Red tape, protests slow wind power projects

Bureaucracy and public opposition are thwarting wind energy projects and sending would-be investors to less developed countries that have taken bolder steps to harness this clean technology, experts have told Kathimerini. «Wind energy is moving at a snail’s pace due to the lack of political will,» said Dimitris Ibrahim of Greenpeace, noting that less than 1,000 megawatts per year are produced via wind, as compared to a target of 3,500 MW by 2010. According to Yiannis Tsipouridis, president of the Hellenic Wind Energy Association, licenses can take up to seven years to issue. «Investors are turning to more welcoming countries, such as Turkey and Bulgaria, which have simplified bureaucracy,» he said. Public opposition at sites slated for wind park construction is another barrier, as residents fear a negative impact on real estate prices and tourism.