Many smaller Greek islands plan on going green in the near future by meeting the full total of all their power needs entirely from renewable energy sources. Now, in a programme announced by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and financed by the European Community, there are plans to give several Greek islands a zero footprint in terms of the energy they use.
The aim is to enable as many Greek islands as possible to supply all their total energy needs from renewable energy sources only.
They will use wind and wave power to supply electricity, drive electric vehicles, promote energy conservation in all island buildings and use agricultural waste to create gas and fuel.
The Greek holiday island of Paxos as well as Leros, Fourni, Symi, Tilos, Gavdos and Agathonisi have all expressed interest in the scheme.
To qualify for aid the islands must have a small population (500-800 people), get the backing of the island community and have the ability to utilize alternative energy sources such as wind, geothermal, biomass, waves and agricultural waste.
The aim is to create a zero energy balance so that power production with be greater than demand, with 100% renewable energy.
Island authorities have until late July to lodge submissions of interest and judging the cases will take place by the end of September. Islands that have been selected for the scheme will be announced in October and November.
The trend for islands to become self sufficient in energy has been growing in recent years. The island of Samson, in Denmark, is the most famous along with the Pelvorm island of Germany.
Similar projects do exist in Greece, notably Lipsi which has only limited help in meeting its energy needs which is generated largely from renewable sources.