Spyros-Nikitas Tsamichas at Naftemporiki “Need for Green Energy and Smart Technologies in Greece”
As the global community faces the escalating challenges of climate change, the debate in energy cycles is increasingly turning towards sustainability and the integration of innovative technologies. Greece, with its strategic geographic location and rich natural resources, is uniquely positioned to capitalise on this shift, pushing it towards a greener and more sustainable future.
The emphasis is on the diversification of renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind or floating farms, which Greece aims to exploit significantly, with the aim of having a capacity of at least 2 GW by 2030. This is in line with the broader European ambition of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and aligned with the EU’s aggressive target of a 55% reduction in emissions within this decade. Technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) are vital in this effort. These technologies represent a strategic investment to reduce CO2 emissions and are essential to maintain energy security.
The adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the proposal of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD) in the EU underline the commitment to corporate transparency and accountability. These directives require thorough reporting on environmental and social impacts, ensuring that companies live up to their sustainability claims. In addition, the green claims regulations set standards for documented and genuine representations of environmental efforts. This regulatory framework acts as an insurance policy against “greenwashing” by promoting authentic sustainability practices.
The country’s push towards green energy also involves exploiting Greece’s geographical advantages for geothermal energy and exploring the potential of wave energy. For example through the use of geothermal plants, Steam Mixture Flash Plant, steam is decompressed and separated into two supplies of steam and hot water. They are then used to generate electricity or for other thermal needs. Similarly, in the oscillating water column, waves enter a chamber, compressing the trapped air, which is then pushed through a turbine to generate electricity. These efforts can contribute to a diversified energy mix, reducing dependence on imported and fossil fuels.
Based on the established framework, Greece’s energy transformation strategy should also harness smart technologies to create a more efficient and resilient energy network. The integration of smart energy systems, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can optimise energy distribution and consumption patterns, reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Investment in research and development of green technologies, including advanced battery storage solutions and smart grids, is essential. These technologies are vital to manage the intermittent nature of renewable energy and ensure stable energy supply.
Smart grid technologies, supported by advanced data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), are revolutionising the way energy is distributed and managed. These networks can effectively balance the supply of energy from renewable sources, addressing intermittency issues. Equally essential for urban living are electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, intelligent public lighting, waste management and water saving systems. These systems use sensors and real-time data to optimise resource use, reduce waste and lower operating costs.
At the same time, Greece must fortify its political and legal framework to attract investment in sustainable energy infrastructure. Clear and consistent policies can promote innovation and investment, fostering a thriving environment for both green technology start-ups and established players.
In conclusion, Greece’s path to a sustainable future lies in a multi-level approach that includes the expansion of renewable energy, the adoption of cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies, and a strong regulatory environment that promotes transparency and sustainability in corporate behaviour. This integrated strategy will not only address environmental concerns, but will also create economic opportunities, pushing Greece towards a leading role in the global transition to sustainable energy.