Greece eyes €44b in investment in switch to cleaner energy

Greenpeace activists block the entrance of the Hellenic Petroleum refineries in Aspropyrgos near Athens, Greece November 21, 2019. — Reuters pic
Greenpeace activists block the entrance of the Hellenic Petroleum refineries in Aspropyrgos near Athens, Greece November 21, 2019. — Reuters pic

ATHENS, Nov 28 — Greece hopes to generate investment worth about €44 billion (RM202.2 billion) over the next decade on projects to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, authorities said yesterday.

A gameplan approved by the cabinet yesterday showed Greece will try to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 55 per cent by 2030 compared with 2005, and would close down all its coal-fired power plants in the next eight years.

Wind, solar and hydroelectric power should account for at least 35 per cent of energy consumption by then, up from about 15 per cent in 2016, with investments worth about €9 billion. Other investments include natural gas networks and in recycling projects.

Athens expects this investment to consist largely of government spending, combined with European Union funds and foreign investment.

Oil and gas imports account for more than 65 per cent of total energy consumption in Greece.

“Climate change is here and we are living with the consequences on a daily basis,” Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told journalists.

The country will invest about €2 billion in the next 10 years to help tackle natural disasters from climate change like floods and forest fires.

Torrential storms this week caused flash floods and the deaths of three people, while forest fires are common in Greece. In its worst tragedy, 102 people died when a fire ripped through the coastal village of Mati in July 2018. — Reuters