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Crete - Greece


National strategic framework in Greece

The Greek Government has set as one of its main overarching policy initiatives "green" sustainable development. This political choice has been translated in institutional reform and policy measures that include:

  • The establishment of a new Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC)
  • The formal acknowledgment of the priority given to achieving the targets set by Directive 2009/28/EC and by international commitments of the country for the protection of the environment
  • The adoption by Parliament of Law L3851/2010 which came into effect on 4th June 2010 and in which ambitious national targets for RES (namely 20% on final energy consumption, 2% above the mandatory level of 18% set by Directive 2009/28/EC) are specified.

Today the Greek energy market is undergoing fundamental reforms. New advanced energy technologies and perpetual environmental issues, requirements arising from European and international cooperation as well as various intergovernmental Agreements are factors shaping and harmonizing the institutional and legislative framework of the Greek energy market with current tendencies and perceptions.

In view of the primary role of RES investments for the development of green growth and green entrepreneurship, an independent RES service has been established (Law 3851/2010) in Greece.

crete1Estimated installed capacity from the different RES technologies/fuels to 2020


Estimated costs and benefits of the renewable energy policy support measures


Expected renewable energy use (ktoe)

Expected cost (in €) -indicate time frame

Expected GHG reduction by gas (t / year)*

Expected job creation

L.3851/2010, new feed-in-tariffs for RES technologies, optimization of the licensing procedure

Cumulative additional RES-E contribution from new RES plants until 2020: appr. 8600ktoe

Annual RES-E

contribution in 2020 in relation to 2010:


Expected investment of €16,4 B for the 2010-2020 period

Cumulative reduction in 10 years: appr. 90300 ktn CO2

Annual reduction in 2020 in relation to 2010: 17500ktnCO2

Estimated around 6000 direct jobs during installation phase and more than 2000 new direct jobs during the operation of the plants

New Energy Performance of Buildings Regulation

and Article 10 of L.3851/20, along with the implementation of specific measures from the Greek NEEAP and actions of

the NSRF

Cumulative additional RES-H&C contribution until

2020: appr. 3100ktoe

Annual RES-E contribution in 2020 in relation to 2010:


not estimated,

Cumulative reduction in 10 years: appr. 32500ktn CO2

Annual reduction in 2020 in relation to 2010: 6700ktnCO2

Not estimated

Actions "Green Tourism" and "Green Enterprise” of the NSRF

Not estimated

Public funding of €60M: €30M per action, start date:2010

Not estimated

Not estimated

A Public-Private partnership that refers

to the programme between Piraeus Bank & MEECC-MECS for "greening" the existing industrial zones and developing new green entrepreneurship parks

Approximately 6.4ktoe/ year (only calculated for the target of 50MW of PV


€1,5 B - 4yr duration

67 ktn CO2/yr

Estimation of 12000

for the whole programme (total jobs in the industrial zones)

Upgrading of grid interconnections in the mainland

Cumulative additional RES-E contribution from new RES plants until 2020: appr. 3300ktoe

Annual RES-E

contribution in 2020 in relation to 2010:


Period 2010-2020

Cumulative reduction

for the scheduled period: appr. 34500 ktn CO2

Annual reduction in 2020 in relation to

2010: 4950ktnCO2

Not estimated

Interconnection of the non-interconnected islands

Cumulative additional RES-E contribution from new RES plants until 2020: appr. 1150ktoe

Annual RES-E

contribution in 2020 in relation to 2010:


Period 2012-2020

Cumulative reduction

for the scheduled period: appr. 11800 ktn CO2

Annual reduction in 2020 in relation to

2010: 3950ktnCO2

Not estimated

Tendering procedure for the construction

and operation of offshore wind farms

Cumulative additional RES-E contribution until 2020: appr.


Annual RES-E contribution in 2020 in relation to 2010: 56ktoe

Period 2016-2020

Cumulative reduction for the scheduled period: appr. 1500ktn CO2

Annual reduction in 2020 in relation to

2010: 590ktnCO2

Not estimated


The regional RE strategic framework

Energy issue between State and Region was defined in 1998, by the low 2647/1998. This law defines the competences delegated by the Central Government to the Regions and the Municipalities.

The Directive 220/28/EC has been transported into the law 3851/2010 "Accelerating the development of Renewable Energy Sources to deal with climate change and other regulations addressing issues under the authority of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change". The law 3852/2010, which establishes the new governance structure of the Greek territory outlines the competences and responsibilities of the new Regions.

In a political level the Region of Crete contribute in the sitting of the new conventional units of PPC, the Regional Energy Planning and in the evaluation, clarification and advance of large RES projects.

Specifically, the direct competences of the Region of Crete are included in the activities of the Regional Energy Agency of Crete for a regional energy programming:

  • modernisation, environmental upgrading, and strengthening of the electricity system of the island;
  • maximisation of the Renewable Energy Sources penetration in the energy system;
  • maximisation of Rational Use of Energy and Energy Saving installations and measures;
  • dissemination of RES and RUE in order to promote innovation, tackle the climate change and raise awareness.

Also, the Department for the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Region of

Crete implements

  • Regional Zoning Plans Compilation
  • Issuing of Environmental Licenses for RES projects
  • The Department for Planning and Development of the Region of Crete operates
  • Provision of subsides for RES and EC projects
  • Issuing of operational license for RES projects

The main energy challenges and stakes of REs in the Region of Crete are: Extensive RES and EC potential, maximization of RES penetration and high costs of conventional electricity production that can decrease through RES penetration. The economic challenges are the maximization of RES and EC investments, the regional economic development and the maximization of regional added value and the job creation.

As the environmental challenges are concerned, Crete is a well established touristic destination and thus protection of the environment is essential, so, actions against the climate change are required: The environmental awareness of the public and the social cohesion.


Content of the regional strategies

Crete is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean, with a population marked in recent years by a net increasing trend and economic growth rates double the national average. The existing autonomous electrical system faces sometimes problems caused by the high rates of increase in electricity demand (the highest nationwide due to seasonal variations mainly from tourism). There are a series of characteristics, which make Crete an ideal area for development of RES.

  • The total dependence of the region's autonomous energy system on fuel imports from mainland
  • The availability of a rich and largely under-exploited RES potential (the highest solar radiation in Europe)
  • The high investment interest related to RES (favorable legislative framework motivated the private sector)
  • The positive attitude of the public towards RES exploitation contrary to the significant objections for the construction of new thermal plants.

An Implementation Plan for exploitation of RES is defined. The plan is mainly focused on the exploitation of RES for electricity production. The impacts of RES integration into the electrical system are considered. Furthermore, the necessary investment costs for the implementation of the plan and the related socio-economic and environmental benefits have been evaluated. Finally, the Implementation Plan as a whole is a quite attractive investment that improves the operation of the electrical system of Crete and provides it with an adequate safety margin covering the maximum average net hourly production.

The plan suggests actions aiming at electricity savings (solar hot-water systems, replacement of incandescent bulbs, passive and hybrid systems for cooling, time-zone pricing system, bioclimatic design etc.) along with promoting RES technologies for electricity production.

To cover the electricity demand, RES can penetrate into the electric system up to 30% of the peak load.

The objectives of the Implementation Plan are:

  • to cover the additional electricity demand in a sustainable way
  • to cover the maximum average net hourly production
  • to provide the electrical system with an adequate safety margin
  • to require the minimum interventions to the existing grid and
  • to use the most mature and cost-effective RES technologies.


Regional strategy for solar energy

The regional strategy for the solar energy is concentrated to the support of the 21 local manufacturers of solar thermal units and is expressed by a very attractive feed-in tariff for PV. Specifically:

  • Permissions for 800 photovoltaic systems of 80 kW each have been issued (150 of them are already connected)
  • Roof intergraded photovoltaic systems of up to 10 kW each. The program is now beginning. The total power is initially defined to 10 MW for the island of Crete.
  • Solar thermal collectors – central solar systems for heating water: 450.000 m2 (thermal energy producing 1,8% of the total energy demand) – 20 Pilot central solar heating systems for hotels and SMEs
  • A solar thermal plant for electricity production of up to 25MWe has been recently issued by RAE
  • Two solar air-conditioning systems in hotels.


Regional strategy for eolian energy

There exists a very attractive feed-in tariff that highly motivates investors. The power to be installed is defined according to the available "electric space". The total installed capacity is 168 MW, producing 16% of the total annual electricity demand of the island. A hybrid wind-pump storage unit (reverse pumping storage system) of guaranteed power of 100 MW has been recently issued by RAE. The total installed power will, in the medium term, reach 250 MW via the installation of a hybrid wind – pump storage unit. The interconnection of Crete to the mainland electricity grid will potentially allow for the installations of wind farms in the order of GWs (interconnection under assessment).

crete2 crete3

Figure 1. Thematic Map Assessment of Technical and Economic potential of wind energy in Crete


Regional strategy for geothermal energy

The Regional strategy for geothermal energy is implemented with the exploitation of shallow geothermy and specifically, with the twenty (20) shallow geothermic installations mainly for hotels.


Regional strategy for biomass

There exists a high potential of agricultural biomass (olive kernel etc.) mainly used at traditional applications that reaches a percentage of 8,9% of the total final energy consumption (Thermal uses: olive oil mills, bakeries, green houses, hotels, dwellings, small manufactures). The existing potential could support the operation of two units up to date electricity production of the order of 10 – 20 MWe installed capacity. Also, there is BIOGAS with two small combined heat/electricity installations.


Governance framework

National Stakeholders

Ministry for the Environment, the Energy and the Climate Change, General Secretariat for Research and Development, Energy Regulatory Authority, Public Gas Corporation, Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Transmission System Operator S.A., National Observatory of Athens, National Technical University of Athens, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Democritus Research Center, Hellenic Wind Energy Association, Greek Association of RES electricity producers, Hellenic Association for the co-generation of heat and power, Greek Solar Industry Association, Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies, Ministry of Finance, Management Organization unit of Research Programs, Hellenic Statistical Authority, School Buildings Organization, Hellenic Property Federation.

Regional Stakeholders

The main regional public stakeholders are: the 23 Municipalities of Crete , Technical Chambers of Eastern and Western Crete, 4 Industrial and Commercial Chambers of Crete, Financial Chamber of Crete, Geotechnical Chamber of Crete, Co-operative Bank of Crete,Co-operative Bank of Chania, Departments and Directorates of Crete Regional Authorities.

The Research Centers – Educational Bodies in Crete are:

Technical University of Crete, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas), STEP (Science & Technology Park of Crete), Schools (Primary and Secondary), Environmental Education Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education, Centers of Environmental Education of Crete, Natural History Museum, Private Energy museum of Heraklion

Private stakeholders and operators in the energy field are:

21 Solar Thermal Units Manufacturers, two Biomass Boilers Manufacturers, 20 Companies activated in the PV market, 2 PV Tracking Systems Manufacturers, Solar Thermal Plants developers, Wind Energy project developers, Pump storage units developers

Other Market Actors are:

15 Consultant Companies, NGOs (e.g. Ecocrete), Consumers Associations, Professional Associations, RES Investors, Agricultural Co-operatives, Hotel owner associations, Rent rooms owner associations, Regional TV and Radio Stations.

Focusing on the Regional Authority, the specific departments and services devoted to support and following up the development of Res are:

Region of Crete, Regional Energy Agency, Administration for the Spatial Planning and the Environment, Administration for Programming and Economic Development, Forest Administration, Administration for the Agriculture, Greek Ministry of Culture, Crete Archaeological Administration, Administration for Byzantine Antiquities


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