The Greek government is preparing for a worst-case energy scenario and plans to reduce natural gas consumption through darker streets and lighting of historical monuments, as well as periodic power outages in households.
This was announced last weekend by Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and Deputy Finance Minister Thodoros Skilakakis. As the Deputy Minister said Skai TV, Greece is preparing for the worst-case scenario – the cessation of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe. With the onset of autumn, it is very likely that the streets could become much darker, the night lights of historical monuments will be turned off, and households may experience periodic power outages, Skrekas said in an interview with the newspaper. cathimerini.
The minister said that the measures described above are necessary if Europe wants to cut natural gas consumption by 15%, and may be necessary in any case if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies to Europe. Municipalities will have to turn off at least 10% of street lights and turn off lights at monuments from 3 am to morning before the power supply to households is cut off.
According to Skrekas, initially the measures will be voluntarybut will become mandatory if local authorities saving initiatives will not suffice. “We all need to understand that we cannot act as if nothing is happening around us,” the minister said. “There is a war going on, which (we do not directly participate in it, but we were asked so that we could not refuse) is destroying the country and also fueling an energy crisis the likes of which we have never seen… we all need to understand that we cannot waste energy,” he said.
There will be an extensive campaign to urge households to reduce their energy consumption. “Of course, the last resort is the forced reduction in consumption of residential consumers through rolling blackouts … we cannot rule anything out.”
The government plans to support industries during these challenging times, whether or not the European Union approves the support mechanism as required by the government. But, anticipating difficulties, the industry began to change the composition of the fuel used. The consumption of natural gas by such companies in the first half of 2022 decreased by 71.06% compared to the same period last year, to 1.67 terawatt-hours, and natural gas now accounts for only 5.51% of the fuel consumption of the Greek industry.
Energy needs will be met in part by increased production of lignite, or lignite, a highly polluting source that Greece had to give up. The State Energy Corporation was asked to more than double its electricity generation. This will mean, first of all, the suspension of the phase-out of brown coal for two or three years and an immediate increase in production.
Skrekas explains that lignite will become more important again, even without mandatory cuts in consumption, as global energy prices have soared. “The need to reduce the use of natural gas arises, first of all, due to the fact that we import all of it,” he says.
Note that just ten days ago, Russia added Greece to the list of “unfriendly countries.” Gas until they stop servingbut due to the fact that Greece sold gas to Bulgaria, in violation of agreements with Greece, this may well happen.
Recall that in Europe it was proposed to reduce gas consumption by 15% in order to get rid of dependence on Russian gas. Natural gas in Greece is mainly used for electricity generation.
PS It is clear that the savings will not do with streets and monuments alone.