|Sustainable Energy News - No. 16 - Newsletter for International Network for Sustainable Energy - Developing PV Markets Wind Pumping, How to Do? (INFORSE, 1997, 30 pages)|
Greenpeace Opens the Way
By Martina Krueger, Greenpeace, Holland
"The fight between Greek Public Power Corporation and Greenpeace is the fight of oil against the sun and wind. It is the fight of the conservative energy status quo against the future, against renewable energy. "
Greenpeace (GP) is trying to replace a proposed oil-fired power station with a mix of renewables and energy efficiency measures. The campaign has achieved many political victories and has raised a lot of public interest in the last 2 years. The Greenpeace proposal has four components described in a box below.
Electricity use on Crete is increasing at 7 % a year. The two existing oil-fired power stations are failing to meet current power needs, especially from the tourist sector, and power cuts are frequent. A new oil power station would increase Crete's CO2 emissions from the electricity sector by 50 %. The island, which generates 40 % of the total Greek income in the tourism sector, is already under threat from climate change. An expected sea level rise of 20 centimeters is threatening beaches, vital to the island's tourism and to its endangered sea turtles.
Greek Government's advisors, including the Center of Renewable Energy Sources, concluded that "Crete is ideal for the development of renewable energies because it has one of the highest wind and solar energy potential in Europe. "
Martina Krueger, Greenpeace, Climate Campaign, Keizersgracht 176, 1016 DW Amsterdam, Holland ph/fax: +31-20-523-6222/-6200,
Energy Efficiency by Cheap / Free Bulbs
The Ministry of Development (Energy) took several energy efficiency measures in response to GP pressure. The Ministry and the Public Power Corporation (PPC) launched a pilot project in Crete to promote energy-efficient lighting (CFLs). The program gives incentives to consumers, offering CFLs at a lower price. Such a program started in June 1996 and it will save 10-30 MW of peak power in Crete. This program will be active nation-wide, and for small islands, CFLs will be given for free to consumers. It is expected that 200300 MW (equivalent of the output of a medium-sized power station) will be saved.
Wind Farms - Create New / Reopen Old
GP promoted the wind energy development as well and used the media a lot to publicize the issue. During this time the PPC blocked attempts of interested investors to help supporting these efforts. In September 1996, the PPC withdrew and signed the first contracts with private investors. It is expected that in the next 3 years, 300-400 MW of wind power will be installed in Greece. More than 200 MW were proposed for Crete alone. The first 50 MW are expected to be installed in Crete in 1997.
GP also revealed that the PPC had deliberately run down Greece's largest wind farms. After a GP action against the PPC headquarters in Athens, the utility promised to reopen the 2 wind parks (10MW), which stayed idle for the last three years. Indeed, the first wind turbine started operating.
Solar Power - Network / Funding
GP has taken the initiative and is promoting rooftop photovoltaics (PV) systems. GP wants to prove that solar-power technology is ready and mature now. It has invited solar companies from around the world to come and take advantage of government grants that will be given for renewables. GP also invited consumers to express their interest in solar applications. So far, at least 20 solar companies have shown interest, and more than a hundred potential applications have been recognised. GP's target is to create a network of PV distributors in the country.
GP has also facilitated a program run by the Greek Association of Solar Industries for the promotion of solar thermal applications in Crete. The plan proposes to install 25,000 solar systems for water heating in the next 2 years. GP is pushing for funding of this project by the Greek -government.
Pump Storage - Feasible? or Not Feasible?
GP has proposed a pump storage system enabling Crete to store excess electricity during sunshine and windy days and to use it during the night or when the wind doesn't blow. PPC has reacted by saying this is not feasible technically.
However, GP revealed internal PPC papers showing that a pump
storage system is technically feasible for Crete, and that, furthermore it would
save PPC millions of dollars that are now spent on expensive diesel fuels. 1997
is expected to be a crucial year for the development of such a system.