises more than 1.440 shipping companies engaged in ocean-going shipping and further 3,700 maritime companies active mainly in cabotage and short-sea shipping, highlighting Piraeus as a maritime center of global range and a centre of excellence in ship-management. These companies, having under their management over 4.700 ships, greek-flagged and greek-owned, offer direct employment to almost 18.000 employees and are the driving force for the entire maritime cluster, which in turn offers directly and indirectly quality jobs to nearly 200.000 people. For 2020, the abovementioned operations and synergies contributed to our economy more than 13.8 billion Euros.

We live in challenging times and it is the case that the pandemic derailed or rescheduled our priorities, as happened all around the globe. In this respect the main priority for 2021 is to put strong foundations for the recovery of all economic activities, including shipping.

The maritime environment is our common, global heritage. And shipping is a global industry. The IMO Initial GHG Strategy needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency, with focus on the practical implementation of the short-term technical and operational measures to be adopted by the IMO mid-June. The next step, to start already within the current year 2021 is to create the necessary preconditions that will enable the decarbonization of shipping, as the ultimate objective of both the European Green Deal and the IMO GHG Strategy.

This pathway necessarily involves the development and deployment of new fuels and propulsion technologies, suitable for each and every shipping mode. The most important sectors in Greece are, first, ocean going shipping and Ro-Ro passengers, which need to provide frequent, regular and quality connections to an extensive network of more than 400 routes serving 115 inhabited islands.

In both sectors, reduction of GHG emissions is a distinct challenge and I believe that the business partnerships to be explored and eventually established will provide very useful solutions. The same is true as regards more sustainable and efficient port operations, as well as the fuel supply industry, which will need to provide safe alternative low carbon fuels not only in the EU but worldwide.

 

G. Plakiotakis, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy

Secretariat of Clean Energy for EU Islands Writes for the 5th Cretan Energy Conference – International Energy Exhibition of Greece

The Clean energy for EU islands secretariat is looking forward to participating in the 5th Cretan Energy Conference – International Energy Exhibition of Greece and share our experience in supporting European islands in their clean energy transition.

In cooperation with the European Parliament, the Commission set up a Secretariat to deliver the objectives of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative in 2018. The Secretariat acts as a platform of exchange of best practice project examples for islands’ stakeholders and provides dedicated capacity building and advisory services. The secretariat mainly covers topics related to clean energy such as energy production, Energy efficiency, Heating and cooling, Transport to and from the island, and transport on the island

The Clean energy for EU islands secretariat was created to facilitate the clean energy transition on EU islands with a bottom-up approach. It is built on the vision that to assure the best environment for change, and to benefit all members of the island communities, a balanced collaboration between public and private stakeholders is essential. For this reason, the Secretariat is using the quadruple helix approach, helping citizens, local authorities, local businesses, and academic institutions work together to advance the clean energy transition on their island.

To facilitate the islands’ transition to renewable energy and encourage them to act, the secretariat is organizing various events and activities like workshops, forums, calls for technical assistance or video calls. It not only supports islands in planning and getting funding for projects, but also helps them to promote their projects through its social media channels, newsletters, or events. Connecting islands and giving agency to people who want to transfer their island towards a clean energy future, is one of the secretariat’s goals. Its events provide islands with a chance to explore, shape, and act. They can explore other islands’ ongoing projects or agendas to draw inspiration for their own ambitions. Islands have the opportunity to engage in workshops and in turn finalize or pitch their projects and find investors. During these events and regardless of events, the secretariat provides support to apply for financing or finding investors.

It is especially difficult for islands to create and import energy since they are often not connected to continental electricity grids. This makes energy more expensive than in other regions. Switching to renewables is an important step, not only for the environment, but also for the energy security of islands. There are various possibilities to use an island’s potential for renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar farms, or wave energy.

The secretariat hopes to motivate even more islands to take the first step towards their clean energy transition during the 5th Cretan Clean Energy Conference – International Energy Exhibition of Greece

 

Ο Κωνσταντίνος Παπαλουκάς μιλάει για το Υδρογόνο εν όψει του 5ου Παγκρήτιου Ενεργειακού Συνεδρίου – International Conference & Exhibition

Η ανάπτυξη της Οικονομίας Υδρογόνου ως ευκαιρία για την Ελλάδα

Tο Υδρογόνο διαθέτει τα ιδιαίτερα αυτά χαρακτηριστικά, για να βοηθήσει την παγκόσμια κοινότητα να ξεπεράσει τις τρέχουσες ενεργειακές προκλήσεις και παράλληλα να ενισχύσει τις ενέργειές της για την αντιμετώπιση της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Η ανάπτυξη μιας παγκόσμιας Οικονομίας Υδρογόνου όμως απαιτεί μια ολιστική προσέγγιση η οποία αγγίζει όλα τα τμήματα της αλυσίδας αξίας (value chain) και προϋποθέτει την παράλληλη ανάπτυξη της ζήτησης στην αγορά μαζί με αυτή των υποδομών παραγωγής (upstream), μεταφοράς (midstream) και εφοδιασμού (downstream).

Η Ελλάδα υποστηρίζει σθεναρά τη δυναμική του υδρογόνου στον δρόμο για ενεργειακή μετάβαση και περαιτέρω απανθρακοποίηση του ελληνικού, αλλά και του ευρωπαϊκού ενεργειακού μείγματος. Και αυτό γιατί το υδρογόνο δύναται να αντικαταστήσει τα ορυκτά καύσιμα τόσο ως καθαρό καύσιμο όσο και ως πρώτη ύλη σε συγκεκριμένους τομείς που η απανθρακοποίησή τους παρουσιάζει ιδιαιτερότητες και δυσκολίες, όπως αυτούς των μεταφορών και της βιομηχανίας.

Βραχυπρόθεσμα έως μεσοπρόθεσμα, η Ελλάδα προσανατολίζεται σε μια τεχνολογικά ουδέτερη προσέγγιση στον τρόπο παραγωγής υδρογόνου, αν και μεσοπρόθεσμα έως μακροπρόθεσμα, αφού η απανθρακοποίηση της ηλεκτρικής μας παραγωγής φτάσει σε ένα ώριμο σημείο, θα μπορούμε να δώσουμε περισσότερη έμφαση στην παραγωγή πράσινου υδρογόνου μέσω ηλεκτρόλυσης. Μια τέτοια εξέλιξη θα ξεκλειδώσει την περαιτέρω αξιοποίηση του μεγάλου δυναμικού ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας στο ενεργειακό μας μείγμα, ενώ ταυτόχρονα τέτοιου είδους εγκαταστάσεις θα μπορούν να λειτουργήσουν ως ένα αποτελεσματικό μέσο αποθήκευσης ενέργειας. Βραχυπρόθεσμα έως μεσοπρόθεσμα, λοιπόν, θα διερευνηθούν και λύσεις υδρογόνου χαμηλών εκπομπών άνθρακα με τεχνολογίες δέσμευσης, αξιοποίησης και αποθήκευσης του διοξειδίου του άνθρακα (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage – CCUS), ώστε από τη μία να διασφαλιστεί η δίκαιη μετάβαση της χώρας μας και από την άλλη να ανοίξει ο δρόμος προς το καθαρό υδρογόνο μέσω της ανάπτυξης των αγορών και των υψηλής εντάσεως κεφαλαίου υποδομών υδρογόνου.

Η Ελλάδα θα κληθεί να  επιδιώξει τον φιλόδοξο αυτό στόχο για παράλληλη επέκταση και ανακαίνιση της υφιστάμενης υποδομής φυσικού αερίου της, προκειμένου να καταστεί δυνατή η μεταφορά και διανομή υδρογόνου. Αυτός είναι ο λόγος για τον οποίο οι συνεχείς ευρωπαϊκές επενδύσεις σε υποδομές αερίου συμβατές με υδρογόνο και βιομεθάνιο αποτελούν σημαντικό παράγοντα για την ενεργειακή μετάβαση του συστήματος φυσικού αερίου μας. Όσον αφορά τη μεταφορά και διανομή υδρογόνου, λοιπόν, θα πρέπει να δοθεί ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στην ανάπτυξη νέας υποδομής (greenfield), όπως επίσης και στον επαναπροσδιορισμό/επαναχρησιμοποίηση, κατά περίπτωση, υφιστάμενων δικτύων αερίου (brownfield infrastructure). Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο πρέπει να εξεταστούν ενδελεχώς ζητήματα που αφορούν την έγχυση υδρογόνου και άλλων ανανεώσιμων αερίων στο δίκτυο φυσικού αερίου που θα πρέπει να συμφωνηθούν σε ευρωπαϊκό επίπεδο. Παράλληλα, η νομοθετική πρόταση που δημοσιεύτηκε στις 15 Δεκεμβρίου για την αναθεώρηση του Κανονισμού των Διευρωπαϊκών Δικτύων Ενέργειας (TEN-E) αποτελεί τον θεμέλιο λίθο για την ολοκλήρωση του υδρογόνου και των τεχνολογιών power-to-x στο ενεργειακό σύστημα της ΕΕ. Η ανάπτυξη, επομένως, μιας αλυσίδας αξίας υδρογόνου απαιτεί την εξέταση αρκετών διατομεακών πτυχών που επηρεάζουν εγκάρσια πολλούς οδικούς χάρτες, όπως την Ασφάλεια και το Κανονιστικό Πλαίσιο, την ανάπτυξη Κωδίκων και Προτύπων (RCS) και άλλα.

Όπως διαφαίνεται και από τις διαβουλεύσεις μεταξύ των Κρατών Μελών η ανάγκη για μια ολοκληρωμένη Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική Υδρογόνου είναι πλέον επιτακτική. Μια κοινή στρατηγική θα μπορούσε να βοηθήσει την ΕΕ να άρει τους τόσους πλεονάζοντες ρυθμιστικούς φραγμούς που αποτελούν τροχοπέδη στην ανάδυση μιας ενιαίας Οικονομίας Υδρογόνου. Ταυτόχρονα, θα μπορούσε να παρέχει μια εκτίμηση για τις μελλοντικές εισαγωγές υδρογόνου δεδομένου ότι η ευρωπαϊκή ζήτηση αλλά και η  παραγωγική μας ικανότητα έχουν εκτιμηθεί αξιόπιστα. Επιπλέον, μια φιλόδοξη επενδυτική πολιτική της Ευρώπης στον τομέα του υδρογόνου μπορεί να τοποθετήσει την ΕΕ σε ευνοϊκή θέση στην αναδυόμενη διεθνή αλυσίδα εφοδιασμού του υδρογόνου.

Για την Ελλάδα το υδρογόνο δεν αποτελεί απλώς μια ενεργειακή πρόκληση. Αναβαθμίζει παράλληλα τη θέση της στην Ευρώπη, μιας και η γεωγραφική της θέση στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο και η εγγύτητα στις περιοχές τις Β. Αφρικής έχουν σημαίνοντα ρόλο. Από τον καιρό του φιλόδοξου σχεδίου της Ένωσης για τη Μεσόγειο, όπου προέβλεπαν την παραγωγή ηλεκτρισμού και μεταφορά του με καλώδια υψηλής τάσης, η Ευρώπη γλυκοκοιτάζει και πάλι τον Νότο για την παραγωγή πράσινου υδρογόνου και μεταφορά του στην Ευρώπη. Εδώ δεν πρέπει να ξεχνάμε τον εξέχοντα ρόλο της ελληνικής εφοπλιστικής κοινότητας, μιας και κάποιος θα πρέπει να μεταφέρει το υδρογόνο στις πιο ώριμες αγορές  όπως την Ιαπωνία, την Κορέα αλλά και στις υπόλοιπες αναδυόμενες αγορές. Κάτι αντίστοιχο θα πρέπει να γίνει και για τη μεταφορά του δεσμευμένου διοξειδίου του άνθρακα σε προορισμούς αποθήκευσης, ακολουθώντας το παράδειγμα του έργου Northern Lights στην Νορβηγία. Οπότε η ενεργειακή μετάβαση είναι κάτι που αφορά ιδιαίτερα και την ελληνική ναυτιλία.

Μια Οικονομία Υδρογόνου θα μπορούσε, επίσης, να ενθαρρύνει μια νέα τεχνολογική και βιομηχανική επανάσταση στις περιφερειακές οικονομίες, δημιουργώντας αρκετές εξειδικευμένες θέσεις εργασίας. Συγκεκριμένα στην Ελλάδα μπορεί να αποτελέσει αιτία για επαναπατρισμό αρκετών επιστημόνων υψηλού επιπέδου που εργάζονται επί του παρόντος στο εξωτερικό.

Τέλος, πρέπει να τονιστεί ο ρόλος της ευαισθητοποίησης και της εκπαίδευσης του κοινού. Η παροχή τεχνικής γνώσης για το υδρογόνο και των τεχνολογιών του θα οδηγήσουν σε μεγαλύτερα επίπεδα αποδοχής και επίπεδα εμπιστοσύνης στην τεχνολογία. Γι’ αυτό και η συμπερίληψη ενός πάνελ αποκλειστικά για το υδρογόνο στο 5ο Παγκρήτιο Ενεργειακό Συνέδριο –  International Conference & Exhibition, αποτελεί σημαντική ένδειξη ότι η Ελλάδα ξεκίνησε να αναγνωρίζει πλέον το μέγεθος της ευκαιρίας. Θέλω να πιστεύω πως με μια ισορροπημένη εθνική στρατηγική που να ταιριάζει στα χαρακτηριστικά της, η Ελλάδα θα μπορέσει να αποτελέσει υπόδειγμα και για άλλες χώρες, όπως έπραξε και μια χώρα ανάλογου πληθυσμού, η Πορτογαλία.

Για αυτό το μεγάλο εγχείρημα απαιτείται ο ανάλογος συντονισμός της Πολιτείας μέσω των αρμόδιων Υπουργείων, της βιομηχανίας, της ελληνικής επιχειρηματικής κοινότητας, των Εθνικών Ερευνητικών μας Κέντρων και των λοιπών εμπλεκόμενων φορέων για μια πολυδιάστατη προσέγγιση όλης της αλυσίδας αξίας του υδρογόνου, ώστε μέσα στις αρχές του 2021 να κομίσει και η Ελλάδα την Εθνική της Στρατηγική για το Υδρογόνο. Αυτός άλλωστε είναι και ο ρόλος της Επιτροπής Υδρογόνου που συστάθηκε από το ΥΠΕΝ με τη συμμετοχή τόσο αξιόλογων ειδικών και επιστημόνων.

*Κωνσταντίνος Παπαλουκάς (MEng, MBA, MPA), Ειδικός σε θέματα Ενεργειακής Πολιτικής, Συντονιστής Επιτροπής για τη χάραξη Εθνικής Στρατηγικής για το Υδρογόνο

email: constantinos.papalucas@post.harvard.edu

A brave new world – Takis Pournarakis

The automotive industry moving fast towards electromobility. This will
bring dramatic changes to many areas.

Based on EU legislation, the average gas emission for each vehicle manufacturer
for vehicles registered from 1/1/2021 in Europe must be 95 g CO2/km. However,
what does this mean in practice? This means that in order to classify for example a
Mercedes AMG, they should classify at first two EQC, so that the average of the three
vehicles remains below the 95 gr CO2/km.
This will evoke immediate dramatic changes to cars produced and marketed within
the EU. Already, the very small vehicles with a thermal engine are being disappeared,
as, in the average gas emission a weight/difficulty factor is also contained. Peugeot
108, Citroen C1 stopped being manufactured, Smart is now only electric, Fiat Panda
got a hybrid version and Fiat 500 becomes electric.
If we apply the fines provided for the classifications of the new cars who emit more
than 95 gr CO2/km, making business inside EU will become almost unprofitable for
car manufacturers. The only solution left, if they want to stay active, is to pass on the
cost to the buyers.

It seems that all manufacturers will pass on some of the cost of fines to consumers,
the new car will become much more expensive and only wealthy people will be able
to buy it. Trends such as car sharing in combination with autonomous driving will
become more popular for people. Nowadays, in Athens, vehicles are parked/stacked
in traffic at 90% of their time. Imagine Athens with far fewer cars, which would be
electric, autonomous, constantly in circulation and they could communicate not only
with each other (V2V) but also with the infrastructure (V2G). Is it a science fiction
script? Do you know that in Trikala, there are two autonomous electric buses, which
transfer passengers, and they do not need a driver?

According to car manufacturers who are already preparing for the new,
completely different automobility form, in a decade, about 40% of new vehicles will
plugged in. Whether we talk about hybrid or electric vehicles, manufacturers have
decided to direct many of their investments in the development of batteries and
electric engines. In almost all the countries of the Western world, the percentage of
electric cars in circulation is increasing, reaching in some of them a double-digit
market share. This trend will raise in the following years when the European capitals
and major cities adopt the EU directive and prohibit the circulation of vehicles
emitting more than 50 gr CO2/ km in their center. The European logic "polluter pays"
that is currently in force on the traffic charges of the new cars will be renamed as
"polluter circuits limitedly ".How far are we from all these in Greece? When you see a
taxi with a Euro 2 specification, purchased in 2003-2004, leaving a black smoke
behind every time the driver speeds up, it is hard to believe that this is possible in
Athens. However, this day is no more than five years away.
With the Athens’ road network designed for 1.5 million vehicles, while today
there are the twice number of cars circulating, it is crucial for our lives to take action

to reduce pollution, noise pollution and traffic. Citizens' health and the corresponding
reduction in spending combined with saving on fossil fuels is great. Imagine a 20-
year-old SUV with three differentials and permanent four-wheel drive downtown,
next to a similar state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid model, whose thermal engine does not
run in urban areas.

PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), Mild
Hybrid Electric Vehicle or HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) pollute less or not at all,
where they circulate but they do pollute! The key question is how much they pollute
overall, in relation to vehicles using oil or gas thermal engine (ICE). A question that
takes on a completely different dimension in our country until we deregulated from
lignite. The automobility changes will be dramatic in the next few years.

 

Takis Pournarakis
Mechanical Engineer – Journalist – Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Motor Sports Organizations

 

CEO of HELPE Upstream Tassos Vlassopoulos writes for the 5th Cretan Energy Conference

Hydrocarbons in Greece

Greece has an old connection with Hydrocarbons. More than 2500 years ago, Herodotus mentions the famous oil seep in Keri Zakynthos that still brings oil to the surface.

However, this connection is not only an old history. Besides the still producing Prinos Oil field and the verified West Katakolo Oil and Gas field, the recent exploration activity has been producing interest in the Hellenic Hydrocarbons sector.

Oil & Gas exploration had started before the 2nd World War and intensified in late 70s to late 90s. A new turn was taken after 2015, the collection of some new data had been completed and new theories were proposed. International oil companies (e.g. TOTAL, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Edison), proceeded in several ventures in Greece and Helpe Upstream became an attractive partner.

Western Greece, both onshore and offshore, seems to have many analogs to the well-established Hydrocarbon provinces of Albania and Italy. In addition, following the recent discoveries in our broader region, blocks around Crete were also permitted in which Total, Exxon and Hellenic Petroleum will be exploring deep water plays.

Greece is still considered an under explored area although more than 70,000 km of 2D and 2,000 km2 of 3D seismic lines have been acquired in addition to about 100 wells that have been drilled. However, recent technology developments allow exploration to move to deeper waters in an economic manner, if there is promising prospectivity.

Greece, apart from being a hydrocarbons-promising area has also a strategic location in the middle of Mediterranean. It is in the crossroads for transporting gas, from the current or future producing fields in the Caspian and the Eastern Mediterranean, to Western Europe. IGB (Gas Interconnector Greece with Bulgaria), Poseidon, TAP and East-Med are in different stages of activity linking Greece and W. Europe with all producing regions in proximity and provide potential leverage for potential developments in the regions of Western Greece and Crete.

Oil & Gas remains a key element of the energy mix though the discussion on climate change continues and the costs for deploying renewable energy have been declining. Natural gas is the transitional fuel, as we move away from coal and trend towards renewables. Electric vehicles are making inroads in selected markets but not yet to on large scale globally. Oil remains the main fuel for all other modes of transportation and petrochemicals with no real alternatives in the foreseeable future.

Deputy Minister of Education & Religious Affairs, Mr. Vasilios Digalakis writes about the upcoming 5th Cretan Energy Conference – International Conference & Exhibition

By Mr. Vasilis Digalakis

Undersecretary of Education

Imposed mainly by climate change, the upcoming modifications in the way we produce, distribute, store and consume energy constitute perhaps the greatest technological challenge of our time. Almost all of science and engineering converge in energy technologies, which is why it will be the focus of research activity and the main field of innovation in the years to come.

It is generally admitted that our country has the privilege of possessing a wealth of energy potential. However, we are lagging significantly behind in its exploitation and must move rapidly towards energy transformation, by strengthening our infrastructure and adopting innovative models of production and consumption. There is a range of challenges that we will have to face, especially due to the fact that we are launching from a particularly negative starting point with regard to the existing production and distribution assets.

Crete, in particular, having until now had an autonomous power system and major requirements especially during the summer months, constitutes an extremely urgent priority: in order to offer 1 Kwh of electricity for consumption today, 2.9 KwH of primary energy are needed, with obvious consequences for national economy and the environment.

At the same time, the rich solar and wind energy potential of the island cannot be exploited, due to the regulatory restrictions imposed by a failure of interconnection of the island with the continental network. Worse still, a significant part of the existing Renewable Energy Sources production is discarded and not exploited. This can change with the upcoming interconnections implemented by the Independent Power Transmission Operator, as well as by making use of storage technologies.

Today we have a unique opportunity: we can turn the island into a living laboratory of energy technologies. With excellent research institutes – which in some cases lead European programmes for energy transformation – Crete can and should set an example of successful application of production, management and energy saving technologies:

  • With the implementation of smart grids and the extensive installation of smart meters in order to reduce needs during peak periods, through demand response technologies and IT know-how exploitation.
  • By transforming urban centres into smart cities using intelligent energy management and energy infrastructure improvement systems combined with water management and agricultural production systems.
  • Utilizing energy storage and management technologies in conjunction with the introduction of electric vehicles (Vehicle to Grid – Grid to Vehicle).
  • Through energy upgrading of the building stock with an emphasis on tourism and hospitality and the promotion of zero energy balance buildings and zero energy emissions.
  • By reducing the urban heat island effect, which in turn can lead to a drastic reduction in energy demand during the summer season.

Key reform directions of the current political leadership of the Ministry of Education in the field of higher education are to improve the quality of education and relevance to the labour market, as well as the transfer of knowledge generated in universities to the real economy. In this context, the 5th Pancretan Energy Conference gives the opportunity to the Higher Education Institutes of the country to participate in the dialogue on the energy developments in our region and to highlight their action and research results.

The Maltese Ministry for Energy and Water Management supports and participates to the 5th Cretan Energy Conference – International Conference & Exhibition

 

The Ministry for Energy and Water Management in Malta looks forward to the upcoming 5th Cretan Energy Conference 2020 as a platform that will give us the opportunity to share information and insights in the energy sector; particularly at this time, where energy and climate issues are at the forefront of political and societal debate both at an EU and at a global level.

In Malta, the government’s main focus is to provide citizens and businesses with affordable sustainable and secure forms of energy which in itself is a reflection of the overarching policy fundamentals of the EU Energy Union. Over recent years, Malta has seen an overhaul in its energy sector, moving away from the use of heavy fuel oil for electricity generation towards the use of LNG in gas-fired power plants. Maintaining a diversified energy mix; reducing carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions through improved efficiency in generation capacity; strengt

hening the security of supply of the country wh

ilst ensuring the availability of appropriate back up capacity; achieving a degree of interconnection for electricity supply and overhauling the generation capacity of the country with a view to achieving higher efficiency gains remain crucial for the island.

In line with the obligations of the Governance Regulation, Malta developed its first National Energy and Climate plan in 2019, which serves as a strategic planning framework and policy document that will guide Malta’s contribution to achieving the Energy Union’s 2030 objectives and targets, whilst identifying those measures necessary for their achievement during the period until 2030, with an outlook until 2040. The plan provides a clear path for Malta to attain the overarching objectives of a sustainable, affordable and secure energy system which needs to follow a decarbonisation trajectory, whilst recognising the inherent challenges and opportunities brought about by national specificities such as spatial constraints, high population density, and a mild Mediterranean climate. This calls for specific solutions, which may also depend on further technological and cost developments.

Energy efficiency, which is one of the main drivers of our energy policy is being complemented by various government incentives. Malta recognises the importance of investing in and stimulating renewable energy sources and continuing to support the exploitation of viable indigenous sources.  Government increased its efforts to support the deployment of renewable energy, especially photovoltaics, solar water heaters and heat pump water heaters, which are particularly w

 

ell suited to Malta’s climate. The Government extended its current policy framework in the area of Renewables for the period until 2030, whilst providing new initiatives tailored to local specificities and acknowledging the technical, geographical and spatial barriers limiting renewable energy potential.  Malta is also assessing innovative and cost-effective solutions to increase energy system flexibility, such as the deployment of energy storage solutions, which would be necessary to compensate for the increased deployment of renewables.

Whist it is acknowledged that Mediterranean countries already cooperate in various sectors,  there is undoubtedly room for closer ties to exploit opportunities for growth based on sustainable development.  In this regard, Malta already actively participates in initiatives taken under the aegis of the Union for the Mediterranean, and is convinced that by sharing resources, including both physical, technology and knowledge, it is possible to achieve better and quicker results.  This would also make it possible to address specific challenges being faced by individual countries such as rapid

 

increase in energy demand,  air quality issues and network constraints.

We are all witness to the results obtained through effective collaboration on gas exploration and transmission in the East Med.  Similar collaboration hubs can surely produce similar results.  It is therefore important that existing fora are strengthened to act as the necessary platform for future collaboration.

 

 

Ambassador of Israel to Greece Mr. Yossi Amrani writes about the 5th International Cretan Energy Conference & Exhibition

Israel and Greece are among the most crucial pillars of stability in the eastern Mediterranean region. The relationship between the two countries has developed much since the upgrading of relations to full diplomatic;  its 30th anniversary recently marked by the two governments.

Over the last 10 years under successive different Greek Governments, we have developed much intense and deeper cooperation in different spheres. The strong bilateral relations lay a solid foundation to trilateral cooperation frameworks as we have between Israel – Greece – Cyprus.

The recent Government-to-Government Summit which took place in Jerusalem in mid-June 2020 is a clear reaffirmation of the importance both countries attribute to furthering cooperation on multiple levels, such as cyber, agrotech, defense, energy, environment, high tech, R&D and more.

The exchanges and openness on both sides is a clear indication of both countries’ interest and commitment to advance cooperation and materialize the good will and potential for mutual benef it and common good.

Our energy cooperation is a cornerstone in the strategic relations, which provides an historic opportunity for our two countries to leverage our partnership into economic boost and strengthen our national security, while providing Europe with another source of energy.

Two energy projects at the moment are of utmost importance to both nations; the East Med Pipeline and the Euro-Asia Interconnector.

Both Israel and Greece are committed to the projects and share a common perception of their significance to our economies and our strategic position vis a vis the region and Europe.

The East Med Pipeline is a vision that has been discussed and examined over many years. Though still a dream, we believe it is within reach. The project is challenging, technically and otherwise, but has now reached the point where it is calling for our concerted efforts; we shouldn’t waste time. I am certain the Greek and Israeli governments will work hard through diplomatic channels and international diplomatic efforts to ensure this vision’s success.

As a Project of Common Interest (PCI) of the EU, the East Med Pipeline ensures the diversification of energy sources for Europe.

The Euro Asia Interconnector is another leading European Project of Common Interest (PCI) labelled as an EU “electricity highway” connecting the national electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Crete-Attica, Greece through a 1,518km subsea cable. It can securely supply electricity produced by the gas reserves of Cyprus and Israel, as well as from the available Renewable Energy Sources (RES).

In addition, it ends the energy isolation of Cyprus. As an EU member state, Cyprus is the last state that remains fully isolated without any electricity or gas interconnections.

Energy cooperation between Israel and Greece will serve as yet another bridge between both countries and as a major national strategic asset furthering our mutual security. Energy cooperation between our two countries is a guarantee for a more stable and prosperous East Mediterranean. The international community support of those projects will make our region safer.

The article was written as part of the 5th Cretan Energy Conference /
International Conference & Exhibition 
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