Op-ed by a reader/contributor to this blog, Dean Plassaras, a Greek-American entrepreneur living in California.
As we are all observing Greece looking for factors that might make a difference, I wish to bring to your and blog readers' attention 3 energy projects with promising potential. They are:
EuroAsia Submarine Interconnector Cable: The EuroAsia Interconnector is a leading European Union Project of Common Interest (PCI) that will link the electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece (Crete-Attica) through a 2,000MW sub-sea cable and converter stations at each connection point. The total budget of Stage 1 of the project for the initial 1000MW interconnector is estimated at 3.5 billion euros.
EuroAfrica Submarine Interconnector Cable: EuroAfrica will link the electrical systems of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece (via Crete) through sub-marine DC cables and HVDC onshore stations in each country/location, and have a capacity of 2000 MW. The EuroAfrica creates an energy bridge between Africa and Europe with a total length of the interconnector being approx. 1648 km, and creates a reliable alternative corridor for transferring electricity to Europe.
East Med Gas Pipeline Project: The Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline project relates to an offshore/onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources to Greece via Cyprus and Crete that could: i) enhance Europe's gas security of supply via diversification of counterparts, routes and sources; ii) develop EU indigenous resources such as the offshore gas reserves around Cyprus and Greece; and iii) promote the development of a South Mediterranean Gas Hub.
Mindful of the well known "resource curse" or the "paradox of plenty", I am not so much interested in suggesting that hydrocarbon discoveries could solve the problems of Greece. Rather, I wish to focus our attention on the interconnectivity issue and energy performance improvements delivered by such systems.
Of utmost importance and leading the pack is the EuroAsia submarine electric cable with a parallel fiber-optics cable component. Cheap electricity, whether produced by gas-fired plants or solar installations, could cut current electric costs by half and end the energy isolation of the Greek islands which currently produce electricity on demand through burning of dirty and expensive mazout (heavy petroleum) which needs to be imported (we both agree that Greece needs to cut its imports and increase its exports).
The EuroAsia interconnector has now reached its implementation phase and I hope it becomes the proverbial "win-win" for better Greek economic results and greater EU energy security.
Regrettably, this topic is not sufficiently covered and on the rare occasions it is, perhaps not sufficiently explained.