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Solarizing Greece Is A Way Out of the Crisis

Solarizing Greece Is A Way Out of the Crisis

Kumi Naidoo

Greece is facing a depression on a scale arguably comparable to the U.S. Great Depression of the late 1920s. Huge unemployment rates and a dramatic drop in family incomes of more than 40 percent have Greek citizens pondering what the impacts will be of the new bail-out agreement. Unending austerity and lack of hope are all it seems the future has to offer.


Wow! Out of the hopelessness and despair that is reported to us about how Greece ‘must’ … how Greece ‘has no choice and that austerity and cut backs are the only option’… comes a ray of sunshine and economic hope!

Need jobs? Need new industry? Need to save money and fix systemic economic pitfalls?

Here is a way. Jobs, jobs, jobs! Almost instant jobs almost overnight! Home owners installing solar creates jobs even in the smallest and most rural villages.

Lots of jobs brings in taxes and pays bills and … Ooh wow look at all the tourists that have come back!!! Former basket case Greece… returns to happy Greece crammed with tourists again.

Why are we delaying implementing solar on a large scale anyway? It isn’t just Greece that could use the new jobs and saving money (which will be reinvested in new businesses and so forth)?

How about free air conditioning during the heat of the day in the sunny southwest? That’d save a lot of energy right there.

Go Greenpeace Greece… nice call!


Stellar strategy, Mr. Naidoo. I hope this idea catches “solar fire.”


Are you referring to the neo fascists financial dictatorship that is in control of United States of America? Don’t think for minute we are going to slide under their dictates, it is just coming to us and lot of Eurozone in smaller doses. Kind of like a slow boiling pot so we don’t know what happened. Or the majority did not know or see it coming.

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Right on. Solar can work, but not hooked up to the mega grid. Unless that grid gets nationalized. Some propose small scale solar-battery systems, and that could be a useful approach. We all understand that PVs, thanks to China, are not “too cheap to meter”. In fact, the “cost” of contemporary PV electricity is less than just the cost for fuel in conventional power. So, generation cost is not now the issue. In most any installation, the huge cost, for both capital (CAPEX) and operating (OPEX) is the cost of transmission and distribution. Like 85% of the total cost. (It is actually more than that if you think it through correctly—your computer, the place where the electricity is converted into heat—perhaps belongs to be included in the capital cost., etc.)

Turkey spent lots of cash wisely to develop world-class solar hot water technology. Heating water is another big energy hog, and typically done using methane or propane. That distributed sort solar technology could be a model of what Greece might get into. Even so, your comments are thoughtful. It is hard to break the monopoly that results from the creation of the electricity grid. it will also be hard for poor, struggling Greeks to find enough surplus cash to buy a PV panel, no matter how inexpensive.


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It’s not clear to me that taking the steps being suggested isn’t exactly part of what it takes ‘to break free from financial terrorism.’

Solar systems use irreplaceable materials to use weak solar energy to only supply electricity during their lifetime. they use up resources for their operation and maintenance.They cannot supply liquid fuels to drive transportation or machinery. They cannot contribute to food production.So they can only make a small, worthwhile contribution to some aspects of the Greek economy. The suggestion that it is the way ahead for the Greek economy is false but it may fool many people.

All food production on this earth is premised on Solar power.

I am aware that food production is powered by sunshine. But I was referring to the role of using pesticides, fertilizers, and machinery for tilling, harvesting, transportation, storage in food production. that is why I used the term ‘contribute to food production’.

You are thinking about the older form of solar. You note that new solar is roughly the equivalent of other forms of generation but you aren’t specific about what you mean since once the initial installation cost is dealt with, there is no further costs. Moreover new photovoltaics (particularly thin film flexible) do not use expensive (and very heavy) silcates but other materials. Within a few more years photovoltaic paint may become available commercially.

Digital electronics allow home owners to generate (solar) electricity and send the surplus back into their local grid. Thus during the day (sunny Greece!) literally millions of roof tops would generate enormous amounts of electricity when electricity use is at its highest.

People should realize that the age of solar energy has finally reached the tipping point - the sweet spot - where cost and efficiency are more competitive than other forms of energy.

It is not your father’s solar anymore. Well actually it is since it is the solar that he’s been waiting for but who listens to Dad’s anyway.

Soon solar will be everywhere and the world will be the better for it. What is astounding is that governments which need to create jobs programs (but avoid doing so out of free market philosophizing) wait to begin implementing small scale solar (rooftop solar for example) on a large scale. Subsidizing solar (like was done with solar hot water heaters) rooftops is the cheapest large scale jobs program available. Home owners contract with installers and the gov’t. rebates at tax time etc. Contractors make money and pay taxes. Makers and sellers of solar roof materials make money (and more jobs) and pay taxes. More tax revenues mean more people can get solar subsidies etc.

We want jobs!!! We want solar!!!

These days the two things go hand in hand. Solar means jobs!

Well you would still be wrong. The majority of the worlds food is still grown on small farms. it is some 70 percent total output. These tend to be farms that do not use your machinery and herbicides and chemical fertilizers.

You are simply accepting the very wrong premise that the industrial method of agriculture is the standard. This is NOT TRUE. It might be true in North America but then North America is one of the largest consumers of energy due to that fact.

What you propose is that Industrial agriculture replace those small farmers which in fact leads to higher energy costs as industrail agriculture is premised on growing one type of food in a given area, storing and shipping to another whereas small scale farming is premised on growing and delivering food at the local level.


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I always hear this. XXX costs money, lots of money.

There are a whole pile of things that cost lots of money and far more money then Solar power panels. This everything from vast tracts of farmland, to highways, industries ports harbors and the like all of which Greece is being forced to SELL to the investor (read banker) class.

Now where does all that money come from?

The bankers create it out of NOTHING.


And isn’t it just amazing that this game of Monopoly always ends up with the magic money makers coincidentally in control of all assets?


The majority of the world’s foods are not grown on small farms. I did not propose that industrial agriculture replace small farms. I simply pointed out the fact that industrialized agriculture is the main food production systems in developed and developing countries and that it is an unsustainable process because it uses irreplaceable materials, including those supplying enhergy.

70 percent of food is produced by smallscale farmers as per the report. of this 70 percent fully 50 percent by peasant farmer son very small plots of land. Ie no tractors or chemcal fertilzers. You are simply WRONG claiming Industrial scale agriculture produces the most food.

A small farm is defined as less than 2 hectares. people do not buy heavy machinery to farm two hectares.

I do not know where you got that figure but there is plenty of data that shows industrialized agriculture in developed countries dominates food production and only a small proportion of the population are farming.