Good Day

My name is Kimon Karatzos, I’m an agriculturalist, agricultural advisor, Doctor of the University of Montpelier and a member of the E.U. team of Agricultural Advisors EUROGREEN.

With the opportunity of this interview, I’d like to emphasize some issues that concern the infiltration of renewable energy sources in our country and their implantation in the productive model of branches: industry, agriculture and services. I estimate that the infiltration of renewable energy sources in Greece is facing serious problems; first, on an institutional level, that is, I would say that the legislative framework that exists at this moment is from disappointing until retrovert for the promotion of such initiatives which are connected to the renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, the administrative field, in a strange, conspirative way, is obstructing the infiltration and the promotion of these energies, and further more, that the global pressures which concern the energy crisis, are compelling us, either we like it or not, to catch the last train, named use of renewable energy sources, because otherwise the launching of the prices of oil will push companies and the country to go bankrupt sooner or later.

So therefore, my estimation for the anchylosys that exists in my country at this moment, is that, on one hand, there is Governmental inertness, and I wouldn’t say intentional, but the Leaders, the Ministers and even the Prime minister of the country, pent in the that are assembled informally and are on behalf of the Law and above the Law, they are not giving easiness, and that all these initiatives  which could be made possible from different  carriers and non-government organizations, won’t be realized, because they represent chatter. So, the materialization is delayed, because there’s no promotion at all in the legislative framework that politicians announce and the lower systems retract what the politicians say.

Therefore, the situation is very concerning, and all these that I‘m mentioning are not only opinions of the carriers that I have joined, they are also views of the management of the Pan Hellenic net of ecological organizations and EL FORES, the Greek carrier for renewable energy sources and there are the opinions of six-seven big carriers of Greece in which of KEDKE, the Mediterranean SOS Greenpeace, the Pan Hellenic network of ecological organizations, the Union of Investors in renewable energy sources and maybe I have forgotten some other organizations, very important which officially criticize in press bulletins the quality and the way in which the management functions.

Now, regarding the occasional infiltration of the renewable energy sources in our country, I’d say that it was presumable, the beginning was made with the windmill farms, in fact the beginning was made with waterfalls, which were utilized until a degree or in a certain satisfactory level. Furthermore, the use of windmill farms started, consequently wind energy was used in a big degree, in spite of the fact that it confronts big problems, but unfortunately, analysing the situation through an international scenery, I esteem – we esteem (because we are a group that cooperates on these matters), that, from the renewable energy sources, biomass, is an undepleted and repeatable source, and we know that it is created in the germinal months of the year and it remains available to be burned or utilized as energy. Therefore it is an inexhaustible source of energy that remains unused, we’ve put it in the third category, because there are no motivations with which the State and the E.E.C. will promote these renewable energy sources and more specific biomass, through subsidies, in order to give incomes to the farmers and to give very cheap energy and I’d say more competitive.

I’d like to mention that I derived this experience from the period 1990-1996, when I had the opportunity to become a member of a big intergovernmental team  from Italy, Greece, France and Spain, with which we acted NON FOOD, that are the so called energy cultivations - cultivations which don’t produce food but energy.

So, through this team of technostructure, consisted of industrial co-operators, University laboratories, private agricultural advisors, like our company AGRICON, and agricultural advisors, here in Greece.

The experience that we obtained since then has proved to be a huge asset that is to be taken advantage of today, because we are really getting to a point where the renewable energy sources and especially biomass present the solution. At this point, I’d say that the infiltration of renewable energy sources in our region isn’t very intensive. It’s gonna be very small, as far the windmill farms are concerned; and as far as it concerns the waterfalls it’s going to be also very small – if we except the case of Gonnoi, where waterfalls from the lake Askourida exist. From that point and further, the infiltration is done in some companies by using natural gas, but as we know, this form of renewable energy is not delivering big environmental derivatives, because the feedstock remains to be a mineral. So, there’s one source that remains to be invaluable - biomass and in our region it could make a big difference, because coincidentally, at this moment we have a big crisis in the agricultural field and in the next period, our farmers are going to discover the economic blind end of the subordinate cultivations, the cultivation of energy cultivation would be the solution. In the period 1990-1996, when we made our research and evaluated the cultivations that could bring this big movement in the energy sector in our region, we noticed several plants that could give us good results in the energy blind end. These cultivations are ten, and five of them are estimated as very good for our region. In that way, the long-term solution to the energy problem and an inexhaustible source is the use of biomass. As far as the companies in the region that use renewable energy sources are concerned, I evaluate that they are very few as I said before and they are mostly using natural gas. Next is:

Question: What about your company?

Answer: In our company we have organized a model of minimum consumption, we are not using enough renewable energy sources, but in our full functioning we have applied a model of minimum use of electric power and energy which derives from conventional fuel, like petrol or oil. We have limited and planned our movements, and the use of electric power is done with an orientation to the minimal. Luckily, there’s awareness in our company which came from seminars and trainings that we had and it was our choice to make use of the biggest, or we should better say the uppermost renewable energy and that is economical energy consumption which has the leading role. And we have succeeded in that because through the administration of the energy available, we are probably at the least that is requested. That is how the first  energy came from the way of using of the available energy. Further than that, our company works as  energy advisor in the protogenic sector, the agriculture, and through the release of informations about such kind of experiences involving the use of energy, we try to spread the informations in the professional space in all of Greece and if possible in all of Europe. Our connection through EUROGREEN and the EL FORES Network of renewable energy sources, gives us the opportunity to infiltrate till one degree the experience we have, but unfortunately, in a time when companies in Greece with such a profile need support of this kind because they’re pioneers, there is no economical support at all. There’s no support at all to help our initiative. There is an initiative for effusing informations about the renewable energy sources and especially biomass, in which we voluntarily participate to a degree, taking care to create a net of acceptable participants; a net where our advices will be appreciated, but that we would like to be supported with a professional relation, because we believe that amateur free help of such services will not be appreciated. Services won’t be appreciated and a real refeedable functional relation between us and the people that are getting informed by us, wouldn’t be achieved.