China, Greece advance energy cooperation

By Liang Manyu in Athens Published: 2019/11/18 0:55:02

Photo: GR China

China and Greece have long shared a vision on energy development, and significant opportunity exists for both countries to join together and promote energy transformation, business representatives from the two sides told the Global Times.

Li Zao, general manager of China Energy Europe Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of China Energy, told the Global Times that renewable energy areas, including photovoltaic and wind are where China and Greece could strengthen cooperation. 

"China Energy will actively seek energy projects in Greece as well as in other European countries in the future," said Li.

The subsidiary operates four wind farms in Thrace, a region in northern Greece with strong resources.

The farms generate around 180 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which can reduce 160,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save 55,000 tons of fire coal.

In July 2018, China Energy Investment, one of the world's largest power companies, signed a cooperation agreement with Greece's Copelouzos Group on renewable energy and conventional electricity. Under the deal, the Chinese company acquired a 75-percent share in a major pipeline from the four wind farms.

The wind farms are expected to generate 3.4 million euros ($3.76 million) annually in tax revenue and will donate 2 percent to the local government for municipal construction, and 1 percent to local villagers as an electricity bill subsidy, according to Li.

Christos Copelouzos, CEO of Copelouzos Group, told the Global Times that "We are very satisfied with our partnership with China Energy and we are impressed with advanced know-how it possesses on operation and maintenance".

"Yearlong Greek government-debt crisis had inflicted impact on Greek firms including those in the energy sector," Copelouzos said. "The Greek economy is currently at the reform and recovery phase, eagerly seeking direct foreign investment and the energy sector will be a significant foothold for the investment to land."

Chinese firms have capital advantages, technology, and experience, while Greek firms have expertise in project design, development, and license application, so it is a win-win solution for the two sides to join hands, the CEO explained.

"Greece has natural advantages in geological position and wind resources, and it is a pivot point along the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative to make a foray into the markets of EU," said Li.

Greece has accelerated renewable energy resource development in recent years, ranking 9th among the top ten countries worldwide in renewable electricity, according to an earlier report on energy resources from international policy network REN21.

Greece's national energy plan expects renewable energy sources to jump 60 percent by 2030, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Greek Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis.

Meanwhile, China is accelerating its pace in realizing energy transition to develop a clean, safe, low-carbon, and efficient system.

Renewable and nuclear energy has accounted for more than half of China's annual increase in installed capacity since 2013, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The share of renewables in meeting global energy demand is expected to reach 12.4 percent in 2023, according to the IEA forecast.


blog comments powered by Disqus