Sunny Greece’s Plan to Export Solar Energy to Germany on a Large Scale

The Czech paper Lidové noviny (August 31) does not think much of the plan:

“At first glance the logic is tempting: Greece has plenty of sun and the Germans are clamoring for alternative energy. But direct transit lines are lacking; the electricity can only get as far as Bulgaria, Albania or Serbia. Another problem: the Greek energy monopolist, PPC, has no money for investment; foreign countries would have to help out.

“And what does the Greek economy stand to gain from this? The solar cells would most likely be built in China. And the profits from the sale of electricity and dividends for investors would go abroad. That leaves the jobs for a couple of thousand watchmen and maintenance workers. And that certainly won’t save the Greek economy.”

Surely Lidové noviny is wrong. It’s amazing how quickly transit lines can be built with the right motivation. Solar cells don’t have to be built in China. The psychological effect would be tremendous and the symbolism highly significant. Hard-working, over-burdened Germans would cheer up and begin to look on the sunny Greeks as their saviors, no longer as millstones around their necks.

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