By Harry Floudopoulos
The head of TERNA Energy, George Peristeris, reminded yesterday of the great paradox and the great lost opportunity with the offshore wind farms in Greece, asking the State not to stand in the way of the market development. Specifically, Mr. Peristeris reminded that despite the great interest that had been expressed in the two years 2009-2010, the state virtually froze all activities, as it was going to institutionalize an “excellent” institutional framework. Twelve years later, this “excellent” legal framework does not exist, while the country has lost the opportunity to have significant power from offshore wind farms.
“Today, 12 years later, we are still in the same place. And we are still looking to find the best, at the expense of what can be immediately implemented and bring growth and immediate economic benefits. Let us finally move on to the investments that have been launched since 2010. “Let’s see in the course what better we can do. Otherwise we will continue to see the years go by without anything finally happening”, Mr. Peristeris emphasized characteristically.
Of course, Mr. Peristeri’s report concerned the famous legislative initiative of the former Minister of Energy T. Birbili in early 2010. Specifically, it was spring 2010 when Ms. Birbili announced the plan for tenders for the development of offshore wind farms in regions of the Aegean and the Ionian.
At that time there was intense interest from Greek, mainly, groups for the development of offshore wind farms in specific areas (North Aegean, Ionian), but in the spring of 2010 the then Minister of Energy T. Birbili promoted a plan for state-controlled development through offshore wind tenders in our country. The plan ended up in a fiasco as expected, however the delay played a decisive role in preventing the works from starting, since then due to the crisis Greece was turned into a forbidden area for financing investments, much less for offshore wind farms that are capital intensive and require stable investment environment. Thus, these plans remained on paper and the development of offshore wind farms in Greece never proceeded.
In recent years, however, interest in the purchase of offshore wind farms has been revived by both Greek and international companies in the sector. In fact, a number of alliances of the largest players in the Greek market with foreign specialized companies have been developed.
The beginning was made with the cooperation agreement between TERNA Energy and Ocean Winds, with the object of joint activity in the domestic market of offshore wind farms. Ocean Winds is a joint venture between French Engie and Portuguese EDPR.
Another important cooperation that has been announced concerns Mytilineos and the Danish Copenhgagen Infrastructrure Partners (CIP) for the joint development of offshore wind farms in sea areas of Greece.
A few days ago, another collaboration was announced between Intrakat and Parkwind for the joint development of offshore wind energy in the Greek seas.
At the same time, PPC, according to information, has high in its priorities the purchase of offshore wind farms and is close to the announcement of cooperation.
What is needed now is to speed up the processes for the new institutional framework and to create an investment-friendly environment that will allow this initial warm interest to be turned into investment and we do not have to repeat the same project as in 2010.