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Wind Wire: First gigawatt

Installed wind power capacity in Greece has clawed its way over the 1 GW threshold to reach 1029 MW after starting the year at 985 MW.

The biggest new plant to come online so far this year is 27.2 MW at Agia Dinati in Kefalonia, developed by local owner-operator Elliniki Technodomiki Energiaki. Another 11.7 MW was commissioned by Copelouzos, part-owned by Italy's Enel, at Koutsutis on Rhodes. Enercon supplied the turbines in both cases. The remaining 5.3 MW is made up of small installations of mostly Enercon turbines on Crete and Mykonos, and in the Peloponnese. Despite having a good resource, attractive market structure and plenty of interested investors, wind energy in Greece has not yet lived up to its promise. The main problem has been the long and complex planning procedure. A long awaited land use plan for renewable energy gained cabinet approval last November. Whether it will release the log-jam remains to be seen.

Italian utility Edison and Hellenic Petroleum, a major player in Greece's hydrocarbon industry, have finalised the setting up of their 50:50 joint venture. The new company, ElpEdison, aims to become Greece's second largest electricity operator, with a 15-20% market share, or more than 2 GW. It is also considering investing in renewables generation. Edison declines to say how much it is considering, but in 2007 it reported this could amount to up to 400 MW of wind power and hydroelectricity. Hellenic Petroleum is 35.5% owned by the Greek state and 36.3% by Greek-owned Paneuropean Oil & Industrial Holdings, with the remaining shares floating on the Athens stock exchange. Edison's owners are Transalpina di Energia (61.3%), French utility EDF (19.4%) and private investors. The company owns and operates around 300 MW of wind power in Italy. It is targeting an installed capacity of 810 MW by 2014 both at home and abroad.

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