“ENERGY CRISIS – OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES IN SE EUROPE”
The current energy crisis is far worse than previous ones, such as the ones in 1973 and 1979, because it affects not just oil but electricity, gas and solid fuels. The crisis started unfolding in the first half of 2021, well before the war in Ukraine, as global energy demand shot up in a post covid economic recovery. It has since peaked with record high – and beyond all expectations- gas and electricity prices.
South East Europe, which has been equally affected by the present crisis, is particularly vulnerable to energy price fluctuations as it is hugely dependent on energy imports, especially oil and gas. The until recently prevailing and EU driven energy policy priority for fast decarbonisation has now been overtaken by energy security priorities and the provision of adequate gas and electricity supplies is at the forefront of the policy agenda. Renewables is also being given a push as part of the REPowerEU initiative with emphasis on biomethane and hydrogen.
Looking at the SE European energy scene one can see plenty of opportunities ahead as the current crisis is expected to lead to fully revised energy and environmental goals. The latest changes in EU’s Energy Taxonomy, which now allow natural gas and nuclear to be pursued, will also affect changes in energy policy and planning in the region. In this context we shall see natural gas and nuclear power projects being developed along with RES, smart grids, digitalisation and electricity storage. In the case of energy efficiency in SE Europe the built environment obviously takes precedence because of the long life cycle for the great majority of building stock, especially in urban centres, and the measurable and immediate benefits in terms energy savings for a large part of the population.
Costis Stambolis is the Executive Director of the Institute of Energy for SE Europe (IENE) and its current Chairman. He has a background in Physics and Architecture having studied at the University of London, the North East London Polytechnic (NELP) and the Architectural Association in London from where he holds a Graduate Diploma in Architecture and Energy Studies (AA Dip. Grad). He also holds a professional practice license from the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), and a Masters Degree from the Said Business School, University of Oxford, where he studied “Strategy and Innovation”.
Costis has carried out numerous projects on Renewable Energy Sources in developing countries. He has consulted widely on solar building applications for both private and institutional clients in various European countries. Furthermore, he has worked as a consultant and strategy advisor on natural gas, oil markets and energy security issues for large multinational companies, international organizations and governments.
Costis has lectured widely on energy issues and has organised several national, regional and international conferences, seminars and workshops. He has published several books, edited conference proceedings,and has authored research papers. Among others he is the editor of the “S.E. Europe Energy Outlook (2011,2017, 2022)”, which is considered a basic reference on energy for SE Europe.
Since 2001 he manages Greece’s foremost energy site www.energia.gr. He is a founding member of the Institute of Energy for South East Europe (IENE). He is a member of the Energy Institute (UK), the International Passive House Association (IPHA), The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE). Since 2018 he also serves as a full member of the Greek government’s standing committee on Energy and Climate Change (NECP).