Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis on Wednesday presented his ministry’s planning with respect to energy policy and environmental issues while addressing the Economist Conference in Athens, saying that the top priority will be to “defend the public interest in the domestic electricity market.”
The ministry also seeks to ensure an orderly transition to Energy Union that, first and foremost, guarantees the security of Greece’s national energy production, transmission and distribution system, he added.
Stathakis outlined a four-step “road map” for the energy and environmental transformation of the Greek economy, starting with the foundation of a National Energy Council that involved all actors in the sector, including consumers. He said this would aim for a long-term national energy plan that, among others, would seek to restrict carbon emissions and give priority to renewable energy sources.
The second step will be a gradual transition to a new electric power model, with emphasis on research and alternative energy sources, as well as the modernisation of transmission and distribution networks, he said.
A third step will relate to the country’s goal of becoming a regional energy hub of strategic importance, via major pipeline projects such as the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) or the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector, as well as the LNG terminals and plans to transport natural gas from the southeastern Mediterranean to Europe.
The fourth step, Stathakis said, will be linked to spatial planning and land use issues, with a draft bill due to be tabled in Parliament at the end of next week that aims to boost entrepreneurship and enterprise in cities, as well as a completion of the land cadastre by 2020.
The minister also reported encouraging signs that GDP growth rates over the last 12 months had risen at the fastest pace since the start of the crisis in 2008, and figures showing a recovery of domestic demand, investments and exports.