Change Greek Debt into Renewable Energy

This is a proposal from the Netherlands: Make a deal on the debt Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain that gives developers the right to use land there for solar or wind projects. In return for that, reduce the debts of these countries.

I am not sure if that will actually work.

While it is true that renewable energy needs a lot of space to deliver at scale, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the space comes at a large premium. How much of the cost of a large scale solar or wind project is the right to use the land?

But it would be nice if this kind of thing actually works, since getting large scale renewable energy projects going would be good news for the climate. And everything the Greek will be able to pay back by themselves under such a scheme won’t have to be paid by the Germans.

One advantage of projects of energy from the desert is that the land costs there are zero. That may work out the same in these proposals. And while Greece, Portugal and Spain are not deserts right now, that may change. One of the expected consequences of global warming is that the Sahara will jump over the Mediterranean Sea and extend to southern European countries. So in the long run, these projects may turn out to be “energy from the desert” programs as well.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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