The decision for the financing of the installation of solar panel systems on Mount Athos from European funds was signed by the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas.
Moreover, it is planned to finance the installation of solar panel fields, to build the necessary infrastructure for the collection, transmission and distribution of energy, to install power storage devices and to manage energy distribution to meet the electricity needs of the Holy Monasteries.
In his statement, Apostolos Tzitzikostas pointed out: “The needs for electricity in the Garden of the Virgin Mary on Mount Athos are covered mainly by the operation of electric generating sets, which consume oil. In addition, there is a widespread use of wood-burning plants which produce electricity. Given that they do not belong to the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, each monastery is energy independent, however many problems have been arising.”
“For example, some of the problems are high carbon dioxide emissions, noise pollution from power generators which have become obsolete and, therefore, make a lot of noise, are of low efficiency, entail high costs, cause difficulties in the supply, transport and storage of fuel and in the meeting of the gradually increasing energy needs,” he added.
“The installation of solar panel systems, will ensure the coverage of the energy needs of Mount Athos, the protection of the environment, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, but also the protection of the unique natural and environmental potential of Mount Athos, which is designated as a Natura 2000 zone and is included in the list of UNESCO monuments,” Apostolos Tzitzikostas stressed.
“This is a vital intervention for monks and visitors. We respect the environment by reducing energy costs, by using ‘clean’ energy in the monasteries and by ensuring energy efficiency,” he concluded.
The budget of the solar panel installation is 13 million euros and is financed by European resources of the Region of Central Macedonia.