Friday, June 21, 2024

    The Greek power utility PPC Group aims to be coal free by 2026

    The Greek power utility PPC Group aims to be coal free by 2026, Elena Giannakopoulou, its chief strategy officer, told Montel on the side lines of the Eurelectric Power Summit near Athens late on Thursday.

    PPC’s coal generation has dropped to nearly 4.5 TWh from 10.5 TWh, after reducing lignite capacity to nearly 2 GW from 3.4 GW five years ago. In the meantime, PPC Renewables and RWE subsidiary RWE Renewables set up the Meton Energy joint venture to accelerate Greek energy transition. “We are in a very steep lignite phase-out plan and by 2026 we will be coal free,” Giannakopoulou said. She said that PPC’s focus has shifted significantly to renewable energy, and that the utility is set to add 1.8 GW in renewables capacity by the end of this year, and 3.1 GW of hydropower.  “By 2026, we are going to almost double this number and by 2030, we will triple this number,” she said, adding that PPC has already prepared a pipeline of projects in Greece and beyond.

    SEE expansion plans

    The company has retail business in North Macedonia since acquiring EDS in 2018, providing electricity to large industries and businesses, and also runs a vertically integrated company in Romania. In 2023, it acquired Enel Romania, which operates in power distribution and supply, and has over 500 MW of renewables capacity.  “We are a vertically integrated utility, and that’s our business model in any market we enter. That means having activities in the generation business, focusing on clean and flexible energy, distribution and retail in southeast Europe,” said Giannakopoulou. “Considering that the markets are coupled, we think that there’s great value to extract from this energy corridor through energy trading and we think that there’s great untapped potential in the region,” she noted. Last month, PPC Group and Mytilineos Energy & Metals inked a deal to build up to 2 GW of solar capacity in Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy over the next three years. This would entail an investment of EUR 3bn by 2026 into clean and flexible energy and distribution network, said Giannakopoulou. The key to investment is having dynamic and flexible regulations in these markets and a stable investment framework, she said. “I don’t mean predictable prices. You can never get that. The energy system is evolving so fast and the regulation needs to keep up,” Giannakopoulou concluded.