New data on the development of RES

Interesting presentations and discussions closed the scientific meetings at the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) of the fourth open Scientific Conference on soft power technologies. The conference was held on 14 and 15 November with a central theme: "Energy Autonomous Islands and Communities Using up to 100% Renewable Energy" and is a practical response to the initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the actions of the Institute of Theology and Ecology, Chapter of the OAC.

The Conference’s success lies in the fact that the scientific community has embraced all sessions of the Conference, with the significant involvement of the public and particularly students / undergraduates who added their own reflection in the open discussions that followed the presentations. Particular reference with respect to the actions and initiatives of the Region was made by Ms. Virginia Manasaki - Tavernaraki, Vice Regional Governor of Crete for Energy and Industry.

The Ministry of Energy and Environment showed strong interest through the participation of Ms. Dimitra Barkouta in all the sessions of the Conference, who is the scientific associate of the Minister Mr. Panos Skourletis, while a Special Committee of the Ministry has been asked to analyze the scientific data obtained from the Conference. There is particular interest in Partnerships for Energy, so that in collaboration with academics and renowned professionals who participated in the Conference to proceed to deeper cuts in the energy sector, having as basis the conclusions of this OAC Conference.

In addition, this Conference was cause to have a proper discussion on the case of Gavdos and how could the residents themselves become self-producers with mild RES projects, as briefly presented by the applications professor TEI of Crete Mr. I. Vourdoumpas, who is in contact with the Gavdos Mayor Mr. E. Kallinikos, and with Mr. G. Plokamakis, Head of Sector Network HEDNO and with Ms. A. Gigantidou, Head of Sector Operation HEDNO.

The background for this analysis was the presentation of Mr. J. Morales from the island El Hierro, who is a member of the Parliament of the Canary Islands with active participation in the implementation of the program of this island, which today has achieved penetration of RES at rates from 80% to 100%, with obvious benefits for the residents themselves, who use little fossil fuels and plan in an environmentally friendly way so their crops, aiming to become entirely organic, and the processing of their waste is done in a way as environment friendly as possible.

During the conference there were scientific presentations by teachers, researchers, economists and professors of Juist islands, La Gomera, and the city Wolfhagen, village Juhnde, the Shotten region and the policy of the Free State of Thuringia (Germany), which develop RES at a very high rate through civil partnerships with excellent environmental results, while the economic benefits remain in their place for the development of the local economy. It should be noted that Germany has taken the decision after the Fukushima accident to produce energy from 100% renewable energy by 2040.

The Greek reality of the islands and their prospects as "green islands", except the above, presented in detail and all-round Professor I. Kaldellis, Professor D. Christakis, the Assoc. Professor E. Karapidakis, the Ass. Professor D. Katsaprakakis, as well as Dr. N. Gaitanis, Dr. I. Katsigiannis and K. Komnimos, Board member HEDNO.

In addition, as part of the Conference was, for the first time, interesting dialogue between the two sides which, either in favor of RES, or express strong reservations with participants Mr. Dirk Knapen, Coordinator of the European Federation of Renewable Energy Cooperatives REScoop, from Belgium, and Ms. Despina Tsilikis, Mechanical Engineer NTUA and member of the militant Engineers of the Technical Chamber of Greece/Sector of West Crete. The common ground of the discussion was that by strengthening energy democracy, the residents themselves can take responsibility, together, to work cooperatives, starting from projects that do not require large facilities, but small and mild to involve as many people as possible. Coordinator in the foregoing discussion was Mrs. Marina Yakoumaki, journalist New Television Crete.

In closing the work of the two-day Scientific Conference, the General Director of OAC, Dr. Konstantinos Zorbas, stressed that citizens must be properly informed on promising technologies in relation to the use of solar and wind energy or other sources, such as geothermal. And speaking of RES we are talking about an energy mix, a combination of common objectives between citizens, companies, research centers, universities, local government, to respond collectively to the question of RES: "How, by whom and for what." Maybe it's time where we have to stand responsibly and take a decision whether to stay in the ''I'' or go to ''we''. The OAC will continue its efforts to create a Civil Cooperative with Limited Liability, which will bear the name ENERGY COOPERATIVE COMPANY OF CRETE, aiming at synergies and the interests of local communities, the "Cretan public". The comprehensive information and involvement of all citizens of the island, from the oldest to the youngest, for the adequacy of Crete in electricity with its own means and with respect for the natural environment, is essential. We should support the course of Crete by developing environmentally friendly energy projects and joint management of such projects to the benefit of local communities.

Finally, under the European Program ZEMeds, within the framework of the Programme "Intelligent Energy-Europe” (IEE), which promotes the renovation of schools to nearly Zero Energy Consumption (nZEB), Mr. Zorbas noted that because the environmental awareness and energy Democracy is real, he proposed the cooperation of all, for a common installation action "adoption" of the Kolymbari Elementary School with renewable energy projects, and the inclusiveness of students in the spirit of 'association’ so students and citizens to realize the importance of energy saving at school, home and the wider local community.