From Austerity to Abundance
Greece is home to heroes and goddesses, mythical creatures and jeweled beaches, damn fine olives, and the most sun-kissed skin in Europe. While the recent coverage from Greece has been about scarcity, austerity and converging crises, it has failed to cast a shadow over a country that is abundant in a powerful and ancient source of hope: the Sun.
Co-Creating a Brighter Future
With energy poverty being one of the most dramatic symptoms of the Greek crisis (6 out of 10 households are struggling to pay their energy bills), investing in the abundant sun, the country’s biggest asset, will be key to a Greek recovery. The solarization of the country will put money back in real people’s pockets by reducing their energy bills, it will put people back to work with new skills and opportunities, and it will support a renewable energy revolution that is sweeping the globe.
How do we start?
We are going to start from the beautiful island of Rhodes, also know as “The Island of the Sun”. With your support, we want to utilize the island’s most generous energy source and install as many solar panels as possible onto households that live on the brink of energy poverty.
Why Rhodes? Because hundreds of millions of Euros are wasted every year importing expensive oil for its power generation, because people living there continue to face serious energy shortages and because worse still, a new oil power plant is under construction. So this island is where the fight for Greece’s energy future is most visible.
How is this going to help Greece?
Today powering the islands with oil costs all Greek consumers some 800 million Euros in subsidies each year. For every panel we install, a household will get a significant boost to their family income from lowering electricity bills, but at the same time Greek consumers will pay less in oil subsidies and Greece will save money from less imported oil.
And why stop there? If we can make this project a success, we can use it to kickstart the solarization of the Greek economy (and beyond!) and save billions of Euros that can then be used where they’re needed most.
So we invite you to write together the next Greek story, one rooftop at a time!
When will the installations happen?
As soon as the crowdfunding campaign ends and we know the total amount of money raised, we will choose the best offer from contractors in order to begin the installations as soon as possible. We are already working with local communities on Rhodes, to look for the most suitable buildings focusing on low-income households.
Have you done this before?
Greenpeace Greece has recently completed successfully 3 similar projects. Last year we installed solar panels in two households in Rhodes and earlier this year we installed solar panels and heat pumps in a shelter for orphans that couldn’t afford heating during the winter. Additionally, a couple of years ago we retrofitted a school at a mountainous Greek village by insulating the walls, installing new window double-glazing frames and replacing the oil heater with a biomass one. All of these projects were fully funded by people.