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Greece has a new independent Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change

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Among the 4 main objectives of the new Ministry, as announced by the new Minister Ms. Tina Birbili on her first address to the Parliament on October 16, 2009, are climate change, as well as renewable energy sources and energy saving: “Greece must return back to European and International forums by participating directly in shaping policies on the environment and climate change. After Copenhagen we will take steps to shape together with other Mediterranean countries the necessary policy adjustments, as we will suffer the same from climate change. Our country will meet the target to produce 20% of energy from renewables.”

According to Ms. Birbili, a new draft law for Renewable Energy Sources has already been prepared and will be put out on public consultation in November. The new draft law focuses on:

  • Radical reorganization of the regulatory framework for licensing of RES projects.
  • Implementation of the necessary infrastructure in areas of high potential on renewable energy.
  • Specific changes to the existing planning framework for renewables.
  • Implementation of an integrated spectrum of development incentives and energy pricing policy in the RES.
  • Promoting large scale renewable energy applications.
  • Strengthening research. 
  • Supporting initiatives of domestic energy production.

The first movements of the new Ministry will be to sign for a submarine electricity cable that will connect the island of Evia to Athens. The diesel plants on the islands will be shut down and the Cyclades islands will be linked to the main energy net, while each one of the currently stagnant applications for the implementation of RES, related to about 7000 MW claims, will be looked into, in order to provide solutions.

Regarding energy saving in buildings, the plan of the new ministry is to try to secure the resources necessary for the proposal of the previous government to be carried out. Additional focus is expected towards shielding new buildings, by creating user-friendly and readily applicable Rules for Building Energy Efficiency, with clear instructions and guidances enabling, inter alia, a simple, effective, quick and inexpensive inspection of buildings.