This month, I am in Europe, which will cumulate in being in Davos for the World Economic Forum. Europe is in the midst of a massive energy crisis, with surging prices for gas and electricity that have reached reached levels. One of the recurring conversations that keeps coming up is the global economy and how Europe and the rest of the world replace Russian energy. Many wonder if the war in Ukraine is the catalyst the world needed to move us towards more sustainable energy sources globally.
As Member nations of the European Union (EU) are negotiating measures to reduce the dependence on Russian fossil fuels and improve their carbon plan, one country believes it could play a significant role in that new energy future.
For the first time, Greece will have a presence at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Summit from May 22-26, 2022, in Davos, Switzerland. GREEK HOUSE DAVOS (GHD) is set to open its doors there to provide an opportunity for Greek businesses to explore new markets and global opportunities.
Irini Vantaraki, founder and director of GHD, believes that Greece now offers the “right conditions to attract significant foreign investment in energy and other sectors that this is the right time to do it. I believe that investment is the best tool for development that will lead Greece to prosperity.”
Given the uncertainty of the future, Greece is in a unique position—in terms of resources and location—to play a significant role in the region’s energy markets. As a result, in 2022, energy is a highly lucrative and appealing investment opportunity.
Greece’s Energy Potential and Investment Opportunities
There is a ton of potential in Greece’s wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, solar, and solar thermal energy sectors. They also have several promising large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the TAP-IGB-EastMed Gas Pipelines.
Greek territory covers 31 of the 182 kilometers of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline. This project is designed to be a strategic mode of gas transportation, ensuring a healthy gas market and supply security for Greece.
Studies suggest that Greece’s prospects in the biomass and biogas sector have a bright future. The country only imports 1% of its required biodiesel and locally produces 90% of what they need.
Greece’s average global irradiation level crosses 1,500 kWh/m2. This is due to the 4.1 million m2 (2.9 GWth) of installed solar thermal systems, making the nation second only to Germany in its total capacity. Additionally, Greece is just behind Cyprus and Austria in its per capita ratio of installed collector surfaces. Therefore, Greece has immense potential for larger solar thermal systems. Solar accounted for around 10.4% of annual energy generation in the country.
Solar is an appealing sector to invest in due to:
● Substantial entry opportunities in a growing market
● Wide range of synergistic applications
Greece’s geographical location makes it the perfect candidate to be a significant producer of wind energy, with some of the most attractive sites in all of Europe. Its average capacity factors are around 25% for the mainland and 30% for the islands. This adds up to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 megawatts of energy produced.
Investing in this sector is appealing due to:
● Wind resources are amongst the best in Europe
● System operators’ priority dispatch capacities
● Business-oriented, modern auctioning system
● 20-year power purchase agreements (PPA)
● The long-term framework for favorable and reliable investments
Greece has significantly increased its hydropower capacity by 336 megawatts between 2008 and 2020. Of the total energy consumption in Greece in 2010, wind share contributed to around 3.7%. In 2021, the country had 128 new turbines set up over 12 months. The potential of hydropower in the country is already significant and on an upward growth.
Hydropower could be a prudent investment due to its massive potential and growth compared to other European countries.
Biomass and Biofuels
Biomass generates around 67% of the total energy produced by renewable energy systems in Greece. Of this, 60% of biodiesel was produced from oilseeds, 27% from used vegetable oils, frying oils, and animal fats, and the remaining produced from cotton seeds.
● Abundant availability of raw materials
● Governmental commitment to increase the use of biofuels
● The long-term framework for favorable and reliable investments
Greece has become a leader in renewable energy growth as it prepares to face the future. The Greek Prime Minister vowed to make Greece a global leader in a race to slow down climate change and reduce its carbon footprint. “The economy’s growth is inextricably tied to making ourselves as energy independent as we can,” he said. Greece’s renewable energy sector is thus seeing exponential growth, with a lot of potential.
The key reasons are:
● Strategic position – Greek stands at the crux of where the east meets the west and can be a key player in energy transportation.
● Energy generation potential – Due to its climate conditions, Greece possesses a remarkable capacity for renewable energy generation that could significantly impact energy availability throughout Europe.
● Legislation and government support – Greece’s ministries of Energy and Development have encouraged many investment projects such as the TAP natural gas pipeline, the liquid gas terminal in Revytousa, and other major renewable energy investments. In addition, their regulatory framework provides ample opportunities for investments in various areas of the energy market.
With the global shift towards renewable and green energy sources, the energy market is going through a significant transformation that will only further spur growth.
Vantaraki believes,” It is the perfect time to invest in energy and business in Greece. Greek House knows how to ensure that investments flourish as the future of renewable energy booms and the opportunities continue to grow. People prospering and living better lives. I believe we have a lot of talented people here who can achieve global success with the proper organization and support. It’s time for our businesses to expand and grow globally. Davos will open those doors to opportunity.”
Vantaraki believes there are investment opportunities in:
● Privatized assets
● New infrastructure, particularly for transmission
● International tenders for Hydrocarbon Exploration
● Renewable energy projects
● Businesses and investments that are energy efficient
● Island grid connectivity
The World Economic Forum will give Greek businesses a chance on the world stage. The question is will the rest of Europe pay attention to the progress Greece is making and will Greek businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of the opportunity.