Greek Islands & Cleaner Energy

The island of Naxos is now linked to the Greek mainland via an underwater electrical cable. Eirini Vourloumis

Writing from Costa Rica, which currently generates nearly all of its electricity from renewable sources, but thinking of Greece, which is moving in that direction, my thanks to Liz Alderman and Eirini Vourloumis for the excellent reporting and photography about that journey:

Greece Is Getting Rewired for the Future

As climate change bears down, Greece is upending its sources of energy and trying to reshape its economic destiny.

Two wind turbines on a hill outside the main town of Naxos. Eirini Vourloumis

NAXOS, Greece — On the windswept western tip of one of Greece’s largest islands, an unassuming stone building above the Aegean Sea has become an unlikely outpost in this country’s fight against climate change.

Camouflaged inside is a new power station linked to an 180-mile undersea electricity cable that ties Naxos to a chain of other breezy vacation playgrounds, allowing the islands to ditch their oil-burning generators for renewable power from Greece’s abundant wind and sun.

Nearby islands have become zero-carbon laboratories for companies like Volkswagen to fan out electric cars and wire communities for clean energy. Changes are underway on the mainland too, where dirty lignite coal mines that powered Greece for decades are being fast-tracked for closure.

The push for a transition to clean energy would seem a herculean task for Greece, a country of around 10 million that recently emerged from a devastating decade-long debt crisis and still leans heavily on fossil fuels for power…

Read the whole article here.

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