Greece Looks To Solar Power To Boost Economy

Anyone vaguely interested in international news is probably aware of Greece’s economic crisis. But despite that, or perhaps because of that, the country’s Energy Minister has big plans for solar power.

According to a report on Bloomberg, Minister George Papaconstantinou said he expects that an agreement for a US$27bn solar power project will be finalized by the end of the year. The hope is to avert the possibility of a 5 per cent economic shrink in 2011, which will happen if government needs to default on its bonds.

The project in question is called Helios and it would see the installation of 10 GW worth of solar panels in the country. The country hopes to increase the share of alternative energy in its mix from the current 7 per cent to 18 per cent, including the introduction of feed-in tariffs.

Most of the funding will come from the EU, although the solar industry will be able to contribute 5 per cent of the total sum needed, said Solarworld CEO Frank Asbeck.

Bloomberg expects Greece may add 600 MW of solar capacity this year, or four times more than in 2010.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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