The community of 20 monasteries in Mount Athos will cover most of its energy needs with solar panels with the help of the Greek government. The project is aimed at boosting the level of self-sustainability and reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Centre for the Preservation of Athonite Heritage (KEDAK), one of the public agencies responsible for conservation in Mount Athos, gave a green light for the construction of 21 photovoltaic systems in the autonomous region. A recent study on the utilization of renewable energy sources revealed the community of 20 monasteries on the peninsula can cover 75% of the energy needs with the project.
The Monastic Republic of Mount Athos now mostly uses diesel-fueled generators and firewood. KEDAK, which operates under the supervision of the department of the Ministry of Interior for the Macedonia-Thrace region, said its focus is on the harmonization of the project with environmental rules.
KEDAK vowed to implement the solar power project in compliance with environmental regulations
The installation of solar power units will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air and noise pollution and enable the monasteries to address the gradual increase in energy demand, the statement adds. KEDAK noted that there would be less dust as fuel is currently transported on the dirt road network in the area.
Mount Athos will also have financial benefits with the drop in fuel consumption and greater self-sufficency, the authorities stressed.
The monasteries are undergoing modernization, libraries and museums are being established and the number of visitors is rising, adding to energy demand in the Monastic Republic
Energy needs of the community are becoming higher with the rise in the number of pilgrims, the modernization of traditional workshops and the measures to protect and promote cultural wealth of the peninsula with exhibitions, libraries, museums and spiritual centers, Deputy Minister of Interior Theodoros Karaoglou said.