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Germany plans to buy Greek solar power

The Local · 12 Sep 2011, 07:10

Published: 12 Sep 2011 07:10 GMT+02:00

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He told a press conference in Salonika that he planned to travel to Germany late this month to discuss the project with Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting of German industrialists.

"We can supply the Germans with 10,000 to 15,000 MW", he said, underscoring the urgency for Greece to fight "corruption and bureaucracy," which in the past have derailed several investment projects.

Papandreou spoke of a "huge interest" in Germany for Greece's renewable energy resources in view of of its plan to phase out nuclear energy and doubts about the political stability of Arab Mediterranean countries.

"There was a (solar) project in the Sahara, but it is in jeopardy because of the political turmoil," he added.

His remarks also came as German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler said Europe could no longer rule out an "orderly default" for Greece as it struggles with a crippling debt crisis.

"To stabilize the euro, we must not take anything off the table in the short run," Rösler, who is also Germany's vice chancellor, wrote in the column for the conservative daily Die Welt to be published Monday.

"That includes as a worst-case scenario an orderly default for Greece if the necessary instruments for it are available," he said, reviving an idea that surfaced last year to grapple with the turmoil within the eurozone.

Eurozone leaders announced a €159-billion ($223-billion) rescue package for Greece in July, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Sunday that the Greek government must not waver in its reform drive.

After a recent visit by a German official as part of a joint bid to boost investment to spur a Greek recovery, the German environment ministry said it was looking into a project to set up 20,000 hectares of photovoltaic systems to turn solar energy into electricity for export to Germany.

Press reports said the mammoth project dubbed "Helios" (the Greek God of the sun) would have an initial budget of €20 billion and would create between 30,000 and 60,000 jobs in Greece.

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Rösler is due to visit Greece next month to further a bilateral cooperation accord on developing renewable energy.

Athens is trying to attract investment in renewable energies to replace jobs lost due to the recession which has been exacerbated by the austerity measures demanded by the EU and the IMF in exchange for a multi-billion euro rescue package to deal with the crippling debt burden.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:41 September 12, 2011 by lwexcel
Hmmmm, I wonder if the payments will be received as euros or drachmas.
16:47 September 12, 2011 by storymann
I would think in Greek junk bonds that Germany is holding.
17:08 September 12, 2011 by berfel
How's the electricity going to get to Germany?

Desertec is dead because some people disappeared a lot of money for hype, and the enthusiasts never did the homework and basic arithmetic on how the electricity was actually going to get from North Africa to the big consumers in Northern Europe.

Wouldn't it be cheaper for Greece to use its own solar power instead? They imported about 7600 million kWh in 2010, compared to less than 2000 million kWh in exports. Or can't they afford to buy PV-generated electricity?

20 billion Euros "buys" about 20,000 jobs, and most of those will vapourize over a few years. Except for the few underpaid people clambering over rocks, ripping out the weeds growing amongst the dusty and cracked PV.

The nameplate generating capacity of all existing, commercial electricity generators in Greece is probably less than 15 GW. Now they are to double their electricity generating capacity by using PV solar? PV solar is the most-expensive, unpredictable and inefficient method of generating electricity, short of herding cats through treadmills.

Does Germany really want to play Daedalus for Greece? Can Germans still afford it? WIll there be any money left to clean up the wax and feathers after the crash?
17:24 September 14, 2011 by neunElf
First rule of the Greens;

Never allow the facts to obscure our utopian dreams!
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