Studies show Greece can produce hydroelectricity up to 21 billion kWh. So far, only 25 % of this energy is used with 12 big and 8 small hydropower plants. There are 6 hydropower plants under construction with a total power of 763 MW.
Greece, and more precisely the West and North part of the mainland, possesses significant hydropower potential that is up to now partially exploited. In a survey carried out in 2006, the results indicate that the existing situation concerning the applications of hydropower plants in Greece is compared with the corresponding international and European situation. The results obtained underline the fact that the electricity generation is not a priority for the national water management pol- icy and most Greek hydropower plants are used mainly to meet the corresponding peak-load demand.
On the other hand, increased interest to create numerous new small hydropower plants throughout Greece has been expressed during the past five years. According to the information gathered and analyzed, one may state that the available local hydropower potential is quite promising and can substantially contribute to the accomplishment of the national EU target to cover the 21 % of the correspond- ing electricity consumption from renewable resources. For this purpose, the government should first define and approved a rational water resource management plan and secondly support the increased utilization of large and small hydropower plants for electricity generation. In this case, properly designed hydropower plants should lead to considerable profits, contributing also in the country’s independence from imported oil and accomplishing the Kyoto protocol obligations.
During the past years, it has become evident that the operation of hydropower plants creates discussions and different views of the local communities. In particular, although the issue of the operation of small hydropower plants is of con- siderable interest in Greece, almost no study has been conducted to investigate the current status of Greek citizens’ attitudes toward utilization of the available hydropower potential, in connection with the increased public interest for environ- mental and social dimensions of the use small hydropower plants for electricity generation.
Hydropower Installed Capacity
In 2012, the total hydropower plant’s capacity installed in the country was 2,439 MW. According to the total hydropower installed capacity, Greece occupies the place number 44 at world level and has 0.25 % of the total hydropower installed capacity in the world. Within Europe, Greece occupies the place number 14 according to the total hydropower installed capacity and this capacity represents 1.45 % of the total hydropower capacity installed in the region.
Hydropower Electricity Generation
The participation of hydropower in the generation of electricity in Greece in 2012 represented 13.99 % of the total of the electricity generated in the country in that year. At the same time, the generation of electricity using hydropower plants in Greece in 2012 represented 41.99 % of the total of the electricity generated in the country using all available renewable energy sources. In the past ten years, the participation of hydropower in the generation of electricity in Greece increased an
average of 0.24 % per year. Out of the past ten years, the participation of hydro- power grows in six of them.
The evolution of the generation of electricity in Greece during the period 2008– 2012 is shown in Fig. 3.25.
According to Fig. 3.25, the participation of hydropower in the generation of electricity in Greece during the period 2008–2012 increased 29.6 %. It is expected that the participation of hydropower in the generation of electricity in Greece will continue to increase during the coming years.