Nothing has been done to identify or build any elements of competitive advantage for the country, which is essential if Greece is not to remain the poor man of Europe. The question is whether the changing energy market can offer at least a partial solution. Over the past decade, the costs of producing solar power have fallen by over 70 per cent, according to the latest analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and are set to fall further. The cost of basic panels has been reduced and solar plants have become larger scale, which has cut unit costs. Why not build a series of the latest large-scale solar plants in Greece? We could build supply lines first to meet the needs of Greek consumers in Athens and elsewhere but also those of its neighbours in the south-east of Europe. Why not go further and put in place a long-distance grid linking Greek supplies to the markets of central and northern Europe, including the largest market of all – Germany. A single grid would enhance security of supply and would overcome many of the challenges of intermittent supply associated w ith renewables, such as solar and wind, because power could be brought together from multiple sources. A broader network, with multiple inputs, including back-up provided by gas-fired plants, would put in place a reliable base of low-cost electricity supply. If China can think about energy networks on this scale, Europe can too. The idea of a European grid is not new. But rigid national interests have so far prevented anything from being done. There is not even a link across the Pyrenees between Spain and France because it could jeopardise the protected position of the French electricity sector. Most of the links in eastern Europe still reflect economic life as it existed in the Soviet era. There are still too few from west to east. Some markets are still dominated by the long-term natural gas supply contracts negotiated by Russia’s Gazprom. For all the rhetoric, there is no single open market in power within the EU.
FT 2nd July 2018 read more »
Sadiq Khan has expanded a scheme that allows people in London to group-buy solar panels at a discounted rate. Eight further councils have signed up to the mayor’s ‘Solar Together’ initiative following a successful pilot earlier this year. Camden, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Newham, Waltham Forest and Westminster will now join Brent, Ealing, Merton and Sutton councils in helping households and businesses buy solar panels at a reduced cost.
Energy Live News 2nd July 2018 read more »
Business Green 2nd July 2018 read more »