Προφίλ Χώρας - Ελλάδα
02 Dec 2014

Summary: Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The country consists of eleven geographical regions and it has the 11th longest coastline in the world featuring a vast number of islands. Greece's total population in 2011 was 10,815,197. Almost 2/3 of the Greek people live in urban areas. Its largest metropolitan centers are those of Athens (capital) and Thessaloniki, with metropolitan populations of approximately 4 million and 1 million inhabitants respectively. Its language is Greek.

gr.jpgGreece is a parliamentary republic. The nominal head of state is the President of the Republic, who is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term. The President of the Republic formally appoints the Prime Minister and, on his recommendation, appoints and dismisses the other members of the Cabinet. Legislative powers are exercised by a 300-member elective unicameral Parliament. Parliamentary elections are held every four years.

Greece is a founding member of the United Nations, has been a member of what is now the European Union since 1981, and joined the eurozone in 2001.

Greece's economy is also the largest in the Balkans, where Greece is an important regional investor.

Services are by far the largest sector in the Greek economy. In 2010, they generated 78% of GDP, while industry contributed 18% and agriculture, forestry and fishing 4%. Services are dominated by tourism, shipping and the public sector.

  • Contact point
  • Name
  • Aris Gorogias
  • Organisation
  • HACI
  • Position
  • Consultant
  • Phone
  • +30 210 825 2510 - 4
  • E-mail
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Website

Energy production in Greece is dominated by the state owned Public Power Corporation (known mostly by its acronym DEI). In 2009, DEI supplied for 85.6% of all energy demand in Greece, while the number fell to 77.3% in 2010. Almost half (45%) of DEI's power output is generated using lignite. 11% of Greece's electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants and another 27% from natural gas. Between 2009 and 2010, independent companies' energy production increased by 56%, from 2,709 GWh in 2009 to 4,232 GWh in 2010.

Total primary energy supply (TPES) was 27 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2010, down by 8.2% compared to 2009 and 11.1% compared to 2008. Between 1990 and 2008, TPES grew with an annual average of 2%, while GDP increased by more than 3% per year.

Oil remains the most important energy source in Greece, although its share in TPES has gradually declined from 77% in 1973 to 52% in 2010. Over the years, oil has been substituted first by lignite and more recently by natural gas. Lignite is the second-largest energy source, accounting for 27% of TPES in 2010. It is the most important source for electricity in Greece. Natural gas provided 12% of TPES in 2010. Over the past two decades, lignite supply has fluctuated between 8 and 9 Mtoe, but dropped to 7.3 Mtoe in 2010. In contrast, natural gas has been the fastest growing energy source in recent years. In total, fossil fuels accounted for 91% of TPES in 2010, one of the highest shares among the IEA member countries. In comparison, renewable energy supply is relatively low. The main renewable energy sources are biofuels and waste, providing 1 Mtoe or 4% of TPES in 2010, followed by hydropower with 0.6 Mtoe or 2% of TPES. Solar and wind energy each accounted for around 0.2 Mtoe, less than 1% of TPES in 2010. Total final consumption (TFC) was 20.6 Mtoe in 2009. Like TPES, it grew fast from 1990 to 2007, on average by 2.5% per year. Then, as a result of the economic situation, it decreased by 2.8% in 2008 and 2009. Electricity, as the second-largest energy source, provided 23% of TFC in 2009. Its share has gradually increased from 17% in 1990 and is now slightly above the IEA average of 21.7%. The service sector consumed 41% of all electricity, the residential sector 33% and industry 26% (including the energy used). Beyond oil and electricity, the other energy sources covered 12% of TFC. Natural gas and coal are mostly used in industry and renewable energy in households, mainly for heating water.

Source: Wikipedia, Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Greece 2011 Review

Chemical Industry is one of the most significant industrial sectors of Greece. The Greek chemical industry is more of a downstream user of chemicals than a producer of basic raw materials, providing raw materials, however, to many other important sectors of the national economy such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, packaging and food industry. Sub-sectors are detergents, fertilizers, textiles, paints, construction materials etc. the Greek chemical industry contributes 0.4% to the European chemical industry.
Because of the severe financial crisis, chemical industry has had to cope with a serious decline of business that has also negatively affected employment. Turnover of the industry in 2009 amounted to €995 million, having decreased by 15.7% compared to 2008, due to economic crisis. The average change in sales, -15.5%, was also negative, reflecting the impact of the economic recession. SMEs were those most affected (mean decline of 26.3%). The demand for the chemical industry products was determined directly from the course and the operating characteristics of the sectors/clients supplied with the necessary chemical raw materials. During the period 2000 - 2009 the General Index of Industrial Production dropped by 1.5%. The strongest decline occurred in manufacturing (-2.2%). The economic crisis facing the country in recent years has negatively affected the operations of chemical raw materials, and has resulted in a decrease of demand - and therefore also a decrease in production – textiles industry (-27.7%), paints industry (-17.5%), clothing industry (-23.5%), detergents industry (-17.3%) and plastics industry (-4.8%). On the other hand, the pharmaceuticals industry and the food industry showed positive results (14.1% and 0.5% respectively).

The share of industry in energy consumption is decreasing. In 2010, industry (including non-energy uses) accounted for 15% of total energy consumption, compared with 21% in 1990. The share of the power sector in energy consumption has been relatively stable since 1990, at around 25%.

Total energy consumption per unit of GDP (primary energy intensity), measured as purchasing power parity, is 25% lower than the EU average.

Total energy intensity has decreased more slowly than in the EU as a whole, at 1.1% a year compared with 1.6% a year for the EU between 1990 and 2010, although between 2000 and 2010 the decline was sharper than the EU average (2.5% a year compared with 1.3% a year). Industry contributed to about half of this drop, and the power sector to about one third.

The average efficiency of the power sector has been increasing since 1990 and reached 44% in 2010. That improvement was achieved through the spread of gas combined cycle facilities (26% of thermal capacity in 2010) and the increasing use of renewable energies (esp. wind power). There has been a noticeable improvement in the efficiency of thermal power plants (up by 6% between 1990 and 2010).

The share of energy-intensive industries in overall industrial energy consumption has fallen slightly since 1990. The share of the chemical and steel industries is lower, around 10% altogether.  Since 1990, they have lost less than 1 percentage point each in the total industrial consumption. The share of the paper industry is marginal, representing just 2% of industrial consumption.

GR consumption

During the period 1990-2009, energy consumption per unit of value added (energy intensity) decreased by around 2% a year. The largest energy efficiency improvement took place in the steel industry with a reduction of 4.5% a year in the energy consumption per ton of steel. Energy consumption per unit of value added in the chemical industry decreased by 3% a year during the same period. Compared with other industrial branches, the cement industry posted a moderate reduction in the energy required per ton produced (1.5% a year between 1990 and 2009).

Combined heat and power generation was stable until 2007, at around 7% of industry's electricity consumption, and has increased strongly since then.

The energy intensity of the manufacturing industry (excluding mining and construction) decreased by 4% a year during the period 2000-2009.

Source: CRES

The energy and feedstock use of the chemical industry is following the use of the industry sector in general. More information about energy and feedstock use, energy consumption and energy intensity of the Greek industry is given above.

During the period 1990-2010, the efficiency in the industrial sector (measured for the 10 branches - in terms of energy used per production index or per tonne - and aggregated to the whole sector) improved by 24.3% compared to 1990. This improvement in the energy efficiency index was the result of major decreases in the chemical industry including rubber and plastics (64.5%) steel (57%) and non-ferrous (16.1%) industry. On the other hand, energy efficiency in textile, food and paper industry has been rapidly reduced with the corresponding efficiency indexes increasing.

GR efficiency

During the period 1990-2010, total CO2 emissions, including electricity, increased by 17.8% in Greece. The graph shows the trend of CO2 emissions and the distribution of CO2 emissions by sector. After 2007, the sharp reduction in emissions is caused by the reduction of energy consumption in most of the sectors in Greece as an extended direct result of the economic crisis.
In 2010, the most CO2 intensive sector was transport which generated 30.1% of the total CO2 emissions. The corresponding CO2 share in 2010 for households was 25.5%, industry 21.8%, tertiary 18% and agriculture 4.7%. In 1990 the respective percentages were 23.1% for households, 22.9% for transport, 36.1% for industry, 10.6% for tertiary and 7.3% for agriculture.

Recent Energy Efficiency Measures

  1. Industrial Sector Incentives for obligatory implementation of Energy Management Systems. This measure aims for the implementation of energy management systems (EMS) in all industries that are not included in energy services directive (ESD). In Greece there are a lot of industries that already have implemented environment management systems such as: ISO 14000, EMAS, internal EMS and hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP). In many industries the energy management is part of these systems. The measure implementation could focus in the direct extension of these systems in order to include the energy management, too.
  2. Energy upgrading of existing buildings through third-party financing arrangements (TPF), energy performance contracting and public-private joint ventures (PPJV)-industry sector. The measure aims for the creation of an institutional framework for third-party financing (TPF) and for operational matters pertaining to energy service companies (ESCO), and regulation of existing public-private joint ventures (PPJV).
  3. Promotion of voluntary agreements in industrial sector. See below under "Voluntary agreements".

Source: CRES

91.1% of the chemical industry is made up of SMEs. Due to the structure of the Greek economy their role is very important and they have a significant contribution to the employment. Since 2008, the majority of companies is facing several problems related to high demands of legislation and regulations facing the chemical industry, accessing needed funds, increasing energy costs, etc.

The programme of Responsible Care in Greece has been included in HACI's statutes since May 1995.

The programme includes the guiding principles by which the members of the association are committed to operate their businesses.

More specifically, HACI's members have adopted the following guiding principles:

  • To continuously improve knowledge about health, safety and environment, and the performance of technologies, processes and products throughout the duration of their life cycle to avoid any damage to humans and the environment.
  • To efficiently use available resources and to minimise loss of natural resources and waste.
  • To report objectively about performance, achievements and weaknesses.
  • To work together with social partners in order to understand and respond to their expectations and concerns.
  • To cooperate with governments and other public organizations in order to create applicable legislation and standards.
  • To help, advise and contribute to the responsible management of chemicals by all stakeholders (producers, suppliers, users) in the supply chain.

The following graph highlights the main achievements of the Greek Responsible Care programme related to the use of energy.

GR energy use

  • Contact point
  • Name
  • Panos Scarlatos
  • Organisation
  • HACI
  • Position
  • Chemical Engineer – Director General of HACI
  • Phone
  • +30 2109213259
  • E-mail
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Website

The promotion of voluntary agreements in industrial sector aims to set up a programme based on existing European projects. The measure will be implemented in all industries that are not included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Core of the agreements is the action plan, which will include the goals, the approach of partners selection, the benefits and the incentives (except of subsidies) in which an industry is committed to implement the particular measure in order to reduce energy consumption. The commitment may cover some or all of the production systems.


Other EU member countries

For a summary overview of other member countries profiles, please follow this link.

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