Greece’s draft legal framework for the offshore wind industry is expected to be put out for consultation within the next week, according to Alexandra Sdoukou, the country’s secretary-general for energy and mineral resources.
Under the framework, suitable plots for the development of offshore wind farms will be selected and put up for tender, with the first round planned for 2023 and projects commissioned by the end of the decade.
Speaking at last week’s WindEurope ElectricCity conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sdoukou said the framework is “transparent and fair and also accessible for international players”.
“Winners are going to secure rights to develop the plots for decades,” she said, adding it was crucial there were no “bad surprises” for investors.
Currently, according to Windpower Intelligence, Windpower Monthly's data and research division, the country has around 4GW of wind capacity online, none of it offshore. Its national energy and climate plan sees 7.05GW installed by 2030.
At the COP26 conference held in the UK earlier this month, Greek prime pinister Kyriakos Mitsotakis committed to having 2GW of offshore wind fully commissioned by 2030. In the mid to long term, however, there is potential for 10GW of bottom-fixed technology and another 30-40GW of floating wind in the country’s deep waters, according to Sdoukou.
“We really want to make Greece a showcase for utility scale, floating and offshore wind,” she said.
Greece’s potential for offshore wind will be of particular benefit to the country’s more than 200 inhabited islands, where there are 29 autonomous electricity systems supplying electricity generated mainly by burning heavy oil or diesel.
“The average cost to produce electricity there is from 300 to 500% higher than the average for the mainland,” said Sdoukou. “For us, island electrification is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Grid connection is a challenge, she added, but by 2030 all the islands will be interconnected as part of a ten-year plan. According to Greece’s independent power transmission operator (IPTO), this includes the largest project in the history of the Greek electricity system – the interconnection between the Attica region and Crete, which is due for completion in 2023 at a cost of €1 billion.