Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from thermal power plants (which represent PPC’s main source of emissions) follow the European Commission’s guidelines for installations that participate in the European Emission Trading System (ETS).

Since the onset of the ETS (2005) the verified CO2 emissions from PPC installations have been constantly declining  as a result of the Company’s actions: As a result of the above reductions, the average CO2 emissions in the PPC system of power generation as a whole have been declining steadily.

In particular, in 2019 CO2 emissions from PPC Power Plants amounted to 17.6 Mt. Emissions from the installations of PPC and subsidiaries (Lignitiki Megalopolis S.A. and Lignitiki Melitis S.A.) dropped by 22% compared to 2018 (from 29.6 Mt in 2018 to 23.2 Mt in 2019). The average CO2 emissions from thermal power plants of PPC and subsidiaries (1.06 tons of CO2/MWh) were decreased by 7% compared to 2018 levels (1.14 tons of CO2/MWh), whereas the average emissions from all plants (thermal and hydro) were reduced by 5% (from 0.96 tons of CO2/MWh in 2018 to 0.92 tons of CO2/MWh in 2019). The respective rates concerning PPC Power Plants only are 0.95 tons of CO2/MWh (thermal) and 0.81 tons of CO2/MWh (total number of plants). 

The average emission rates from thermal power plants depend on the quality of mined lignite and the share of lignite and natural gas in power generation in the electricity market.  

Decrease of CO2 emissions in the overall system of power generation through time

The overall average rate is largely affected by the share of hydroelectric power in total power generation. In 2019 the generation of power from hydroelectric power plants declined by 33% compared to 2018 (3.363 GWh) due to that year’s low hydraulicity (reduced inputs) and the forced decrease of hydroelectric power in order to maintain safety reserves.     

Emissions Trading System

The Emissions Trading System (ETS) is one of the EU’s basic tools to reduce GHG’s. The ETS became operational in 2005 and entered its Third Phase in 2013 (2013-2020). 

2018 was the first year of verification of CO2 emissions for the new TPP in Southern Rhodes. Two new subsidiaries were founded in 2018 (Lignitiki Megalopolis and Lignitiki Melitis) which acquired 3 PPC S.A. lignite-fired Plants: Unit III in Megalopolis A TPP, Unit IV in Megalopolis B TPP and  Melitis TPP, all of which continue to participate in the ETS. At the end of 2018, the number of participating PPC installations for which CO2 emissions were verified was 27.

53,04 thousand free CO2 emission allowances were allocated to PPC for 2018 (for district heating, to  TPP Agios Dimitrios, Amyntaio, Megalopolis A and Kardia). In total, PPC allocated 25,7 million allowances as follows: 23,77 million allowances for the compliance of its installations, 1,14 million allowances to Lignitiki Megalopolis S.A. in regard to emissions from Megalopolis A TPP in the first semester of 2018 and 0,78 million allowances to Lignitiki Melitis S.A. in regard to emissions from Melitis TPP in the 1st semester of 2018.

The cost of CO2 emission allowances was increased to € 279.5 million in 2018 up from € 141.6 million. In 2017 due to the increase of the mean CO2 emission allowance price from € 5.71/ton to € 11.93/ton, despite reduced emissions (23.4 million tons against 24.8 million tons). Notably, due to options, the mean CO2 emission allowance price in 2018 was kept at lower levels compared to the mean spot price (€ 15.89 /ton).

At the end of 2019, the number of PPC participating installations (including the installations of Lignitiki Megalopolis S.A. and Lignitiki Melitis S.A.) for which CO2 emissions were verified amounted to 30 (27 owned by PPC, 2 by Lignitiki Megalopolis S.A. and 1 by Lignitiki Melitis S.A.). 42.93 thousand free CO2 emission allowances were allocated to PPC for 2019 (for district heating).

Under the applicable European and national legislation, during the 3rd phase of implementation of the EU-ETS (period 2013-2020), the Company is not entitled to free CO2 emission allowances for its participating power plants except for the part of emissions that correspond to thermal power for district heating. On 31.03.2020 the verifications of CO2 emissions reports by the certified controlling bodies were completed and submitted to the Competent Authority within the prescribed deadline in compliance with the legislation in force. The total verified CO2 emissions for 2019 amounted to 17.52 million tons (ETS). 

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