Free electric power for vehicles, 5G, reduced bills… Everything is an advantage on the small island of Khalki thanks to this ambitious project.
Jalki is a small Greek island with 250 inhabitants, located in the Aegean Sea. This is where the call has been launched ‘GR-eco Islands’ project.
Within its framework, in 2021 an energy community was created with the sole purpose of promote the social and solidarity economy. Several French and Greek companies invested in the infrastructure of the project. The island has a solar park that produces 1.8 gigawatts of electricity per year.
“It is estimated that ‘GR-Eco Islands’ will reduce the CO2 footprint by 2,576 tons,” explains the promoter of the French company Akuo, Vassilis Zaforopoulos“which is equivalent to the emission of 617 conventional cars. At the same time, 260,000 euros have been saved in the production of green energy, enough to cover the expenses of more than 200 families on the island.
Today, household bills in Jalki are zero euros, and many small businesses breathe a sigh of relief.
“My last bill was 1,500 euros,” he tells us Lambros Markakis, owner of a small shop in the port. “This is a big difference, because before my bill was 8,000 euros a year.”
An example to imitate
The project also made it possible to supply free electric power to the vehicles on the island. With the 5G network also included in the idea, telemedicine and tele-education arrived in turn, which significantly improves the quality of life of the local population. Jalki’s day-to-day life is right now an example to be followed by many other islands in Greece.
“The Greek government takes Jalki as an example”, confirms the mayor of the island, Evangelos Fragakakis.”It has obtained funding from the European Union to transfer the GR-eco concept to the other islands of Greece. If I remember correctly the sum amounts to approximately one billion euros”.
This small community in southern Europe is delighted to share their own experience, but also to hear similar experiences from other places that can enrich this union between energy democracy and new technologies.
And Europe is not the only one surprised. The mayor of Jalki did not reveal that he was waiting these days for the arrival of a large delegation from South Korea, ready to implement this concept on its thousands of islands. And it is that great ideas, it is known, do not understand borders.