Solar power and other alternative energy sources are almost a daily occurrence in the headlines at the moment, often alongside news stories about the economic crisis across the world. Well it seems there is away to tie the two together – plans have been put forward for Greece to set up a solar power infrastructure to send power to other EU countries as a way of repaying their debt.
Solar power is a growing market worldwide, but there are countries such as Greece where the climate actually lends itself better to solar power but it is not being utlilised enough. Solar power is created by photovoltaic solar panels absorbing daylight and then converting this into electrical current. Solar energy is clean energy, which is helping to cut CO2 emissions and over time can help save huge amounts of money on electricity bills.
European Leaders made a statement via email on the 27th October announcing the plans for using profits from the Greek project Helios to cut some of Greece's debt. Project Helios is a plan to take Greece's solar production from 260MW to 2.2GW by 2020 and then to increase this to 10GW by 2050. It is thought that the project will initially be funded by Germany, but then repaid and some of their debt be repaid by supplying the energy produced to Germany and other EU countries. It is thought project Helios will generate between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs and that over a 25-year period the project could generate 80 billion Euros.
Greece receives 50% more sunlight each year than Germany, but currently the country's solar output is about 80 times smaller. So this will be a really fantastic step forward for Greece if the plans are able to go ahead – not only will they be starting to repay their debt but also they will be cutting their carbon emissions.