Wind Parks on Kythira – a Brief History
When and how did the issue of industrial wind farms start to concern the society of Kythira? What has been the development in the last 16 years? Here is a brief history including all the developments in recent years.
1) In the period 2007-2009 several interested companies, Copelouzos, TERNA and ELLAKTOR applied to RAE for the installation of industrial wind farms with a total capacity of 321 MW. According to the action plan of the Municipality of Kythira, the daily needs of the island are in the order of 4 MW, while the Greek legislation provides for the island a maximum of 0.53 wind turbines per 1 km2. That means for Kythira, an island of 278 km2, 147 industrial-type wind turbines can be installed. Since then there has been a great mobilization led by the Committee for the Rational Development of Kythira.
2) On 29 January 2020 the first two production licenses were posted in the online government platform Diavgeia for the company PIRITIUM S.A. (Copelouzos) with a total capacity of 60 MW.
3) On 29 January 2020 the company Elliniki Technodominiki Energiaki S.A. submitted to the Enchorios Periousia, the Domestic Wealth Board, a request to lease an area in Plagara on Antikythira for the installation of an anemometer mast. Antikythira is also in the sights of the ELLAKTOR group.
4) On 3 February 2020 the mayor of Kythira requested explanations from the RAE regarding the two issued licenses in the regions of Finikies and Mermengaris.
5) On 6 February 2020 the municipal faction ‘Kythira Antikythira Menoume Edo’ invited the citizens to an open debate on the coordination of actions against RAE’s decision on the licensing of the first of the industrial wind farms on Kythira ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgmHzL5Yp_E).
6) On 21 February 2020 two new production licenses, issued by RAE to the ELLAKTOR Group, were posted in Diavgeia. It concerned a total capacity of 90 MW.
7) On 21 February 2020 the Enchorios Periousia unanimously approved the lease of an area in Plagara Antikythira for the installation of an anemometer mast.
8) On 25 February 2020 a municipal council meeting was held with a unique topic: Discussion-information about the requests for electricity production by wind farms on Kythira. Important decisions were made such as that, among other things, the Enchorios Periousia will not lease any land without informing the community, the possibility of creating an energy community will be considered, a cross-party committee will be created to monitor the matter and there will be legal representation for the municipality for each license that will be posted in Diavgeia.
9) On 27 February 2020 a large number of citizens and associations of the island filed separate appeals at RAE against the two production licenses for the company PIRITIUM S.A. At the same time, the Municipality of Kythira and the Enchorios Periousia, with their own legal representation, also filed separate appeals. The legal battle has begun!
10) At the end of March 2020 appeals were filed both by a number of citizens and associations of the island as well as by the Municipality of Kythira and the Enchorios Periousia, with separate legal representation, against the two production licenses of ELLAKTOR S.A.
11) On 18 June 2020 the president of the National Observatory communicated with the mayor of Kythira about his letter to the Deputy Minister of Research and Technology, Mr. Christos Dimas. A letter regarding the effects of industrial wind farms on the research structure of PANGEA in Antikythira, as well as more general effects (https://www.kythiraika.gr/anemogennitries-sta-kythira-epistoli-toy-proedroy-toy-ethnikoy-asteroskopeioy).
12) On 25 October 2020 the Mayor of Kythira informed the Kytherian Association of Australia about the developments regarding the industrial wind farms in Kythira. (https://kythera.news/sti-dimosiotita-to-live-webinar-alfieri-charchalaki-tis-anemogennitries).
13) On 16 November 2020 a resolution against industrial wind farms was signed by the Network of Mayors Against Industrial Wind Farms, in which the mayor of Kythira also participates (https://kythera.news/psifisma-diktyoy-dimarchon-ton-anemogennitrion/)
14) On 10 February 2021 the company Aegaioelektriki Stefanas Attikis S.A. requested a production license from RAE for a 3.5 MW wind turbine in the Sopota area (below Agios Georgios hill in Avlemonas). An application for only one, but a huge, wind turbine with a total height of 200 meters.
15) In March 2021 the Kytherian Foundation for Culture & Development embraced the Kythera Citizens Movement and its efforts, started cooperating with it and announced an account number to which money can be deposited for the payment of court costs.
16) On 22 March 2021 a topical question is asked in parliament to the Minister of Environment and Energy on the subject: Wind turbines in exclusion zones of the zoning of Renewable Energy Sources. Kythira is mentioned as an example of very bad practice.
17) On 27 March 2021 an online conference was held in Kythira on the topic of creating an energy community (https://mailchi.mp/7f0c0b45958c/27-2021?e=bbf683a3a2&fbclid=IwAR1-O4ii610MKXqnN-GBT1HGzfOrdTNh3qKK1NJaGMNKWuVSjA5LEdCPwRg).
18) On 8 April 2021 Kythira together with 4 other islands (Kimolos, Tinos, Amorgos and Sikinos) were voted by EUROPA NOSTRA among Europe’s 7 Most Endangered heritage sites 2021. The islands are threatened by the uncontrolled siting of industrial wind farms (https://kythira-windturbines.com/en/kythira-among-europes-7-most-endangered-heritage-sites-2021).
19) On 10 May 2021 the mayor of Kythira proposed to the municipal council the formation of a cross-party committee in order to monitor the issue of industrial wind farms on Kythira.
20) On 26 June 2021 a mobilization took place on Kythira, on the Potamos square. The action took place parallel with the nationwide mobilization on the same day at 19:00 in Athens.
21) On 5 July 2021 a topical question was asked again in parliament on the subject of the European umbrella to protect 5 Greek islands from industrial wind parks (https://adelinfm.blogspot.com/2021/07/5_5.html?m=1).
22) On 26 August 2021 three new permits for the production of electricity by industrial wind farms were issued to the TERNA Group and posted on Diavgeia. It concerned wind parks with a total capacity of 132 MW. In one of the three licenses, a Greek national record is set with wind turbines with each a power of 6.2 MW and a total height of 250 meters (almost the height of the Eiffel Tower).
23) On 30 August 2021 the municipal council decided on the participation of the Municipality in an energy community that will be formed and on the hiring of an energy consultant for the creation of this energy community on Kythira. (https://kythira.gr/2021/08/30/8i-synedriasi-dimotikoy-symvoylioy-2021).
24) On 17 November 2021 by a mayoral decision an energy consultant was assigned a study on the creation of an energy community on Kythira.
25) From 28 February until 2 March 2022 representatives of the Greek Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, EuropaNostra and the European Investment Bank visited Kythira with the aim of jointly ascertaining the risks facing Kythira from the zoning of seven industrial wind farms.
26) On 22 March 2022 by a mayoral decision a consultant is hired for the establishment of an energy community on Kythira.
27) On 12 May 2022 requests for cancellation of the 3 licenses of the TERNA group were filed with the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal.
28) In May 2022 a number of citizens reported the mismanagement and uncontrolled granting of electricity production licenses by the Energy Regulatory Authority (RAE) to the Public Prosecutor.
29) In July 2022 from Halki, the first GR-eco island, the Greek Prime Minister invited all island municipalities to follow her example, create energy communities and join the GR-eco islands initiative, assuring that they will receive government support. (between minutes 47.00 and 48.00 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoPYX2XI1RQ).
Kythira is on this trajectory and is exactly following the example of Halki with the participation of the municipality and the Enchorios Periousia in a non-profit energy community with photovoltaics and virtual net metering in order to produce energy in Kythira, for Kythira.
30) Very recently, the Greek Prime Minister called on the island to continue the organized struggle against installation of industrial wind turbines on the island.
31) On 6 July 2022 decision 689/2022 was issued by RAE. In it, the electricity production certificate of PIRITIUM S.A. for the industrial wind farm on Mermengaris hill as well as the application for an industrial-size wind turbine in the Sopata area, below Agios Giorgos, Avlemonas, were rejected (!) by RAE. This is the first important victory for the island!
32) On 30 September 2022 the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals heared the cancellation appeals concerning the industrial wind farms of the companies ELLAKTOR S.A. and PIRITIUM S.A. A final court decision is awaited.
33) On 31 October 2022 at the 14th meeting of the municipal council it is announced that the statutes of the Energy Community of Kythira are ready and within the year the legal entity will be created.
34) On 24 January 2023 at the meeting of the municipal council the participation of the municipality in the Energy Community of Kythira was unanimously voted.
During this period of three years, the Kythira Citizen’ Movement has constantly informed the people of the island and not only through online discussions, participation in workshops organized by communities abroad (like Australia, California, etc.), live meetings and discussions in all the villages of the island and constant presence on social media. But it also participates in the Hellenic Network of Collectives for Energy and collaborates with the Kytherian Foundation for Culture & Development in the ongoing legal battles. Members of the Citizens Movement also participate in the cross-party committee that has been set up.
At the same time, since its establishment, the cross-party committee meets regularly looking for solutions through the creation of an energy community on the island. The solution of virtual netmetering with photovoltaics has been qualified as the most sustainable and compatible for the island of Kythira.