ERKC

Energy Research Knowledge Centre

Greece

Research themes and prioritisation

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In recent decades Greece has made significant improvements in research and technological development. The country draws on several research policy implementation programmes and institutions in its progress towards a knowledge-based economy.

Support for research, technology and innovation is based on the National Strategic Development Plan 2007–2013 (NSDP). The Plan includes 11 thematic priorities, of which energy is one. Energy R&D funding and the thematic priorities are analogous to those of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme on Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (FP7) for 2007–2013.

The thematic priority on energy includes the use of renewable energy sources for electricity, fuels, heating and cooling; hydrogen and fuel cells; clean coal technologies; smart energy networks; and energy efficiency and conservation.

Organisation of research

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The General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT), which after the election in June 2012 moved back to the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, is the main authority responsible for developing and implementing R&D in Greece. It supports the R&D activities of public research centres and universities as well as private-sector R&D that is covered by national programmes. It is responsible for supervising 12 of the 18 public research centres in Greece. GSRT is also tasked with establishing new institutions and technology centres for research in areas of high priority for the Greek economy, and supporting the dissemination of R&D information throughout the country and internationally. GSRT also manages regional R&D activities.

Another advisory body on R&D policy is the National Council for Research and Technology (NCRT), which comprises distinguished scientists from Greece and abroad. Supporting the NCRT are seven sectoral research councils, one of which focuses specifically on energy and the environment

Greece has two main public research centres whose job is to identify specific energy R&D policy priorities and implement energy R&D: the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) and the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH).

The Energy Conservation Group (GREC) is an entity within the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD) that specialises in energy efficiency issues, particularly in buildings.

Finally, at the Solar and Other Energy Systems Laboratory (SESL) of the Demokritos National Centre for Scientific Research, R&D emphasis is on solar collectors and systems; analysis and design of thermal storage systems; solar cooling; thermal distillation and desalination; mechanical/solar-assisted drying processes and systems; metrology of energy quantities; and computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer.

At the regional level, the Regional General Secretariats have some freedom to shape priorities for R&D policy within the general national policy framework. They can use funding from the EU Structural Funds to carry out projects.


Figure 1. Organisational structure of energy research in Greece

Programmes and budgets

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The country’s 22 universities are the main research performers, accounting for around half of all R&D spending in Greece. Together, universities and public research centres are responsible for around 70 % of total spending on all R&D (not only on energy), while the private sector’s share, at around 30 %, is one of the lowest among the IEA member countries. A good 20 % of total public funding comes from the European Union through the Community Support Framework (CSF).

According to the government, in the current programming period 2007–2013, 75 % of the budget for the entire set of R&D measures will have been financed by the EU Structural Funds.

Budget overview

In 2009 public energy R&D and demonstration funding totalled around €16 million. As part of the government spending cuts this dropped by more than half in 2010, reaching €6.3 million in 2011. Since 2000, renewable energy has received the largest share of government funding: one-third of the total in 2010 and 2011. The second-largest sector is energy efficiency, with 11 % of the total budget in 2011.

Table 1: The main energy research programme in Greece

Programmes and initiatives

Operational Programme Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship 2007–2013

ΕΠΑΝ ΙΙ: Επιχειρησιακο Προγραμμα Ανταγωνιστικοτητα και Επιχειρηματικοτητα

The overarching goal of this programme is to improve competitiveness and entrepreneurship and to increase the cross-border mobility of the Greek production system, with an emphasis on innovation. In the energy sector the main areas are: low-carbon heat and power; alternative fuels and energy sources for transport; smart cities and communities; smart grids; and energy efficiency.

The energy sector (Priority 4: Completion of the Country’s Energy System and Support for Sustainability) absorbs 25 % of the total national contribution, which is €228 million for the period 2007–2013.

National govermment departments

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Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change

Υπουργειο Περιβαλλοντοσ Ενεργειασ και Κλιματικησ Αλλαγησ

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change has been established to confront continuing environmental problems and to adopt a new Green Development model that will secure a better quality of life for every citizen. The Ministry works to protect the natural environment and resources, improve the quality of life, mitigate and adjust to the implications of climate change, and improve mechanisms and institutions for environmental governance.

Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports

Υπουργείο Παιδείας και Θρησκευμάτων, Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού

The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, formerly the Ministry for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, is responsible for running the country’s education system and for supervising religion.

Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures,Transport and Networks

Υπουργείο Ανάπτυξης, Ανταγωνιστικότητας, Υποδομών, Μεταφορών και Δικτύων

The ministry supervises the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT).

General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)

Γενική Γραμματεία Έρευνας και Τεχνολογίας (ΓΓΕΤ)

GSRT, within the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructures, Transport and Networks, is responsible for the design and conduct of science and technology policy. It is the managing authority of the Operational Programme for Competitiveness (OPC) as far as this concerns research activities.

Ministry of Finance

Υπουργείο Οικονομικών

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for running the public finances of the Greek state.

National research programme management agencies

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Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES)

Κέντρο Ανανεώσιμων Πηγών και Εξοικονόμησης Ενέργειας (KAΠE)

CRES is the Greek national centre for renewable energy sources, rational use of energy and energy saving. It is supervised by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. CRES is the national coordination centre in its areas of activity.

Centre for Research and Technology (CERTH)

Εθνικό Κέντρο Έρευνας και Τεχνολογικής Ανάπτυξης (EKETA)

CERTH includes two institutions active in energy: the Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute (CPERI), which conducts R&D and innovation activities in the fields of science related to energy conversion, and the Institute for Solid Fuels Technology and Applications (ISFTA). The latter is the main Greek organisation promoting R&D in solid fuels and their by-products.

Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD)

Ινστιτούτο Ερευνών Περιβάλλοντος και Βιώσιμης Ανάπτυξης
(ΙΕΠΒΑ)

The Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD) is one of the five institutes that constitute the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), the oldest research centre in Greece. The IERSD’s aim is to promote environmental science and engineering. It is particularly active in solar and wind energy, energy planning and energy conservation.

National Observatory of Athens – Energy Conservation Group (GREC)

Ομάδα Εξοικονόμησης Ενέργειας (OEE), Ινστιτούτο Ερευνών Περιβάλλοντος και Βιώσιμης Ανάπτυξης

GREC is an entity within the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD) at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA). It specialises in energy efficiency, particularly in buildings. GREC is active in energy conservation, solar applications in buildings, analysis and numerical modelling of thermal energy systems, building energy audits, thermal simulation and CFD, indoor environmental quality assessment, and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

Solar and Other Energy Systems Laboratory (SESL)

Εργαστηριο Ηλιακων και Αλλων Ενεργειακων Συστηματων

SESL is an integral part of the Demokritos National Centre for Scientific Research. It carries out R&D in processes related to solar thermal energy use and energy conservation, while providing valuable services to industry.

Funding organisations at national level

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The Greek research and technology system is centralised and dominated by the public sector in terms of both funding and execution. The GRST directly funds institutions and projects. Other units of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports provide funding only for academic research.