A few months ago, we wrote about the economic crisis in Greece, and how a large portion of it was caused by the country’s energy poverty.
Right now, 60% of Greek households cannot afford their energy bills. This is because the mainland still runs on state-owned, expensive coal power, and the many islands are run on imported crude oil.
That oil costs the country about €800 million ($906.6 million) per year in subsidies, paid by energy consumers.
However, the sunny country has another viable solution: solar power.
You see, Greece already had its “Photovoltaic Spring” between 2009 and 2013 when the country grew its solar power capacity from 47 megawatts to over 2,500 megawatts.
This wasn’t enough to bring them energy independence, but the country’s solar growth isn’t over yet. Greenpeace Greece has started a “Solarize Greece” campaign aimed at building on the foundations from the “Spring.”
Granted, it will take plenty of private investment to achieve this goal. The country’s energy market is 96% state-owned, which would make small solar installments difficult to fund.
This, however, may be the solution the country needs to solve its energy poverty.
Keep in mind that this is a proven method. India has implemented micro-grids run on solar power. One village in the country’s poorest province installed a 100 kilowatt solar system, which powers all of its 450 homes, 50 commercial buildings, 2 schools, 1 training center, and 1 health-care building.
Not only has solar been able to offer a cheaper alternative to the country’s usual fossil fuel energy, but it has offered simple availability. Rural villages and towns are often too far away from major power plants to be connected economically.
Solar micro-grids—installed in remote Indian villages or distanced Greek islands—can produce power throughout the day and provide stored power at night.
This means work can be done after dark, the streets are lit and thus safer to travel, and the use of mobile phones can become more common.
The connectivity this offers could be priceless to impoverished people who have been out of the range of economic help for so long.
Renewable power is quickly become more ubiquitous around the world. As of this year, there is 15 times more solar power and 3 times more wind power installed than there was in 2007.
And the rise in this affordable, wide-range energy technology could be a major boon to developing, and suffering developed, countries.
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Until next time,
A true insider in the technology and energy markets, Keith’s research has helped everyday investors capitalize from the rapid adoption of new technology trends and energy transitions. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, as well as the investment director of Angel Publishing’s Energy Investor and Technology and Opportunity.
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