Lignite in the Greek Energy System


The need to use domestic resources and the traditionally low cost of lignite were the reasons why Greece back in the 1950’s turned to lignite combustion as the backbone of its electricity system.

Greece depends (2013) by 62,1% upon imports in order to meet its energy needs

Lignite in the Greek Energy System


Overview of Lignite in Greek energy system, data and challenges for the transition to a post-lignite era and the utilising of the wealth of renewable sources in the country.

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Μore on the international tribute edition on Coal

Coal Atlas 2015

Greek Lignite reserves and characteristics

In terms of lignite production, Greece ranks seventh worldwide and third in the EU. The country' low-calorific value reserves is estimated to last for over 45 years.

The share of Lignite in the Greek electricity system

Over the past 10 years the share of lignite in meeting demand has clearly decreased. This decrease has been offset by a similar increase in the shares of RES and hydropower as well as imports.

Impact of Lignite on public health

It is striking that although ligniteßfired plants and lignite mines have operated for over 60 years, no epidemiological study has been conducted on the impact of the air pollution on the health status of the inhabitants of lingite-mining regions.

By Tasos Krommydas

Impact of Lignite on the environment

In the significant air pollution of the region caused by the  pollutants emissions from the power plants one must add their significant footprint on the water resources and the forced relocation of villages.

By Tasos Krommydas
In 2010, at 9 out of the 15 measuring stations of PM10 concentrations in the prefectures of Kozani and Florina, the European limit values were exceeded by more than 20%

Towards a post-lignite era

Lignite has been the backbone of Greece’s electricity system for many decades, offering affordable energy for the country’s economic growth. However, a number of reasons pose the urgent matter of the country's gradual and planned transition to the post-lignite era.

Energy policy without planning or dialogue?

What Greece lacks, first and foremost, is a meaningful and well-documented long-term energy plan, which would be the outcome of sober consultation, with comparative scenarios, time- and geography-specific targets and, of course, mechanisms for implementation monitoring and evaluation.

Utilising the wealth of RES in Greece

In Greece of the crisis, there is no room to reproduce the energy model of the 50s. Even more when modern, clean and smart solutions with significant benefits for employment and innovation, are now becoming financially competitive.