At a time when the Greek energy market is back on the radar of large foreign companies in the sector, the CEO of R Energy 1, Georgios Rokas, estimates that in this new environment there is room for smaller businesses.
“There is also room for investments of 200-500KW, or 2MW, as long as the investor – entrepreneur knows the subject, has access to as cheap capital as possible, and is aware of what investment means. Besides, consider that the cost of installing a project of 1MW has been drastically reduced in the last 10 years. I agree with the implementation of the new model and is in the right direction, provided that the state protects small investors by offering them stable compensation prices for small projects, while at the same time offering large ones a competitive environment as is the case throughout Europe. And this will work to the benefit of the final consumer while strengthening the viability of the whole system, which is ultimately what it is all about. Therefore, it acts in favor of all investors, large and small,” he says.
The arrival of foreign giants in the Greek market does not necessarily work to the detriment of the small ones. On the contrary, they can benefit, he believes. “Obviously in this more attractive investment environment created by the undoubtedly friendlier government towards investments, foreign companies “see” Greece even more, creating huge investments and jobs. And let’s not assume that smaller companies do not profit from this! Just think that when a large business is placed somewhere, the smaller one not only benefits due to the competition by improving its operation but also invests in its extroversion, something that as a country we need very much. So, I believe that with the right procedures, the application of the rules, and the right planning in our field there is room for all those who want to grow and invest.
However, he stresses that there must be a clear and stable regulatory framework for RSE, as for the time being, as he says, RAE and the licensing process, in general, do not help investments much, often creating a deterrent climate in business, especially in non-domestic players who do not know the procedures of our country. “Therefore, the resolution of these issues by the state must be decisive, aiming at the improvement of the licensing framework, but also at the upcoming revision of the special spatial framework of RSE, in order to facilitate investors. Moreover, the need to sensitize investors on issues of training of all citizens, and especially the ones of the new generation, around RSE, but also, why not, the cooperation with the state in this part, will ensure significant room for improvement and avoid chronic conflicts with local communities regarding our environmental education. The goals, apart from existing, must also be enriched with substance and the conscious need to implement them”, he notes.
R Energy 1 is preparing an investment plan with a capacity of more than 100 MW in wind and photovoltaic parks throughout Greece with equity and financing from banks. At the same time, it promotes its introduction to the ATHEX. “From the first moment that R Energy 1 decided to invest dynamically in the familiar field of RSE, we considered that we should make our presence known and, in any case, to reflect in practice our investment plans. Our company has been listed since 2016 in the New Market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange and has issued a bond, which is traded in Cyprus, while it has fully implemented its commitments, surpassing even its initial goals. At that time, Cyprus was the only solution for a company with extroversion, in order to be able to attract even a small number of investors who would not have the risk, if you will, of Greece, but purely in the part of trapping their liquidity. Greece was not an investment destination at the time, so we focused on Cyprus.
Today, however, this is not the case. Greece, largely free from the evils of the past, has a strong government oriented towards growth and seems willing to help businesses that want to invest, but most importantly respect the institutions and rules of the game. So, our expectations are high for the next day, but always guided by our steady and careful next steps, healthy growth, and respect for those who trust us by investing in our company.”
Regarding the possibility of partnerships with large companies, Mr. Rokas does not exclude this, but suggests that it is not among the priorities of R Energy 1. “Personally, I have always been interested in moving independently of collaborations and the reason is that autonomous movements involve the element of freedom of movement in strategy and the speed of decision-making. Clearly, however, under strict conditions, such as the planning and implementation of a long-term investment, the seriousness of a corporation, the respect that must govern the relationship of all parties involved, and primarily the benefits that would exist from any cooperation, would lead us to examine it”.
The new plan
Rokas family, Mr. Christos, and Mr. Meletis Rokas turned to Renewable Sources of Energy in the early 1990s. The company “Rokas” pioneered in a market that was truly unknown throughout the Greek business scene, applying for its time pioneering development plans such as the first Project Finance in a Greek company in 1999. R Energy 1, faithfully following the vision of the previous generation, stresses Mr. George Rokas, “attempts to become a serious and measurable unit in the field of RSE, applying modern procedures with respect to its history and at the same time aiming at its long-term sustainability. We are already preparing an investment plan with a capacity of more than 100MW in the wind and PW parks throughout the country using equity and with secured funding from credit institutions of our country, thus, making our company an important player with a strong growth path”, he says.