Solar Power Just Might Save the Greek Economy


Greece needs to boost its economy. Back in February, Greece caved in to pressure from the EU to cut 15,000 public sector jobs by the end of this year. However, there is another way out of Greece’s economic woes: increasing renewable energy, namely solar energy. Last week, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos spoke about the Greek government’s plans to produce 100 percent green electricity by 2050. Papademos said green energy investment is a “national priority” to boost the economy.

Greece wants to become the EU’s largest green energy exporter through Project Helios. The plans include increasing Greek solar power production from 206 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 2.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, and up to 10 GW by 2050. The government hopes the plans will attract up to 20 billion euros ($27 billion) of investment. Although Project Helios would be expensive to implement, it would reduce Greece’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and would create jobs.

“In the last few years talk has centered on Greece’s fiscal discipline,” Papademos said. “No other OECD country has reduced its deficit by so much so quickly. But fiscal harmonization isn’t enough for development. The energy sector gives Greece an opportunity to become a hub for the European Union and third countries. ”

“The Helios project represents viable development and it will enable Greece to become the largest exporter in the EU of clean energy,” he added.

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, praised Project Helios. “The proposal of Greece to develop the Helios project together with other member states and the European Commission has the potential to be truly groundbreaking,” he said.

“Greece now has to demonstrate that it is possible to exploit the many hours of sunshine that it enjoys and to translate that into an economic benefit for Greece and those European regions that are not quite as sunny,” he added. “Helios is also a unique opportunity to demonstrate that renewable energy technologies like photovoltaics are becoming competitive in the near future through European cooperation. It could be the showcase project on the way to a truly integrated European market for electricity from renewable sources, while simultaneously helping the Greek economy to recover.”

Greece becoming a major exporter of solar power would definitely be a boost for the global renewable energy sector and would prove that the green economy is truly the way forward. Fingers crossed that Greece can actually make good on its plans.


Related Stories:

Renewable Energy: A Strategy for Long-Term Survival

Maryland to Subsidize The First Atlantic Offshore Wind Farm?

The Potato Movement: Greeks Helping Each Other in Hard Times


Photo credit: Flickr user, Jimmy_Joe


Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Big coal and big oil and big natural gas would not tolerate the conversion unless they were paid off with a huge income stream from all the renewable energy to MORE THAN REPLACE what they would lose from not being able to sell all that fossil fuel. Maybe it would be worthwhile to buy all that wind, solar, and storage, place it with electric utilities, and have the electric utilities PAY the FOSSIL FUEL firms for ALL the fossil fuel displaced by the renewable energy.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

University of Philadelphia concluded that close to 80% wind, a little over 10% solar, and a little over 10% storage (batteries, pump storage, hydrogen fuel cells) and about 1/10 of 1% natural gas as a backup could provide our electricity needs and save enough on health care to nearly pay for the conversion.

Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

What an example, thanks Greece.

Nicole Pauline Sedkowski
Nicole Sedkowski5 years ago

Wow this is AWESOME news!

Alice D.
Alice C5 years ago

It might just save our economy as well !
Solar is not a dream
We heat our hot water and home with solar heat. We just added more solar panels for electric. We are feeding the grid everyday and have power during power outages.

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson5 years ago

WOW!! This would be fantastic!!! fingers are crossed, as well! Thankyou for posting this article!

Lin W.
Lin Wong5 years ago

We should all try to save Greece, even if the economic world says there's no friends or foes

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

Ultimately, if the human species survives, it will be nuclear fusion. But for now, anything other than fossil fuels, is a better option and may be the only reason we will survive to go on and invent nuclear fusion. At this rate of global warming we will all go extinct long before the sun starts to die(which we all go extinct as well).

iii q.
g d c5 years ago


David L.
David L5 years ago

@ Dieter R.

Who mentioned "Fossil fuels" here ~ certainly not me ~ you brought that subject up...

I DO believe that the world's future energy needs must be met by "RENEWABLE and SUSTAINABLE" sources ~ there is NO other viable choice.

However ~ I ALSO believe that Solar will only be one part of those solutions..

IN most countries of the world, we will need a combination of sustainable power sources to meet the complicated energy requirements of our modern world ~ and this is better served by considering ALL alternatives, and not JUST your unproven "blue sky dreaming", including:

* "Hot rock" Geothermal (as already used in NZ, parts of the USA and Russia, and parts of northern Europe..);
* Solar hot water;
* Solar electricity;
* Solar air heating;
* Hydro-electricity;
* Wave and tidal motions;
* Wind power;
* Bio' fuels..
* and maybe ONE day, Nuclear Fusion will become a reality...

The future lies in a "multi-faceted" approach, and NOT one single resource..


This article IS still about Greece ~ and my points against Greece stand..

This author's particular fantasy will never happen, as she has backed the WRONG horse here.

Greece is still doomed, no matter how some people try to repackage their problems..

They simply have NO resources left...