The green experiment of Astypalea is expected to play a catalytic role to increase the “intelligence” of other Aegean islands. Halki has already taken over, while the works are starting in Ai-Stratis in order to turn it into a “smart” island.
There is also planning for Antikythera, while the local communities of Alonissos, Kasos, Sifnos, Kythnos, etc. have also shown interest. Of course, the baton was initially taken up by Tilos, where the first hybrid power generation system in Greece has been operating since 2018, with Renewable Energy Sources (RES) units in combination with batteries.
Today, green technologies have matured, however, the approval by the European Commission of the Greek proposal for the possibility of granting functional reinforcement of RES stations with storage, after a competitive process, is still pending. In any case, as recently stated by the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis from Astypalea, the island will be “the place where the test will be undertaken for the energy transition with energy that will be produced entirely from nature and which will supply a purely electric, fully integrated transportation system “.
The new system
Within the next five years, 80% of the energy produced in Astypalea will be “green”. The project includes the replacement of the existing fleet of vehicles (about 1,500) by electric cars and the construction of a new public transport system that will fully cover the needs of the island.
All the changes are “based” on the installation of a hybrid RES power generation system, which will replace the diesel units that the PPC currently operates on the island. Photovoltaic and wind units (in combination with batteries for power storage) will power homes, businesses and car charging points.
The adoption of e-mobility will be based on the e-astypalaia program, which provides generous subsidies for the purchase of electric cars by residents, while five official vehicles (four cars and a Vespa) that will serve the needs of the municipality, the Police and the Coast Guard were donated on Wednesday to island authorities by Volkswagen.
The program also covers the installation of charging points in homes and businesses, with the first 12 chargers delivered. At the same time, the plan envisages an innovative digital system for ordering (on-demand) and sharing (ride-sharing) of electric means of transport to serve the permanent residents and visitors.
The next plans of the government include the “greening” of Halki, in collaboration with the French companies Citroen, Vinci Energie, and Akuo Energy Greece. It is planned to install a hybrid power generation system on the island and interventions corresponding to the innovative mobility system that Volkswagen will implement in Astypalea.
It is noteworthy that the investment interest in the unconnected islands is great. By early April, applications had been submitted to the Energy Regulatory Authority (RAE) for 268 hybrid projects with a total capacity of approximately 1 GW.