The European legislative framework and targets for energy and climate change are a major challenge for the Group and for the acceleration of its progress towards climate neutrality. At the same time, the European Green Deal and the recent European climate law constitute both a challenge and an opportunity for further development of new carbon footprint reduction technologies and a leading presence in the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) sector and natural gas as a key transition fuel. Thus, we are planning and have started to implement our energy transformation for a climate-neutral economy, responding to the continued growth in energy demand and security of supply, contributing substantially to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13.
Over the past nine years, renewable energy plants with a total capacity of 81 MW have been developed/acquired and are already in operation on Group properties and other land. Specifically, photovoltaic stations with a total capacity of 21 MW are in operation in Attica, Thessaloniki, Kavala and Karditsa and three wind farms with a capacity of 44 MW are in operation in Pylos, Messinia and Evia. Five photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 440 kW are in operation abroad, in the Republic of North Macedonia. In addition, 17 photovoltaic self-production plants with energy offsetting (net-metering program), with a total nominal capacity of 270 kW, are in operation at 17 EKO and bp fuel stations. A 204MW photovoltaic plant in Kozani is expected to be connected to the grid and start its operation in the 1st quarter of 2022. Finally, photovoltaic projects with a total nominal capacity of 1,241 MW, 388 MW wind projects, 300 MW energy storage projects, and a biomass-fired power and heat plant (originating from residual agriculture) with a total capacity of 4.68 MW are in various stages of development.
The total avoided CO2 emissions from RES from the first project constructed until the end of 2021 exceeds 200,000 tons. For 2022 alone, CO2 emission avoidance from all the RES projects in operation is expected to exceed 400,000 tons.
A key objective for the HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group is to develop a Renewable Energy portfolio with an installed capacity of approximately 1GW by 2026 and over 2GW by 2030.
The Group’s long-term strategic objective is to emphatically reduce its carbon footprint in all its activities and achieve its critical vision in order to lead in the energy transition in the Eastern Mediterranean, maximizing returns from its core activities and developing a diversified energy portfolio. In the renewable energy sector, the development strategy is comprised of a combination of maturing a diversified portfolio of projects (PV, wind, biomass) as well as targeted acquisitions of mature or operational projects.
In the Natural Gas sector, we are focusing on commercial activities, such as investments in CNG (compressed natural gas) stations in partnership with DEPA, but are also in the supply and retail of natural gas through Elpedison (a joint venture with Edison) in order to further consolidate its position in the sector.
Thus, we are planning the energy transformation towards a carbon-neutral economy, responding to the continued growth in energy demand and ensuring energy sufficiency by taking measures and projects to reduce emissions. For our leading participation in the energy transition, we are prioritizing our strategic transformation into an integrated Group for the production and marketing of all modern forms of energy and the development of new business activities, with a focus first and foremost on Renewable Energy.
Low carbon footprint products and services are key strategic growth drivers for the Group, as they contribute to value creation and risk management. RES, in particular, have competitive economic returns, diversify the energy mix, support short- and long-term risk hedging by reducing CO2 emission costs and substituting fossil fuels, enhance synergies between the Group’s business activities and contribute to addressing Climate Change. At the same time, the increased use of Natural Gas in the refining sector, both as a fuel and as a raw material, significantly reduces the environmental and carbon footprint of this activity.
Biofuels are the only direct substitutes for fossil fuels currently available on a large scale for transport fuels, and their use contributes to a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions from vehicles and to more environmentally friendly transport, without requiring major modifications to vehicles and distribution networks.
To date, the term biofuel in the Greek market mainly refers to biodiesel, a fuel with similar properties to diesel, which is used as a component (after blending with conventional diesel) in all diesel powered vehicles, in accordance with the European blend specification.
At the same time, from 2019 the new specification for adding biofuels to petrol at 1% in energy content was implemented in the domestic market, which was increased to 3.3% from 1/1/2020. To comply with the new legislation, the Group converted Aspropyrgos refinery’s existing methyl ether (MTBE and TAME) production units to the corresponding ethyl ether (ETBE/TAEE) production units, using bioethanol as feed material in the etherification process. The upgrade was successfully completed and both units are now in operation.
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The HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group, by constantly monitoring developments, contributes to the promotion and operation of sustainable mobility by supporting actions that aim to change the technological structure and fuel mix for transport means required for the transition to a low carbon footprint economy.
ELPEFUTURE has set the goal of establishing itself in the fast charging market through the development of an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and the offer of corresponding e-mobility services.
The company achieved a significant increase in the number of charging points in highways and urban areas during the year, now having:
a) 30 50kW fast chargers at KALYPSO (EKO & bp) fuel stations
b) 15 22kW charging points in parking areas of shopping centers and Group facilities.
Finally, in 2021, the e-mobility service management platform and the application for smartphones were completed.