This Gorgeous Greek Island Will Soon Run Exclusively on Wind and Solar Power
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When the little-known Greek island of Tilos unveils its renewable replacement system later this year, it will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power, according to the Associated Press.
The island, accessible only by ferry, will run entirely on batteries that are recharged by an 800-kilowatt wind turbine and a solar park. The project is being called TILOS (Technology Innovation for the Local Scale Optimum Integration of Battery Energy Storage), which stores energy and makes it available when demand is high.
Tilos has a winter population of approximately 400 people, but the tiny island still receives some 3,000 summer visitors, making the demand for energy inconsistent. It has traditionally run on oil-based electricity from an underwater cable originating on the neighboring island of Kos — but was prone to shortages and blackouts. These energy faults have been especially problematic for shopkeepers who rely heavily on tourists’ business, the main source of revenue on the island.
Sevasti Delaporta, a hotel owner on Tilos, is “optimistic” about the project, especially after issues with the current energy source have forced properties on the island to operate without air conditioning, the AP reported.
“People are pleased with the service because they have no problem with their fridges and they have no problem with their air conditioning,” Delaporta said. “They are happy.”
This change fits the eco-friendly ethos of Tilos, which has been dubbed “Greece’s green island.” Tilos is also part of the Dodecanese, a collection of more than a dozen islands on the edge of the Aegean Sea. Tourists often flock here for hiking and bird watching, and efforts to preserve the island’s natural beauty have been strongly supported by Mayor Maria Kammas.
“For many years now, Tilos has plotted a course that is dedicated to protecting the environment. We are seeking visitors … who love the environment and want to protect it and nature as it was given to us,” Kammas told the AP.
Meanwhile, Kammas hopes the new steps for the island (and resulting publicity) will help fund further efforts to reduce the island’s carbon footprint, such as charging stations for electric cars. And the European Commission may use Tilos as a “blueprint” for other islands in the EU, meaning you may soon be able to visit a number of entirely green isles in the future.
To experience the most eco-friendly island in the Mediterranean, however, you have to be willing to first take a plane to the nearby islands of either Kos or Rhodes, or a 17-hour ferry ride from Athens.
Featured photo by newsfocus1/Getty Images
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