Attica-Crete leg of Mediterranean super grid due mid 2025

Attica-Crete leg of Mediterranean super grid due mid 2025

There could also be good creativeness in Greece’s interconnection method. The newest bulletins about plans to connect the Greek grid with networks in Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Germany present giant ambition. Moreover, in latest instances, the nation has been steadily working to hyperlink with Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt.

The considered {an electrical} power interconnection working from Saudi Arabia to Greece was first expressed publicly in July 2022, by way of a state by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Bin Salman suggested Greek officers on the time that by linking {the electrical} power grids of the two worldwide places, “we’ll current Greece and southwest Europe, by the use of Greece, with inexpensive renewable vitality.” He added that the two worldwide places are engaged in hydrogen and that Greece can carry out as a hydrogen hub for Europe. “That’s a sport changer for every of us,” he talked about.

A 12 months and a half and loads of conferences later, these ideas are taking kind. In February 2024, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Electrical power Agency, which enjoys an in depth monopoly inside the period and transport {of electrical} power in Saudi Arabia, long-established a model new agency by the use of its subsidiary, Nationwide Grid S.A., with Greece’s Neutral Vitality Transmission Operator (IPTO). The company was long-established to conduct industrial viability and totally different analysis for the occasion of a Saudi-Greek electrical power interconnection by the use of a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable. The brand-new agency, Saudi Greek Interconnection, depends on Athens and has a preliminary capital of €500,000 ($544,452). Its possession is damaged up equally between Nationwide Grid S.A. and IPTO. The two occasions signed a shareholders’ settlement in September 2023.

Island hopping

The proposed line connecting Greece to Cyprus and Israel is Greece’s most superior worldwide interconnection plan. Promoted by IPTO subsidiary Good Sea Interconnector, the hyperlink shall be comprised of three distinct segments: connecting mainland Greece to Greece’s largest island, Crete; then Crete to Cyprus; and ultimately, Cyprus to Israel. {The electrical} power interconnection presently beneath improvement between Attica, in mainland Greece, and Crete entails two 335 km subsea 500 kV DC cables and is anticipated to begin full industrial operations by mid-2025.

Financing this part of the mission was not a problem. In February 2024, the European Union’s Regional Development Fund launched €250 million for the highway to Crete, which will also be supported individually by totally different European Union and residential Greek funds. A younger course to allocate 20% of the mission to personal merchants has moreover been launched by IPTO, which presently completely owns the hyperlink to Crete. The model new interconnector mission follows the event of a separate, ­­174­­ km subsea connection from Crete to the Peloponnese, in Greece, in 2021. That mission linked mainland Greece and Crete by the use of a line with 2×200 megavolt amperes (MVA) transport functionality.

The Greek authorities and IPTO are in search of protected financing for the interconnector from Crete to Israel. In 2022, the European Price approved €657 million of funding for the event of the interconnector whereas the Cypriot authorities have devoted an additional €100 million. The part linking Crete to Cyprus alone has an estimated worth of €1.58 billion.

In December 2023, IPTO signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates power and water agency TAQA and Cyprus’ ­Ministry of Vitality, Commerce, and Commerce. The MoU was signed in a bid to hold TAQA and Cyprus into IPTO’s Good Sea Interconnector.

Individually, Greece’s Ministry of the Ambiance and Vitality launched in February 2024 that the US Worldwide Development Finance Corp. has moreover expressed curiosity in collaborating with the Good Sea Interconnector.

Within the meantime, in August 2023, the European Funding Monetary Establishment (EIB) decided to reject a mortgage for the interconnector to extend to Cyprus, on the concept vitality storage additionally must be explored as a substitute of proposition to Cyprus’ vitality security.

Nonetheless, IPTO is ready to proceed with the enterprise as typical. In December 2023, the Greek transmission operator issued a Uncover to Proceed to mission contractor Nexans, which is headquartered in Paris, France. In applies, which signifies that IPTO notified Nexans to order the obligatory manufacturing functionality for the manufacturing of cables linking Crete to Cyprus. The contract between IPTO and Nexans was signed in July 2023.

Egyptian connection

Linking Greece and Egypt’s grids was formally proposed for the primary time in 2021 at a gathering between the two worldwide places’ vitality ministers in Athens. The Greek-Egyptian interconnection mission, abbreviated to “GREGY” is now managed by Elica SA, a subsidiary of Greek infrastructure investor Copelouzos Group.

In 2023, IPTO and Elica signed a settlement to hold IPTO into the GREGY mission with a 33.3% share. Primarily based on the MoU, the two companies additionally have to enter discussions with Egypt’s transmission system operator to have all three occasions private one-third of the GREGY line.

The Good Sea and the GREGY Interconnectors have every been shortlisted by the European Price to acquire streamlined permits and regulatory processes. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi appears keen on the mission. In a gathering with the chairman of the Copelouzos Group in January 2024, El-Sisi requested the two sides to rush up their cooperation efforts for the mission to begin improvement as shortly as potential.

Avenue to Germany

Greece will also be exploring an interconnection hyperlink to Austria and southern Germany. The proposed Inexperienced Aegean Interconnector, a DC line connecting worldwide places, has been overtly talked about by the Greek authorities since 2022. Greece has steered that the interconnector might need a preliminary functionality of three GW, with a option to ramp as a lot as 9 GW at a later stage. The rationale behind the interconnector is that Greece and the Middle Japanese worldwide places linked to it have bigger picture voltaic sources whereas Austria and Germany have bigger wind power potential, benefiting all occasions.

On Feb. 29, 2024, the European Neighborhood of Transmission System Operators for Electrical Vitality (ENTSO-E) revealed a draft itemizing of interconnection and vitality storage duties that might carry monetary, environmental, or security of present benefits to Europe. ENTSO-E has moreover enlisted the Inexperienced Aegean Interconnector, sketching a route that begins in Preveza, Greece, and travels undersea by the use of the Adriatic to Slovenia after which on to Austria and Germany. Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has been promoting the mission in conferences with totally different European leaders and the European Price.

Geopolitics vs. enterprise

Speaking at a protection event in Washington, DC, in February, Greek deputy vitality minister Alexandra Sdoukou suggested the viewers that “we aspire to develop right into a regional vitality hub for southeast Europe and the Japanese Mediterranean. Our three vital priorities are elevating the penetration of renewable vitality applications and promoting decarbonization, supporting our space’s security of present, and planning and creating infrastructure that connects three continents.”

Geopolitics is a crucial driver for the occasion of interconnections between Greece and the Middle East, Fanos Karantonis, chairman of Cyprus’ Electrical Vitality Market Affiliation, talked about. Nonetheless, these duties may even have implications for {the electrical} power insurance coverage insurance policies and markets of the worldwide places they be part of. Cyprus, as an illustration, is an island with a distant electrical power group. It does not however have an aggressive electrical power market building in place. The operation of the interconnection to Greece and Israel makes it obligatory for Cyprus to open its electrical power market to rivals, in step with the European Union’s purpose of model. The interconnector can on account of this reality be a protection enabler, argued Karantonis.

{The electrical} power mixed in Cyprus is dominated by fossil fuels. Remaining yr, fossil-fuel crops generated 83.5% of the nation’s electrical power needs. This suggests Cyprus’ wholesale market prices are extreme – elevated than in Greece, which in 2023 generated 57% of its electrical power from renewables. A sensible aggressive market building would strain Cyprus to run a spot market, leading to damaging prices very similar to these expert elsewhere in Europe on very sunny or windy days, argued Karantonis.

When this happens, power suppliers would have the flexibility to buy low-cost power on the Cypriot spot market. In numerous cases, when Cyprus’ wholesale market prices are extreme, suppliers may go for low-cost electrical power prices by the use of the interconnector to Greece and Israel. Such an enterprise proposition is anticipated to set off a giant disadvantage for the island’s fossil gasoline mills, on account of their extreme working costs as compared with renewables.

One question is whether or not or not native merchants would rush to develop picture voltaic and vitality storage in response. Karantonis talked about this obtained’t primarily be the case in consequence Greece, Cyprus, and Israel are all in similar areas and time zones, which signifies that their present and demand profiles largely coincide. Lastly, Cyprus may wish to resolve how rather a lot and the way a lot standby power functionality it should perform and whether or not or not a functionality reserve market shall be needed. The difficulty intensifies given the very fact the Good Sea Interconnector’s functionality is able to be 1 GW, far surpassing electrical power demand in Cyprus in winter.

All worldwide places linked by the proposed interconnectors will face associated ­questions. Nations with larger power demand might have a neater time absorbing interconnection flows into their native markets. There may very well be geopolitical ramifications, too, as interconnections may current vital vitality security.

If the deliberate line to Austria and Germany goes ahead, the benefits for the interconnected nations will multiply. The question is which vitality mills will present the interconnector. IPTO has talked about that “the GREGY mission will transport 100% inexperienced vitality from Egypt to Greece, and through Greece to Europe, thus significantly decreasing CO2 emissions.” Waleed Al-Saadi, showing as chief govt officer of Saudi Arabia’s Nationwide Grid, has argued that the Saudi-Greek mission can be the beginning line for strengthening the interconnection between Saudi Arabia and Europe and strengthening Europe’s vitality transition to renewables.

Such statements are constructive nevertheless not always backed by enchancment on the underside. Saudi Arabia, as an illustration, continues to be a laggard within the enchancment of renewable vitality facilities, producing a mere 0.2% of its electrical power demand in 2021 from photovoltaics. Egypt has been barely additional energetic in renewables, providing 4.5% of its electrical power in 2022 from picture voltaic and wind. Possibly notably, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Cyprus all have important fossil gasoline reserves. Greece, for now, appears to be the one nation inside the group delivering on vitality transition goals.

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