Greece’s renewable energy sources powered the whole nation for a few hours: NPR

An array of photovoltaic panels are pictured at a solar park in Kozani, Greece, April 6, 2022. The Greek electricity transmission operator said it had recently reached a new benchmark, using exclusively renewable energy for a brief period.

Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg/Getty Images


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Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg/Getty Images


An array of photovoltaic panels are pictured at a solar park in Kozani, Greece, April 6, 2022. The Greek electricity transmission operator said it had recently reached a new benchmark, using exclusively renewable energy for a brief period.

Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Greece’s electricity system has reached a new milestone, having been powered entirely by “clean” renewable energy for the first time.

Renewable energy sources covered Greece’s electricity demand for around five hours last Friday, the Independent Electricity Transmission Operator, or IPTO, said. said. Renewables also hit a new high that day, peaking at 3,106 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity.

The company, which owns and operates Greece’s electricity transmission system linking power plants to customers, says the achievement will open the door to a greener energy mix in years to come.

Greece relies on a range of electricity sources, with no single source accounting for more than 50%. In August 2022, natural gas and renewable sources, such as wind and solar, accounted for most of the energy. IPTO also derives electricity from hydroelectricity, as well as lignite or “lignite”, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels.

In 2019, Greece’s total energy consumption per capita (including electricity, oil and other segments) ranked 52nd in the world, at 108 million Btu per person, according to the US Energy Information Administration. According to this metric, Greece used about a third more energy than the United States, which reported 304.41 million Btu per person.

The country’s accomplishment comes after a decade in which its dependence on fossil fuels has been gradually reduced, while increasing the capacity of renewable energy and large hydroelectric plants, according to The green tanka non-profit environmental think tank based in Greece.

Greece’s system isn’t the only one to hit the 100% renewables mark: The much larger California Independent System Operator, which serves about 80% of the state, reported that it has. briefly reached in the spring.

Renewables have experienced “an unprecedented boom” in recent years, including a 45% increase in capacity in 2020, the International Energy Agency reported. In the United States this year, the gains include wind power overtaking both coal and nuclear power.

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