Below you will find a gallery with videos and images of the proposed wind parks from various locations on the island. Both were made using...Read More ...
We are an independent group of citizens in favour of renewable energy on Kythira. But we believe that the proposed plans of 110 large wind turbines along the Kythirian coastline and in close proximity to villages is not the path the island should follow!
Instead we think that we can realize an alternative solution that fits the needs and the character of the island and that also contributes to the solution of the problem of climate change. A solution that respects the Kythirian natural and cultural environment. We believe that the people of Kythira should work together in harmony with the Municipality and all other parties involved and put this subject high on their agenda.
Between 2007 and 2009, nine applications were lodged with the Energy Regulatory Board (RAE) for the construction of wind farms on Kythera. The total potential output should all nine applications be granted was 321 MW.
For years the issue seemed defunct, but on January 22nd 2020, it suddenly became clear that two production permits were granted for in total 30 turbines, with a fan blade diameter of 71 metres. In February 2020 two more permits followed for again 30 turbines, now with a fan blade diameter of 90 meters. More permits are expected to be granted soon.
It is important to understand that these are only Production Permits; in order to actually install the turbines, Installation Permits will have to be issued, and a complex legal procedure to be followed including environmental impact studies and consultation with local government and inhabitants. On the other hand, current government policy is a national energy plan which includes the installation of wind farms on as many islands as possible.
In our candid interviews with Kythirian professionals knowledgeable with the island’s economy and development, we explore attitudes and responses to the imminent prospect of the island’s transformation into a wind turbine hub.
“What I hear, or at least read, is that this is an uncontrolled installation of industrial wind farms. This will definitely adversely affect the area and the place where we live, with wider implications for the tourism sector.”
Manolis Lourantos Pierros is the owner of a well known restaurant in Livadi, Kythira.
“I think that anyone who believes that a person will choose to buy, stay, or continue to visit a place where at 500 meters there will be a wind turbine, makes a big mistake.”
Alexandros Semitekolos was born on Kythira and is a professor of philology and teaches high school students on the island. At the same time, he is the owner of a bookstore in Chora.
“‘Both the Local authorities and the people have a great responsibility. Do not listen to fairy tales for temporary gain. If we want the island to become a factory that will not produce for us but for someone else, this is called betrayal. If the companies see strong opposition from the public and the Municipality they will not invest.’.”
Georgios Kasimatis (1932, Kythira) is a distinguished Greek lawyer, political scientist and university professor of Constitutional Law, who was president of the Athens Law School and director of the Law Office of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.
“In Kythira there are outdoor crops that survive the summer from the humidity of the western winds that irrigates them. It is possible that large wind farms will affect the way these plants survive and that in the future we will not have outdoor dry crops. Olives have also learned to live in this climate.”
Viron Protopsaltis is an organice farmer from Mitata and also member of the Board of Directors of the Enchorios Periousia, (“Domestic Wealth Board”) of Kythira and AntiKythira.
“In Denmark the solution seems to be offshore windparks.I hope that any local government would consider placing windmills where they don’t actually spoil the nature of the island. Greece has many more opportunities compared to Denmark in placing windmills cleverly.”
Oliver Vanges is consultant at the Danish Foundation for Culture & Sports Facilities. He has Kythirian roots and a strong connection with the island. His family house is in Vangianika (Karavas).
“To change all the fields, to turn them into industrial parks? To stop production? The place is dying….”
Panayotis Souris is a producer and of president the agricultural cooperative of Potamos.
“We are talking about about 500 cubic meters of concrete for each wind turbine, we are talking about a network of roads about 18 meters wide where heavy vehicles can approach in 110 places, where the new wind turbines will be built. Now I do not understand why some people with this whole network of roads that will be created and even in NATURA areas, are trying to downplay the event. I think that the effects will be huge, the wind turbines collect huge amounts of insects on their blades. Ιn fact, they will be installed in areas that are mainly thyme habitats, with all that this implies for the apiaries.”
Spyros Anestis is an electrical engineer, honey producer and president of the Beekeeping Cooperative of Kythira.
“The installation of small wind turbines farms, with a proper design, in appropriate locations, with the participation of our Municipality and our residents, can be a solution that will have a smaller impact on the island and might even benefit its development. But on a well researched and limited scale, not industrial size.”
Giannis Protopsaltis was born and raised in Mitata. He has been a beekeeper for 35 years and is a strong promoter of the beautiful Kythirian natural environment.
“The island’s assets are peace, the environment and the natural landscape; they are what attract visitors to Kythira, and the reason for many of them to keep coming back. The visitors who come to Kythira come only for Kythira; they don’t arrive at random. And if they should hear or read that the island is to be covered by so many wind turbines, they will stop coming.”
Frank van Weerde is the owner of Pyrgos House, a specialist provider of quality small-scale accommodation, walking holidays and other outdoor activities on Kythira.
“The people of this island must understand that this is something which concerns them all. It will have an immediate repercussion on the island’s development, it will have immediate repercussions on the future of our children.“
Panos Drakakis is a leading young Kytherian businessman who took over the management of Drakakis Tours in 2003. Under his management, the company has expanded into a modern and efficient provider of travel and tourism services of all kinds.
Maximum 147 wind turbines are permitted to be build on Kythira. Between 2007 and 2009, nine applications for windparks were submitted to the RAE Regulatory Authority for Energy for the construction of Industrial Wind Farms in Kythira. Until april 2020 the RAE granted 4 licenses for 60 wind turbines for the production of electricity. Licenses for 50 more turbines are expected to be granted soon.
After that licenses for 37 more turbines on other locations on the island still can be issued.
Until now licenses have been granted for the following locations:
– Mermengaris hill (at Mylopotamos) – 15 turbines
– Krotiria / Kefalovouni / Pyrgos (the area between Mylopotamos and Perlegianika/Dourianika) – 16 turbines
– Finikies (the area West of Potamos, Logothetianika and Kousounari) – 15 turbines
– Krotiri / Kefalakia (above Agia Pelagia, West of Potamos and North of Tryfillianika and Paliochora) – 14 turbines
Licenses for the following locations are expected soon:
– Kserokambia / Karvounolakkos (in the North-West of Kythira, nearby Routsounas beach) – 24 turbines
– Kordelides (on the West coast between Ortholithos and Gerakari) – 26 turbines
On other locations on the island still 37 turbines could be build.
Checkout the map for the location of the parks.
There are 2 types that are going to be placed on Kythira, with 71 and 90 meter blade diameter. Including the base they will be up to 150 meters high. It is obvious that you can see them during the day, but also during the night. Because for safety reasons (airtraffic) they will be equiped with bright red lights. Some of the turbines will be visible from almost the whole island.
No, the energy will be transported by undersea cables to the main electricity grid. From there Kythira will take it’s electricity, exactly as is the case at this moment.
As Wind Parks are a relatively new phenomenon, research on this topic is still ongoing. But people who live or work in close proximity of wind turbines have experienced symptoms of Wind Turbine Syndrome, that include decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headaches, anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction.
Some have also felt anger, grief, or a sense of injustice. Suggested causes of symptoms include a combination of wind turbine noise, ultrasonic sounds, ground current, and shadow flicker. Watch the movie Down Wind, for an impression.
Kythira attracts a very specific type of tourist. People that love nature, silence and the unique ‘there is something special in the air’ feeling. Research in a similar location has shown that almost 90 % of the tourists think the view is very important. In their opinion a wind farm makes the view less attractive. The closer it is, the more negative the effect.
They think the presence of a wind farm also has a negative effect on other aspects, such as nature, a pleasant atmosphere and the assessment of an area as beautiful or not. A large percentage said they will probably spend their vacation somewhere else.
The Kythirian natural landscape is certainly going to change drastically and permanently. All the planned sites are of extreme natural beauty. Besides the huge turbines also a network of access roads and cables has to be build.
Two of the proposed sites are inside a Natura 2000 area (part of a network of nature protection areas in the EU). Kythira is a well known hub for migratory birds and even one of the most important bird areas in Greece. World wide many millions of birds and bats are yearly killed in collisions with the turbines.
Research from 2019 shows that only in Germany yearly 1.2 million kilo of insects are killed by the turbines. This could have big consequences for the bees and therefore for the production of the famous Kythirian thyme honey.
There are sites of major cultural interest in or nearby the Wind Parks like monasteries, Byzantine churches, archaeological sites, the many old dry stone walls (UNESCO heritage) and the monopathia (ancient footpaths).
Wind turbines definitely lower local property values. The only question is, how much?
It varies a lot depending on the local situation. Research in other countries shows property values in the vicinity of Wind parks decrease in average somewhere between 10 to 15 %. But in some cases it can go up 50 %.
Since the real estate market in Kythira is largely dependent on buyers of vacation homes, the effect will almost for sure be much larger than average. Especially in locations where the turbines are visible and dominate the horizon it can even become difficult to find a buyer at all.
It is not at all sure that the turbines will be installed. It is still a long process. Until today the granted licenses are only for the production of wind energy. Which actually is an approval of the feasability of the projects. Many individuals, the Municipality and organizations have made an appeal against these licenses.
After this the Wind Farm companies have to retieve an approval of the environmental terms, a binding grid connection offer, an installation license and an operation lisence (view the whole process).
So it is still a long process and we have have the opportunity to do something about it.
Join us in making a masterplan for a green and better Kythira, the time is now!
Yes, we think that for sure we can realize an alternative solution that fits the needs and the character of the island. Fine examples of this are the Tilos and Sifnos projects. An alternative that contributes to the solution of the problem of climate change, but also with respect for the Kythirian natural and cultural environment. We believe that the people of Kythira should work together in harmony with the Municipality and all other parties involved and put this subject high on their agenda.
A very imformative video about the impact of (proposed) Wind parks on small Greek communities. See our video section for the long version.