Greece has consistently struggled over the last several years to maintain its fragile economy during the European debt crisis, but now, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos believes that renewable energy investments are the way to regain economic stability.
Greece has an ambitious goal to support 100 percent of its energy demand with renewables by 2050, and has recently revealed a €20bn solar investment as part of that plan. Known as Project Helios, this investment will boost the country’s solar output from 206 MW to 2.2 GW in the next eight years.
The plan is to bring solar energy production to a total of 10 GW by 2050 while simultaneously confirming Greece as the top producer of green energy in the European Union. The country also set a plan in motion from the Energy & Climate Change Ministry to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Critics of the draft version of the renewable energy policy are skeptical that the country’s plans will produce the desired results. Business Green argues that realistically, Greece would only be able to slash emissions by 40 percent over the next 30 years, although a stricter adherence to 100 percent renewable energy would create a 60-70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
Triple Pundit also posed the question that, if all of Greece’s neighbors in the EU are also struggling to regain economic stability, will anyone be able to afford to purchase solar energy produced in Greece?
Countries like Spain and Scotland are already established renewable energy producers in the region, backed by substantial investments. Those countries are already seeing a return on their clean energy investments in fact.