Greek banks are the main financier of investments in renewable energy sources (RES), supporting the green transition, even in difficult times. This was emphasized by Thodoris Tzouros, Senior General Manager, Head of Corporate & Investment Banking of Piraeus Bank, from the podium of the Sixth Sustainability Summit organized by the Economist.

Renewable energy financing corresponds to approximately 8% of the Greek banks’ serviced loan portfolio, while foreign banks are absent from the specific projects, said Mr. Tzouros, who referred to the challenges presented by the market in recent months as well as the opportunities it creates the Recovery and Resilience Fund.

Piraeus Bank is a leading player in the country’s energy transition process, having financed 2.5 billion euros in the last decade in RES projects, while it is the first bank to include a project of this category in the Recovery Fund, he noted. “We work with all domestic and international market players and leverage our expertise and deep knowledge of the industry, taking into account the dynamics and challenges that exist,” he said.

Greece has recorded since 2013 a total increase of 120% in RES capacity, from 4.3GW to 9.4GW, resulting in them accounting for 43% of electricity production from 20% a decade ago. The domestic banking system played a key role in providing long-term financing that amounted to 8 billion euros.

The interest in the RES sector is expected to intensify as the country will need investments of the order of 12 billion euros, of which 9-10 billion euros will come from bank loans, for the implementation of the RePower EU program which provides for the increasing capacity to 19GW by 2030;

Mr. Tzouros pointed out that in the last ten months there have been a series of challenges in the RES sector due to problems in the supply chain, an increase in construction costs, the transition from feed-in tariffs to corporate Power Sales Agreements (PSA), increasing interest rates and saturation of transmission networks. At the same time, however, the Recovery and Resilience Fund creates significant opportunities as it finances 50% of investments on very favorable terms, he added.

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