Greece Goes Solar to Relieve Debt

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Greece plans to produce 10 gigawatts of solar energy by 2050 and will use future revenues to pay back as much as $21 billion in debt. Photo: Flickr/ricketyus

Can solar energy help lift Greece out of its debt crisis and jumpstart its lagging economy?

In September, the Greek government announced “Project Helios,” an initiative to increase the Mediterranean country’s solar power output from 206 megawatts in 2010 to 10 gigawatts by 2050, Reuters reports.

Greece will use future revenues from the project to pay back as much as $21 billion in debt, according to an October statement from the European Union.

Though sunshine is an abundant resource in the southern European country, Greece’s solar energy output is 80 times smaller than that of Germany, the global leader in solar photovoltaics, and 10 times smaller than the Czech Republic’s, the Greek government says.

Germany, which has abandoned its plans for nuclear expansion after Japan’s nuclear crisis, intends to buy the bulk of the energy produced by Project Helios, NPR reports.

While the Greek government estimates that the solar initiative could make the country more than $110 billion over 25 years, the government must first attract foreign investors to help fund the project.

READ: 80 Percent of Global Energy Could Be Renewable

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