EDEYEP, the competent authority for the management of research rights and the designation of Offshore Wind Farm Organized Development Areas (POAWAP), announced the draft of the National Offshore Wind Farm Development Program, at an event held in Athens.
The plan that was presented identifies the eligible Planned Development Areas (POADP) and estimates the strength of the projects that can be developed in them, in the medium term (up to 2030-2032) and long-term (after 2030-2032) time horizon. The draft National Renewable Energy Development Program includes 25 regions, with a total area of 2,712 km2 and an estimated minimum power of 12.4 GW. The majority of the proposed marine areas are suitable for floating-based NAP technology. Based on this design, Greece can gain a competitive advantage in the promotion of new technologies, acquire domestic know-how and develop the necessary supply chain.
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At the start of the event, the Minister of Environment and Energy Theodoros Skylakakis, referring to the National Energy and Climate Plan (ESEP) and the role of the EPAs, said among other things: “Greece, due to its strategic position and climatic characteristics has significant comparative advantages in terms of its solar and wind potential, especially offshore. Today, with the announcement of the draft of the National Program for the Development of Offshore Wind Farms, we are taking another important step towards achieving the National goals of the energy transition and tackling climate change. The development of the specific projects is a national priority not only because it will contribute decisively to our energy autonomy, but also because it gives us the possibility to export green energy in the future. It gives us, therefore, the possibility for further economic development and shielding the role of our country, as a critical, regional, energy hub”.
The landscape of Renewable Energy Sources
For her part, Deputy Minister Alexandra Sdoukou focused on how the landscape of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) has evolved in Greece and the initiatives undertaken by the state for their further development: “Today’s plan is the culmination of an effort that started in our Ministry, in 2021. Offshore wind energy is a priority all over Europe, as it is predicted that by 2050, 35% of the electricity in the E.U. may be produced purely from offshore sources. At the same time, it presents a series of benefits for our national energy industry, our national economy and also the local communities that will host or be adjacent to offshore wind energy projects. The National Renewable Energy Development Program sets the framework for the balanced and strategically planned development of offshore wind energy, with respect for the natural environment, the alternative uses of our seas and our need for renewable energy. With the completion of the National Program, the choice we made in 2022 to entrust the development of the domestic sector of offshore wind farms to EDEYEP, the state body with the most expertise in offshore energy projects and with the most competent administrative and technical staff, is also confirmed. The National Program that was presented not only satisfies the main goal, that of shielding our energy system, but also creates conditions for the emergence of Greece as an energy hub of the wider region.”
Mr. Aristophanes Stefatos, CEO of EDEYEP, emphasized: “The draft National Program is of strategic importance for our country, as underlined by the administration of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, as it lays the foundations for the utilization of offshore wind energy, a new clean source that will make a decisive contribution to our energy transition. It is a comprehensive plan, for the drawing up of which the EDEFEP team worked for 12 months, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also with other Ministries and agencies that contributed substantially to the opinion of the eligible areas. We feel proud because we know that the submission of the plan and the SMPE is the starting point of a path that will create very important opportunities for development, on an economic and social level, but also optimistic seeing the massive representation of the domestic and international investment community at today’s event We are already working for the next steps, in order to create the conditions for the rapid development of this new sector”.
It is noted that the plan, which has already been submitted to the Department of Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Energy and Environment, selects a pool of options from ten (10) areas for development by 2030-2032, with a total capacity of approximately 4.9 GW, and mainly concern floating projects seat. The above areas do not include the sea area between Evros-Samothraki, which is defined as an area for the development of pilot projects of the YAP, according to Law 4964/2022.
More specifically, the eligible POAYAPs for the medium-term development phase are located in the following areas:
- In eastern Crete, where it is estimated that projects with a total capacity of 800 MW will be developed
- In southern Rhodes, with the maximum installed capacity ranging between 300 MW and 550 MW
- In the central Aegean, with the maximum installed capacity ranging between 200 MW and 450 MW
- On the Evia-Chios axis, with a maximum installed capacity of 300 MW
- In the Ionian Sea, with a maximum installed capacity of 450 MW.
During the event, the advantages and technical parameters of the plan were also presented, as well as the Strategic Environmental Impact Study (SEIA) prepared by the LDK studies company. EDEYEP applied a total of 20 exclusion criteria, in order to ensure environmentally sensitive areas and maritime activities in the Greek area. These criteria take into account, among others, issues of national security and passenger navigation, airports, minimum distance from coastline, areas of environmental and cultural importance, tourism activities, aquaculture areas and other uses. The SEA has already been submitted to the Directorate of Environmental Licensing (DIPA) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and is expected to be released in the coming days for public consultation with public authorities and the interested public.
In addition, EDEYEP commissioned IOBE to conduct a study on the economic and social benefits arising from the development of YAP in Greece – including the investigation of the importance of the development of a domestic supply chain of their construction and operation – the main findings of which were presented in event. As underlined by Mr. Giorgos Maniatis, Head of the Sectoral Studies Department of IOBE, according to the study, the installation of YAP can lead to an increase in GDP by up to 1.9 billion euros per year on average in the period 2024-2050 and in revenues of the State with up to 440 million euros per year. For the same period it can contribute significantly to boosting employment, supporting up to 44,400 jobs per year.
During the presentation of the draft National Program, the General Secretary of Energy and Mineral Raw Materials, Aristotelis Aivaliotis, focused on the benefits of the development of YAP and the next steps: “YAP are an integral part of Greece’s energy transition effort and will provide significant benefits to the economy and society. Through a series of actions, such as the development of network infrastructure, the implementation of appropriate licensing procedures, the mobilization of private investment, the stimulation of research and innovation, and the strengthening of the supply chain, we will be able to create positive industrial, economic and social impacts , simultaneously strengthening the energy security and reliability of the electricity system”.