EU Policy. Commission clears €1bn Greek aid for renewables

Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
Thanassis Stavrakis / AP Copyright Thanassis Stavrakis/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Marta Pacheco
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EU executive approved Greek financial support for two key projects predicted to boost renewables production.

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The European Commission today (April 2) announced it had cleared the way for Greece to invest €1bn to support two landmark renewable energy production and storage projects to be completed by mid-2025.

The Faethon Project foresees construction of two photovoltaic units, each with a capacity of 252 MW, along with integrated molten-salt thermal storage units and an extra-high voltage substation.

This project is designed to enable surplus energy to be stored and converted for use in times of peak electricity consumption.

The Seli Project, entails the construction of a 309 MW photovoltaic unit with an integrated lithium-ion battery energy storage system, aimed at optimising electricity generation and grid stability.

The funds were cleared for use under the EU State Aid rules, on the grounds that the support was necessary and appropriate to fulfil EU decarbonisation goals.

“The measures will help the EU and Greece meet our decarbonisation and climate neutrality targets, as well as reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels,” said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition.

The EU executive expects both projects to boost renewable energy production in Greece by 8% compared to 2020 levels, according to a statement on the decision.

The storage units in both projects are designed to help decouple electricity dispatch from production and to mitigate the intermittent nature of solar power, achievements considered “crucial” by the EU executive to provide “flexibility, stability, and reliability” of future energy systems.

“System flexibility is particularly needed in the EU's electricity system, where the share of renewable energy is estimated to reach around 69% by 2030 and 80% by 2050,” the Commission’s said in the statement.

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