The ‘energy transition’ and other balderdash

The ‘energy transition’ and other balderdash

Across Greece, residents are opposed to the installation of wind farms. Most versions of the so-called eco-friendly left are against decarbonization, and all together we are complaining about our power bills. The government’s response is a lot of big words about the “energy transition,” even though the state itself erects obstacles to the production of power from the sun and the wind.

Everyone agrees that the decentralization of power production with the installation of photovoltaic panels on the rooftops of buildings would benefit everyone. It would reduce consumers’ power bills; decrease pollution; favor the foreign trade balance; lessen the country’s reliance on fossil fuel producers; ease the burden on electricity networks during peak hours like midday in summer when air-conditioners are running at full throttle; and it would be less intrusive than wind farms.

Technology has made the process relatively simple. The Greek state, however, appears determined to complicate everything that technology simplifies

Technology has made the process – which is known as net metering – relatively simple. The photovoltaic system is connected to the meter and the consumer pays the difference between production and consumption. The Greek state, however, appears determined to complicate everything that technology simplifies, so the electricity network operator, DEDDIE, demands the following before the process can even begin: the deed of ownership of the property and a certificate from the land registry office; a recent land registry chart of the property; the building license; a topographical map of the property, stamped by the engineer; a recent power bill; a photocopy of the petitioner’s identity card; and a signed declaration of application addressed to DEDDIE with the signature certified by a Citizens’ Service Center (KEP), and the text containing the incredible assurance that “all the information declared herein is true.” Apart from all the time and effort involved, getting these documents costs around 300 euros. Then there’s another 450 euros which DEDDIE – as a monopoly that can write its own rules – charges as a “connection fee.”

And that’s not all. In every other part of the world, consumers are not charged for electricity they produce themselves; here, they are. Greece must also be the only country where the consumer has to pay for a router and an annual mobile phone subscription so the state can keep track of how much power they consume from what they produce themselves. And anyone who contributes to the reduction of pollution by installing photovoltaic panels on their roof also needs to pay a “special tax for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

So would someone, as Ronald Reagan did, be wrong to believe that government is not the solution to the energy problem, but the problem itself?

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