Multi-billion Euro project “HELIOS”: Can photovoltaic electricity exports solve the Greek debt crisis?

by Dr. Thiemo Gropp, Director of the DESERTEC Foundation. George Papaconstantinou, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Greece, is planning to turn German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s proposal for a multi-billion Euro solar project into reality. Should the “HELIOS” project drive European countries to expand the European power grid and to establish national feed-in tariffs for the import of clean energy, it would also benefit the realization of DESERTEC. However, we must sound a note of caution and stress that photovoltaic (PV) solar power from Greece cannot provide a viable alternative to clean power from deserts. PV is a sensible option to meet local needs in Southern European countries where, because of air conditioning use during the summer months, electricity demand peaks at noon. However, it is not the first choice to export large amounts of electricity, as the lack of storage capacity means that PV cannot meet the need for energy as and when it arises. In contrast, concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) plants offer the opportunity to store thermal energy and generate electricity even when the sun is not shining ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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