Green (Solar) Energy To Resolve Greek Debt?

Could the sun resolve Greek (and Spanish) problems with national debt? Some three years ago now Dreaming Realist lamented the inability or unwillingness to capture the power of Greece’s annual 2,000 hours of sunshine. Perhaps the current European economic crisis means the time is now right to revisit this omission. The Greek deficit is alarming. Carbon (sunshine) now has formal monetary value. Northern Europe needs much more energy. Investment in Greek solar energy infrastructure would benefit that national economy….

At present it looks like the only way forward for Greece, and perhaps also for Spain, is to have their deficits written off, at least in part. This is understandably a difficult course to follow for other European leaders, most notably Angela Merkel in Germany, since it means that non-Greeks pay for the bail-out. Further, this option, as Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund also emphasises, will produce a lot of stress for the eurozone.

Promising solar and resolving politicals
But what if, instead of a 50% bail-out, there was a loan set against a promissory note from Greece guaranteeing delivery within a given time-span of energy – sunshine converted to solar – to those European nations which must dig into their Treasuries to ‘save’ Greece?

This promise could be underwritten by serious investment across the financial spectrum – public and private funding, both Greek and international, would be involved – and it would provide a huge fillip for local economies in Greece, in places where currently the sun beats down to no particular effect.

This way too Greece (and perhaps later, Spain) would not be beholden to any other nations for a write-off, and politicians in those other nations would have an easier time domestically as they explain why support for Greece was so critical.

Reducing oil dependency, sustainably
Further, delivery of energy from southern Europe to its northern neighbours would reduce dependency on Russian oil, which is a shared objective amongst many European countries – and even a concern in Russia itself that this is an undesirable factor in the national market.

Whilst oil will eventually run out, sunshine won’t.

Here’s a green medium-term resolution to a distinctly non-eco and very urgent problem. It’s future-facing and it gives breathing space, both financially and politically, to those who need it.

Why are we waiting?

See also: Hot Water Bills In The Land Of 2000 Hours’ Sunshine

Posted on September 27, 2011, in People And Places, Sustainability As If People Mattered, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for that, Frances.

    There’s another article out today (Guardian: which sees solar energy as a solution to the energy crisis; so I’ve added a Comment to the effect that it could also, as above, help resolve inequity in national debts….?

    I also remembered today that in May 2009 I posted a piece on this blog about Carbon as a Currency: Maybe that really is now starting to happen?

  2. I did a bit of digging. Italy and Spain already have solar farms, and Greece and Portugal have solar farms planned. Output from these is presumably for domestic use, but maybe they could extend them and sell the surplus? Wiki has a useful list of solar farms

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