Renewable energy is becoming quite popular in emerging countries and developed countries are still investing to increase the share of renewable energy in their energy mix. What are the prospects for renewable energy in a country affected by an economic crisis?
Two researchers, Daniel Knight from the London School of Economics and Sandra Bell from Durham University, studied the case of Greece. They started their investigation with the thought that renewable energy can help Greeks to generate clean and cheap energy, especially through solar energy as the country enjoys a great amount of sunshine throughout the year. Moreover, Greece might be able to export its solar energy, for example, and generate revenue from this activity which might help reduce the impact of the crisis. As the price of fossil energy increased a lot because of the crisis while salary decreased, Greeks have difficulties to heat their homes or use their stove to cook.
The researchers joined communities in the center of the country to gather information on the locals’ thought on the country’s renewable energy program and what can be done to make it more efficient. They came to the conclusion that renewable energy can be a great opportunity for Greece but improvements have to be done in order to make the solar industry more efficient. People they interviewed, even those involved in utilities, highlight the fact that the current model is not viable. Their study also shows that Greeks are overall favorable to renewable energy but have concerns when foreign companies or foreign governments are involved in this kind of process. A clear and transparent program can help Greece to develop renewable energy and benefit from it.
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