Photo: SolarPower Europe CEO, James Watson, with Greek Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis

European islands need a solar powered energy transition

By: James Watson, CEO

On the 22nd September the European Commission and the Government of Greece launched the first meeting of the Clean Energy for Islands initiative. This aims to foster renewable energy in European islands and to support a shift away from the use of diesel, a fuel that many islands consume heavily to deliver power. Signifying the importance of the event, Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, opened the event and pledged his support to see more clean energies, such as solar, deployed on Greek islands. With Greece currently completing a 40MW demonstration tender, the Greek Energy Minister, Giorgos Stathakis, also confirmed that there would be more to follow in the coming years, potentially 2 more tenders of up to 500MW combined in the next 18 months.

This initiative is therefore a clear impetus for further deployment of solar and indeed with Commission backing at the highest level, both Energy Commissioner Canete and Director General of Energy Dominique Ristori playing key roles in the conference, it is clear that the initiative has great potential for solar and storage.