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. Permits for 55 more turbines, some even up to 250 meters high, have been granted in 2021.
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.
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 August 2021 the RAE granted 7 licenses for 115 wind turbines for the production of electricity. In February 2021 another application has been done for 1 mega wind turbine near Avlemonas. More applications are expected.
Until now licenses have been granted for the following locations:
– Mermengaris hill (at Mylopotamos) – 15 turbines for in total 30 MW
– Krotiria / Kefalovouni / Pyrgos (the area between Mylopotamos and Perlegianika/Dourianika) – 16 turbines for in total 48 MW
– Foinikies (the area West of Potamos, Logothetianika and Kousounari) – 15 turbines for in total 30 MW
– Krotiri / Kefalakia (above Agia Pelagia, West of Potamos and North of Tryfillianika and Paliochora) – 14 turbines for in total 42 MW
– Karvounolakos-Foinikies (nearby Lykodimou beach) – 5 turbines for in total 32 MW
– Kserokambia (in the North-West of Kythira, nearby Routsounas beach) – 24 turbines for in total 48 MW
– Kordelides (on the West coast between Ortholithos and Gerakari) – 26 turbines for in total 52 MW
– Sopota (near Avlemonas) – 1 mega wind turbine for in total
Checkout the map for the location of the parks.
There are 4 types that are going to be placed on Kythira, with a blade diameter from 71 to 155 meter. Including the base the highest turbines will be around 250 meters high. It is obvious that you can see them during the day, but also during the night. Because for safety reasons (air traffic) they will be equipped with bright red lights. Some of the turbines will be visible from 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. An alternative that contributes to the solution of the problem of climate change, but also with respect for the Kythirian natural and cultural environment. Either a small project that fits the needs and the character of the island. Or even a large photovoltaic parks project that produces the same energy as the proposed Wind farms.
Solar panel efficiency continues to improve while costs keep falling. In 2010 solar energy was 2,5 times as expensive as onshore wind energy. But in recent years solar became 1,5 times cheaper than onshore wind energy . This is a global weighted average. With the abundance of sun on Kythira the difference will be even greater.
Unlike wind turbines, solar energy need not be a burden on nature but can instead contribute to biodiversity. Solar parks can be build with respect for the cultural-historical value of the landscape and can also be combined with the maintenance, restructuring or establishment of areas with ecological values.
And of course the negative impact on health, property values and tourism is much smaller than is the case for wind turbines.
We challenge the wind energy companies to come forward and discuss the possibility of an alternative solution with the local authorities and the inhabitants of the island.
A petition organised by James Prineas against the proposed industrial size wind parks on Kythira.
BANK ACCOUNT FOR DONATIONS
80100 Kythira, Greece
It is now possible to financially support the legal fights against the installation of industrial wind farms on Kythira.
The Kythirean Foundation for Culture and Development (KIPA), has opened a bank account which enable its friends, members as well as anyone else who wishes to contribute.
We are appealing to everyone who loves and cares for the natural and cultural environment of the island to donate. Any financial contribution, no matter how small or big, is invaluable.
A receipt will accompany each bank deposit.
KIPA is a Social Institute that has been founded, under Presidential Decree 1363/14.9.06, therefore it is subject to the state legal auditing, as well as inspected by the Governing Board of the Trifylleion Foundation, which enables a comprehensive audit control.
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.