Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Greece's green energy divide: Renewable switch polarizes opinions

Evangelo Sipsas in Athens


In April, Brussels approved special funding for Greece, over a billion dollars, for two new solar energy projects. But some are worried about how that money will be spent, while some politicians say a billion dollars is a small price to pay.

"If you look at the current situation in the market, the largest right now battery in Europe has the capacity of 250MW," said New Democracy MEP candidate Orestis Omran.

"250MW is practically what one solar park can produce in Greece. Every year. And now we're talking about the entire EU. So you need to see the upgrade in terms of storage and how much that will cost you. And you can find it with European funds. It would be best if you bought in from the private sector. You need the investment from the private sector," he added.

The state aid funds the European Commission approved for Greece will serve as the backing for two large solar energy projects, the Faethon and Seli projects.

The Faethon project entails the construction of two photovoltaic units, each with a capacity of 252 MW, while the Seli project involves the construction of a 309 MW photovoltaic unit. Each project will also come with its own energy storage facility.

With meteorological data from the nation showing that Greece enjoys sunlight in over 60 percent of its daylight hours, some see the high potential solar energy might bring to the nation. Lawmakers hope that the projects will not just help provide greener energy, but also more affordable electricity for households.

But some are skeptical, including Syriza's rival candidate Nikolaos Farantouris. He believes that the project's funding is being spent improperly.

"There is a big package of funding from the European Union, but it goes to infrastructure projects and big companies," Farantouris said. "The government is taking an approach where they let big companies control the market. Their approach is from top to bottom; for us, it's the opposite. Bottom-up, we want households to produce and use their energy and not have big companies regulate our prices."

Greece's green energy divide: Renewable switch polarizes opinions

Subscribe to Storyboard: A weekly newsletter bringing you the best of CGTN every Friday

Search Trends