Security and adequacy of energy supply, renewables and a growth plan for the period after lignite coal has been phased out are part of the government's planning for energy sector, Deputy Environment and Energy Minister Gerassimos Thomas said during a tour of Western Macedonia at the weekend.
In particular, the new National Plan for Energy and Climate will focus on energy security and strive to increase the share of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in the energy mix to 35 pct, while increasing energy efficiency and keeping costs for households and industries low.
"The sharp upward trend in the price of CO2 emission rights makes lignite plants uncompetitive. In this context, the government's intention is to accelerate the phasing out of these units in combination with the adoption of more ambitious targets for RES penetration and energy efficiency," said Thomas.
The minister stressed that the de-lignification of electricity production is accelerating in all EU countries. In the coming months, in cooperation with the local community, a comprehensive plan will be presented for Western Macedonia's transition to the post-lignite era, which protects jobs and makes use of the high-level expertise of the region's workforce, he explained. "All available resources and funding at a national and European level will be exploited. For the period 2021-2027, we will seek increased funds for lignite areas, not only from the NSRF but also from the European Just Transition Fund, and we will explore all margins for developmental and tax incentives, in cooperation with the ministries of finance and of development and investment," he said.