Up to five billion euros, Greece wants to invest in transforming its energy sector so it can part with coal within eight years. It thus wants to fulfil its part of the European Union’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of this century.
Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said the five-billion-euro investment would be invested from European Union budgets and partly Greece would lend money with the European Investment Bank. The money will go to infrastructure projects, supporting the emergence of new firms in the renewable sector, as well as green energy projects, agricultural development and tourism in Western Macedonia or the southern Peloponnese. These are regions that belong to the main suppliers of lignite for energy purposes in Greece.
According to the government there, it is possible to get rid of up to eighty per cent of coal in power generation by 2023, significantly reducing the carbon footprint. State-owned power company Public Power Corporation has already closed two of its coal-fired power plants with a total installed capacity of 550 megawatts and is scheduled to close by the end of 2023 the remaining ten. The government is also counting on tax incentives for green energy projects, while estimating that more than eight thousand jobs would be created during the energy transformation m. Western Macedonia.