ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis inaugurated on Wednesday a 204-megawatt solar park and promised to speed up permits for renewable energy projects as the country seeks to wean off polluting and costly imported fossil fuels.
Greece aims to almost double its installed capacity from renewables to about 19 gigawatts by 2030. This could be revised upwardly as part of the European Commission’s fresh drive to accelerate transition to green energy and end reliance on Russian gas by 2027 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The solar park in the northern Greek town of Kozani, which was built by Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum, will supply power to 75,000 households and connect to the country’s power grid in coming weeks.
“This project reflects our national goals for cheap and clean energy from the sun, from the wind, from the water,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the park’s inauguration.
Greece beat its 2020 goal by tapping renewables for 21.7% of its energy consumption, according to the European Union statistics office, and aims to increase the figure to 35% by 2030.
But it will need quicker permissioning to overcome delays in installations and large-scale storage.
Mitsotakis said his government will speed up licencing procedures and was set to specify permits for the construction of large-scale offshore wind parks.