The Greek government today presented the solar energy project Helios, which promises to generate 10GW of solar electricity in the next ten to fifteen years, for export to Central and Northern European countries. Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, warns of setting wrong priorities for the anti-recession plans for Greece.
"Promoting renewable energies in Greece has to be a top priority for any economic recovery plan. But we now need projects that have an immediate impact - not large-scale projects like Helios that at best will be effective only in the mid-term perspective and only focused on exports.
"Greece's major dependency on oil imports has a double negative effect: neither its financial nor its environmental and climate burdens are at a sustainable level. To overcome the crisis, we need a Greek renewable energy strategy based on tailor-made solutions for the Greek regions, especially the Islands. Any export-focused energy strategy has to stand back at this point. Now, Europe not only needs to support new renewable generation capacities, the necessary grid infrastructure, and efficiency measures, but also thorough planning and the transparent and fair awarding of licences. Other EU Member States have to share their experience and best-practices now with Greece. The EU should also support the coordination and cooperation between Greek local authorities, business, citizens and European experts. Such an encompassing initiative for the development of renewable energies in Greece would be a ground-breaking step for a sustainable recovery."