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Greece in talks to repay debts with solar power

Greece in talks to repay debts with solar power

Greece in talks to repay debts with solar power

EU’s energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, the director general for energy Philip Lowe, and the head of the EU’s Athens task force Horst Reichenbach have discussed the idea of enabling Greece to repay some of its debts to EU member states, such as Germany, by providing them with solar energy.

 

“Several German companies have expressed interest in the idea but it would clearly be more interesting if several member states were involved,” a senior source told EurActiv.

 

“There is a task force in the European Commission where we have energy experts looking into the question of how energy could help Greece to grow economically,” she told EurActiv. “Solar is one topic, and energy efficiency is another.”

 

Greece enjoys 50% more solar radiation than Germany and yet its solar energy output is about 80 times smaller, according to the Greek energy ministry.  Earlier this month, the German chancellor Angela Merkel called for her country’s solar energy subsidies to be reduced and clean energy to be imported from countries such as Greece instead.  Such a move could smooth over Germany’s transition from nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.

 

In September, Athens announced Project Helios, an optimistic plan for a quantum expansion of Greece’s solar power production from 206MW to 2.2GW by 2020, and then 10GW by 2050.  The scheme is intended to attract up to €20 billion and create between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs, but it will first need to overcome what the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini called “bureaucratic and legal obstacles”.

ChrisB = As the article states, there are numerous obstacles to carrying out this plan (lack of available credit, unforgiving terrain, bureaucracy).  However, it is great to see the EU trying to come to mutually beneficial solutions that also lay down infrastructure for the future.  When the world cooperates, we can achieve great things and save ourselves from stagnation.  If we all take an active interest in the success of our neighbors, it is surely to our mutual gain.  While I am not convinced this plan will ever come to fruition, I certainly appreciate the type of thinking that conceived it.

 

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