Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is visited the island of Halki in the eastern Aegean on Friday to inaugurate individual projects and actions implemented by companies that are participating in a long-term project that aims to provide lower electricity bills, the reduction of environmental pollution and an upgrade of the energy and telecommunications infrastructure on the islands.
Mitsotakis said that islanders will work with municipalities to produce the energy they consume, practically eliminating the cost of the energy. “This model of energy democracy can and must become an example for every island, reducing the cost of residential power bills,” he said.
The islanders will become “prosumers,” or producers/consumers who take advantage of natural energy sources without additional expense, he added.
Someone paying 407 euros now in power bills could expect to see that sum drop to 157 euros, which was “a bold response to the challenge of climate change and to the rise in oil and natural gas prices.”
The GR-Eco Island plan aims to make the islands independent of the national grid by providing them with renewable energy sources. Islands initiative aims to transform the islands into models of green economy, energy autonomy, digital innovation and ecological mobility.
In the first phase, priority is given to the smaller, unconnected and remote islands, having selected those that meet population criteria, but also based on their plan of interconnection in the mainland system, their energy needs, tourist traffic and accessibility. A key criterion is also the commitment of local leaders and islanders to implement the planned interventions, based on what is possible and technically and economically optimal in each case.
In Halki, the companies involved in the project — Akuo Energy, Omexom/Vinci Energies and public power utility PPC — completed the installation of a 1MW photovoltaic system, which will produce green energy able to meet the demands of the island, through the method of Virtual Net Metering. the Siggelidis/Citroën group donated six electric vehicles to the police and the Coast Guard and the municipality, with the placement of four chargers of electric vehicles in the port of the island. ALD Automotive delivered two more cars which will then be donated by the Siggelidis/Citroën group to the municipality, while PPC Blue installed four publicly accessible charging points.
Vodafone Greece delivered 5G technology to Halki, free WiFi and device charging points with a “smart” bench installed in the port. The Vodafone Foundation’s telemedicine program will offer free access to basic preventive medicine examinations.
A 10-meter solar electric boat with integrated photovoltaic panels was also delivered to the municipality by tobacco company Papastratos.
The benefit is estimated at a total of 180,000-250,000 euros per year, while the “green” energy from the photovoltaic replaces the electricity production from oil resources brought by units in nearby Rhodes, resulting in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 1,800 tons per year, according to the plan.
The project was agreed in a memorandum of cooperation signed last July at the Environment and Energy Ministry, the French Embassy and six companies participating in the project: PPC, which covered the cost of equipment for the construction of the photovoltaic station and installed four charging systems for PPC blue electric vehicles on the island; Akuo Energy and Omexom/Vinci Energies, which were responsible for licensing, developing and constructing the photovoltaic park; Vodafone Greece and ALD Automotive.
The event will be attended by Environment and Energy Minister Costas Skrekas, the Secretary General of Energy and Mineral Resources Alexandra Sdoukou, the Ambassador of France to Greece, Patrick Maisonnave and other officials.
This article was first published on ekathimerini.com.