The British interest in the offshore wind farms industry remains strong. In fact, the largest European power in the development of offshore wind farms intends to offer know-how and support to any investment initiative going ahead in Greek waters.

Exactly one year after the event of the British Embassy in March 2021, under the then Ambassador Kate Smith for the opportunities of a Greek-British cooperation in marine wind energy, the new ambassador Matthew Lodz hosted a few days ago in the mansion on Plutarchou Street representatives of Greek energy firms and of the four Greek systemic banks. As a market executive who attended the meeting told OT, the British once again expressed their intention to help… the pace of the Greek offshore windfarm market, as it is a very large-scale investment.

What’s in “exchange”

However, given that in the world of investment nothing is given for free, the British offer enhanced credit support and know-how provided that part of the park equipment comes from British companies. In general, the “credit support” of UK Export Finance was presented, which can provide loans to buyers of British technology and know-how, insurance and reinsurance against losses, while also offering guarantees to banks to share the risks of financing.

Britain is currently the largest European power in the development of offshore wind farms. In particular, of the 28,333 MW (megawatts) of offshore wind farms (122 wind farms) connected to the electricity grid in 12 European countries, 12,739 MW are located in the UK. In fact, of the 3.3 GW (gigawatts) installed in 2021, 2.3 GW are located in Britain. As for the 28,000 MW new offshore parks planned to be installed in Europe by 2026, bringing the total to 56 GW (gigawatts), 13 GW are for marine parks in Britain.

As for Greece, the publication of the institutional and regulatory framework for the development and operation of offshore wind farms is still expected by the government energy staff. According to the last presentation made by the competent minister, Mr. Costas Skrekas, in a cabinet meeting at the beginning of last November, the state envisages the definition of specific sea areas within which the offshore parks can be developed.

In these, investors will be able to show interest in a specific zone commitment and explore the development possibilities of a park. An auction will follow in order for the projects to receive a “tariff” for the energy produced. This is how those who will “hit” the lowest prices will qualify. Independent Power Transmissions Operators – IPTO is expected to be involved in the interconnection of the parks with the electricity transmission system, with the construction of a hub in which many marine parks will be “connected” so that they can be connected to the central network.

The offshore park industry is at the heart of Europe’s climate-neutral policy, with the Commission setting the bar at 450 GW by 2050. The prospects are huge. Global offshore wind power is growing by 30% annually over the last decade. It is estimated that the current capacity of approximately 33.9 GW currently in operation (of which only 0.07 GW floating wind farms) is expected to reach 200-230 GW by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Organization (IRENA ) the upward trend will continue reaching 1,000 GW in 2050.

Who’s “setting sail” for the Aegean

In addition to the British embassy, ​​similar meetings focusing on offshore wind farms have been organized by the embassies of Norway and Spain. Greek waters are being lscrutinized by strong global energy markets such as the Spanish Iberdrola, Ideol, Innogy, the American Principal Power, Quantum and BlueFloat, the Danish Copenhagen Investment Partners (CIP), the Dutch Shell, the French Total, the Norwegian Equinor.

At the same time, the Greek groups are preparing for the next day. TERNA is already drawing up its strategy for the development of offshore wind farms, with a capacity of over 1.5 GW over a decade, in collaboration with Ocean Winds (a partnership of the Portuguese EDP and the French ENGIE). The same goes for “Mytilineos” with the Danish Copenhagen Offshore Partners. But also the Kopelouzos group and RF Energy (interests of Feidakis and Restis) using as a vehicle a new joint company, “Offshore Aegean Wind Parks SA”, plan to develop marine parks with a 850 MW capacity. The two companies already have an initial “yeast”, with two old licenses for offshore parks that they had secured in 2012, before the procedures were “frozen” and concern a project in Lemnos with a capacity of 498.15 MW, and one off Alexandroupolis for 216 MW . PPC Renewables, HELPE, Motor Oil, ENTEKA, ResInvest, etc. are also in search of alliances for the development of offshore wind farms.

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