For decades, energy transition experts called for transforming post-mined lands into renewable energy hubs. To bolster their arguments, as part of their “Sunshine for Mines” project, a decade ago the pioneering Rocky Mountain Institute began tracking the few “lighthouse” projects that then existed. At the time, renewable capacity on mine sites stood at just over 600 megawatts worldwide. But by the end of 2019, globally almost 4.9 GW of renewable capacity had been installed or was in the pipeline. And since then, propelled even further by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global response to it, the sheer amount of these second-life projects is increasing exponentially — with Europe and the United States leading the world into a greener post-coal age. In this series, lead author and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum shines his light on several model solar-centric coal transitions now being developed worldwide. Read part 2, part 3 and part 4 of this series.
All posts tagged: Greece
Harnessing the power of the sun in Greece’s Valley of Tears
The global energy transition is full of ironies. On the same spring day that Greece inaugurated its largest solar plant, located adjacent to several lignite mines in the coalfields of Western Macedonia, the government announced a short-term increase in mining as it responds to feared fossil gas shortages following Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Then in late June, Greece passed a sweeping renewables law targeting 15GW of new clean energy capacity to be built by 2030, much of it in this coal dependent region. Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum, discusses the region’s planned transformation into one of the world’s largest centers of solar generation.
Greek islands are beautiful – but can they go green, too?
The energy transition on the Aegean islands is finally shifting gear. In June, prime minister Mitsotakis and the CEO of the global carmaker Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, visited the small island of Astypalea located in the Aegean Sea. The goal of a joint project between the Greek government and VW is to turn Astypalea into a “green and smart” island, replacing all cars on the island of 1,300 inhabitants with electric vehicles. The project shall demonstrate how the switch to an integrated and comprehensive energy system based on renewable energy can be managed at small scale, basically turning Astypalea into a real-life energy laboratory.
Just Transition in Greek Lignite Regions: The Clock’s Ticking
In September 2019, at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the newly-elected Prime minister Mitsotakis announced that Greece would phase out the use of lignite in its energy system by 2028, 10 years faster than Germany. Consequently, the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) drafted by the previous SYRIZA-led government was revised to reflect this and other commitments before the plan was sent to Brussels end of 2019 [see previous blog post]. Daniel Argyropoulos has the story.
Coal, on its way out – Greece’s plans to phase out lignite are boosted by the pandemic
In September 2019, during the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged to phase out all coal-powered electricity production by 2028, making Greece a pioneer in the Balkans. This commitment is enshrined in the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) submitted by the Greek government to the European Commission end of 2019. The new government, in power since July 2019, revised the NECP and introduced more ambitious climate and energy targets (see blogpost on NECP). Daniel Argyropoulos has the details.
A Wind of Change for Greece’s Energy Transition?
After years of stagnation, the new government wants to speed up the energy transition in Greece. Can the vast potential of wind and solar energy finally be exploited following the slow-down of recent years? Daniel Argyropoulos fills us in on the details.
Energy transition and youth employment in Spain and Greece
Youth unemployment, especially in southern European countries, remains unbearably high. Renewable energy and climate protection are an opportunity to create new, well-paid jobs in urban and rural areas. Dr Hartwig Berger explains.
South East Europe could make or break the Paris Agreement
Southeast Europe is known for its gas dependency on Russia and lignite power, but its enormous potential for renewables could help Europe meet its climate targets and strengthen regional economies. Julian Popov takes a look.
‘Community’ energy projects in Greece under threat, activists warn
Two pioneering solar PV projects in Greece that enable renewable electricity benefits to be shared across local communities are coming under threat from EU rules on renewable energy “self-generation”, Greenpeace has warned. Frédéric Simon of Euractiv takes a look.
Greece’s first battery storage system under way in the Aegean Sea
The island of Tilos in Greece’s Aegean Sea is going to host the country’s first renewable energy plus battery storage system. The microgrid will be able to support the island’s population, replacing diesel generators. Ilias Tsagas of pv magazine explores why this is so significant for Greece.