News

Solarizing will help Greece overcome its troubles

Published

July 30, 2015

Comments

0

Share

Published:

July 30, 2015

Comments:

0

Share

With energy poverty emerging as one of the most dramatic symptoms of the recession – six out of every 10 households are struggling to pay their energy bills – it is high time that Greece seized upon its greatest and still largely unexploited asset, said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of environmentalist pressure group Greenpeace International, in an article for the Huffington Post.

In late July Greenpeace activists protested on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean. They unfurled a 600 square metre banner pointing towards an oil fired power plant currently under construction. The banner said: ‘Oil is fueling Greek debt’.

The event was the launch of ‘Solarize Greece’ campaign by Greenpeace Greece with aspirations not only for that country but for the whole of Europe. Its objectives are to help Greece kick-start solar power as a driver of the economy, to rid the country of the burden of fossil fuels that are holding it down economically, Naidoo states.

The government offered tax incentives to households for solar water heaters in the 1970s, as policy was aimed at saving power, the column adds. “That led to hundreds of thousands of households installing solar heaters and significantly reduced energy bills. Equally important, a new industry was born and soon solar heaters became one of Greece’s finest export products,” according to Naidoo.

He claims it is time to revisit photovoltaic power and, this time, on a massive scale, after the ‘PV Spring’ of 2009– 2013, driven by a feed-in tariff scheme, when capacity jumped from 47 to over 2,500 MW.

Driven by the rapid fall in the costs of solar power, new legislation allows Greek citizens to generate cheap solar power for their own consumption, rather than selling it to the power grid, Greenpeace’s chief said, underscoring there is comparative advantage relative to northern European states. Sustainable investments, social welfare policies, pensions and stimulating prosperity can be funded with the EUR 800 million a year that subsidize oil imports to provide power to the country’s many islands, Naidoo added.

“Greenpeace Greece sees a different energy future, and that is what its crowdfunding campaign is all about. Installing solar power in Greece’s oil-dependent islands will bring relief to low-income households in need; it will help reduce oil consumption and pollution; and it will save money for Greek consumers on the mainland. Above all, it would be an example of a fair social policy that has tremendous developmental potential. Even more crucially, the campaign aspires to set in motion a transformation based on solarizing the entire Greek economy,” the author concluded.

Related Articles

coal-power-generation-eu

Fossil fuels returned as top energy source in EU power generation in 2021

01 July 2022 - Among renewable sources, the biggest increase in 2021 was seen in electricity produced from solar energy, 13%,

Floating wind farm project unites fishermen, investors in Ireland

01 July 2022 - A joint 2 GW floating wind farm project is the first cooperation in the world between the two opposing sectors.

Voltalia breaks ground Albania biggest solar park Western Balkans Karavasta

Voltalia breaks ground in Albania for biggest solar park in Western Balkans

01 July 2022 - The site for the Karavasta solar park spans 196 hectares in Fier county in Albania's west. The planned capacity is 140 MW.

net-loss-eps-q1

Serbia’s power utility EPS posts Q1 net loss of EUR 254 million

30 June 2022 - The state-owned power utility is blaming the poor result on a drop in output, electricity imports, and capped prices for end-consumers