Investments in the Greek electricity network increased substantially in 2021 in order to help the country make its energy transition with more renewables, decarbonization of the islands and a focus on consumers.
The two Greek electricity network operators increased their investments significantly this year, according to the latest data. The Independent Power Transmission Operator (Admie or IPTO) and the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (HEDNO or DEDDIE) have invested a total of EUR 451.8 million so far this year to support renewables expansion, the energy transition and system reliability.
IPTO to complete island interconnections this decade
More specifically, during the first nine months of 2019, IPTO has invested EUR 241.8 million, thus surpassing the previous full-year record by EUR 100 million. The company’s investments since 2018 have reached EUR 1.12 billion, compared to EUR 489 million from the four years before that.
IPTO’s investments were directed primarily to the interconnection of the Greek islands through a series of projects of underwater cable connections. The process is expected to lead to a steep fall in energy cost for the country, since the islands use oil to produce electricity, an expensive and costly source. Once they are connected to the mainland grid, these oil plants can be decommissioned or act as reserves.
It should be noted that after it established three connections to the Cyclades islands in 2020, IPTO completed the connection between Crete and the Peloponnese this year and at the moment it is installing an even longer link, between Crete and the Attica peninsula.
Looking forward to 2030, IPTO plans to invest EUR 5 billion to connect the Dodecannese and Northern Aegean islands, build new international connections and new lines in the mainland, among other projects.
Renewables connections rising in 2021
The second of the Greek network operators, HEDNO, responsible for the distribution grid, has invested EUR 210 million so far this year with a focus on digitization, underground power lines and network upgrading. It is notable that so far in 2021 the number of new renewable connections reached 1,619, after 609 in entire 2019 and 1,072 in 2020.
In the next four years, HEDNO plans to invest EUR 1.6 billion in order to promote consumer participation in power production, demand response, digital meters and other innovations. At the same time, the operator’s CEO Anastasios Manos put the focus on strengthening the grid against the effects of extreme weather, which is occurring more often as a result of climate change.
HEDNO’s investment plan calls for EUR 3 billion by 2030, with annual investment reaching EUR 400 million in the following years, in order to achieve all the goals.