x

Sciences

Greek Environmentalists Fight Windfarm in Mountain Forests Plan

ATHENS — Greek environmentalists who don't want coal-fired generating plants to create electricity, nor nuclear power, are opposing a plan for a windfarm in the Dirfys mountains south to the Aegean island of Evia, citing giant turbines.

“There are hundreds of trees stretching for kilometres which will be destroyed,” mountain climber Tassos Baltas, part of an informal coalition of environmentalists, citizens’ groups and local authorities who oppose the 470 megawatt, 100-turbine scheme told the news agency Reuters.

They contend that the project will ruin acres of ancient forests although the government said it's part of a drive toward more sustainable and green energy that environmentalists generally embrace.

The ruling New Democracy said it's trying to meet European Union climate targets and more toward sustainable energy and away from fossil fuels and plans to shut down coal plans by 2025, the report said.

That would also tie to trying to boost renewable energy to 35 percent of transmission by 2030, the EU setting a target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 55 percent by 2020, although that can vary.

“Knowing that Greece has lagged behind in issues related to climate and energy targets all the previous years, the government wanted to be among Europe’s champions in the green transition,” Secretary General for Energy Alexandra Sdoukou told the news site.

With relatively little use of solar power either in a country with abundant sunshine, Greece has been increasing wind energy through giant turbines that opponents don't like, including for aesthetic reasons, especially on mountains and coastal areas where they catch the wind but are deemed eyesores.

With its regular high winds and proximity to the mainland’s power grid, Evia has seen hundreds of wind turbines put up although local officials said the government is moving too quickly and doesn't have widespread support for them.

“We are not trying to fight with the government nor are we against investment, we just believe that the way this is being developed it is badly planned,” said George Kelaiditis, the Deputy Prefect of Evia.

The Karystia district in southern Evia is already full of windfarms and opponents say more turbines will turn a largely agricultural region that also attracts tourists and nature lovers to its forest trails into an industrial zone, said Reuters.

“They neither provide jobs or any economic benefits to the region. The opposite in fact, they are going to create problems with the economic activity in the village of Steni,” said Vasso Mela, a central Evia resident.

The opposition has created a dilemma for New Democracy as environmentalists want alternatives to coal but are fighting the wind power scheme too even as Greece is being required to meet EU clean and green energy goals.

“Greece has lost a great deal of time in the proper development of renewable energy resources,” Theodota Nantsou, Policy Director for the World Wide Fund for Nature in Greece told the news site.

“Its decision to move away from lignite came very late in 2019 and now it is scrambling to catch up,” she said. The groups haven't proposed alternative ideas to create energy without harming the environment some way.

RELATED

ATHENS – The second Generative Artificial Intelligence Summit in Southeast Europe, the largest of its kind in Europe, with 3,000 live participants and a 15,000-strong online community, will take place February 29-March 2 at the Eugenides Foundation complex.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Firefighters Seek to Corral Massive Texas Wildfires Before Weekend of Higher Temperatures and Winds

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) — The explosive growth of the second-largest wildfire in Texas history slowed as winds and temperatures dipped but the massive blaze was still untamed and threatening more death and destruction.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas  — On the banks of the same Rio Grande but 300 miles apart, President Joe Biden and GOP challenger Donald Trump on Thursday surveyed the U.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to fulfill Moscow’s goals in Ukraine and sternly warned the West against deeper involvement in the fighting, saying that such a move is fraught with the risk of a global nuclear conflict.

ATHENS - The greatest problem in Greece following the restoration of democracy in Greece is the missed opportunities, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday evening in a discussion at the "Metapolitefsi: 50 Years Later" conference, which focuses on the fifth-decade anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece.

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival Ministry of the Metropolis of San Francisco is dedicated, through Orthodox Christian Fellowship and committed leadership, to promoting, encouraging and perpetuating the Orthodox faith, Greek heritage and culture among individuals, families and communities by expressing it through folk dance, folk art, music and language.