European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič arrives in Greece today (9 November 2017) as part of the Energy Union tour. The Energy Union is the EU's strategy to ensure that European citizens have access to secure, affordable and clean energy.
The Vice-President will meet Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Minister of Energy and Environmental Policy Georgios Stathakis as well as the President of the 'Nea Dimokratia' party Kyriakos Mitsotakis. In addition, he will hold discussions with the President of the National Energy Regulator and the top management of energy suppliers and transmission system operators in the area of electricity and gas. These talks will focus on the situation of the gas and electricity market in Greece, its security of energy supply, and efforts to enhance energy efficiency. The Vice-President will also give an opening address at both the EU Arab World Summit in Athens and an event on the Energy Union organised by the Greek Energy Forum.
Greece currently imports a higher proportion of its natural gas, petroleum products and coal than the EU average, which means it is potentially vulnerable to disruptions to its security of energy supply. A new Trans Adriatic Pipeline, part of EU efforts to open up the Southern Gas Corridor, is expected to open in 2020: linking Komotini in Greece and the region of Puglia in Italy (via Albania), the pipeline will help transport gas from Central Asia to the Mediterranean and allow Greece to diversify its sources of gas supply.
With a 15.4% renewables share in 2015, Greece is on track to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 18%. However, the share of renewables in transport was just 1.4% in 2015, meaning the country is currently set to miss its 2020 target of 10%. Under EU climate legislation, Greece also has a target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 4% by 2020, compared with 2005. It is on course to exceed this target by a large margin.
Ahead of his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:
I appreciate the good progress that Greece is making towards the Energy Union's objectives. It is important to keep this momentum when economic growth is picking up. A competitive and well-integrated gas and electricity markets is instrumental. I also look forward to discussing how Greece could make even better use of Cohesion Policy funds. During 2014-2020 alone, some €493 million from this source will be invested in energy efficiency improvements in Greece, in particular for public and residential buildings.
As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Portugal, Estonia, Belgium, Romania, France, Finland, and Luxembourg. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.
9 November 2017