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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION

ATHENS: Greece is seeking to almost double the share of renewables in its energy consumption by 2030 under a plan to cut down on oil and gas imports, tap its own resources and reduce its carbon footprint in line with EU targets.

Under a detailed plan submitted for public consultation on Tuesday, power produced by wind, solar and hydroelectric plants should reach at least 30 percent of the final energy consumption in the country, up from about 15 percent in 2016.

The country seeks to build renewable energy plants to boost their share in power production at the expense of oil and coal-fired units in an effort to cut its costly reliance on imports and reduce carbon emissions.

Oil and gas imports cover more than 65 percent of the total energy consumption in Greece which fell 24 percent in the 10 years to 2016 due to a protracted recession.

"Reducing energy intensity and the intensity of greenhouse emissions in all sectors, industry, households, services, transport and industry is a primary target," the plan said.

This requires an overhaul of the energy system in the coming decade and significant public and state investments, which should come in excess of 32 billion euros, it said.

The share of wind and solar parks in electricity consumption has been rising since 2010 as specific incentives and a sharp decline in building costs attracted investments.

Athens aims to boost that share further to reach at least 55 percent in 2030 from 25 percent now by installing green energy plants and storage technology, including its off-grid islands.

Copyright Reuters, 2018