Several important projects on offshore wind farms are currently under design in Greece, as discussions surrounding clean energy initiatives across the Mediterranean are climbing Europe’s agenda.

In a forum organized by OT entitled “Greek Entrepreneurship 2.0+,” Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Theodoros Skylakakis noted that, “Greece has the best offshore wind potential in the Mediterranean, as their operational time exceeds 50%. This is a national treasure that must be utilized as it has the least environmental impact of any other form of energy production. Because such structures are far from residential areas, they does not affect the land, but rather float as a ship, anchored, with a wind turbine.”

He mentioned that the big challenge for Greece is to develop a supply chain for the offshore wind sector, in order for future huge investments of 30-40 billion euros to be focus on largely on Greece. He also stressed the importance of communicating the initiatives to citizens. “It is important that we tell the story correctly this time from the start. We did not tell the story of onshore wind farms well and, because people did not understand it well, they demonized it.”

The potential of Greece to become a pillar in Europe’s clean energy race was also discussed by Nikos Frydas, who stressed that the Aegean Sea is among the two marine areas with the highest potential in terms of wind power in the Mediterranean.

He added that initiatives such as offshore wind farms can lead to “investments of 2 GW and 6-7 billion euros by 2030-31, creating 8,000-10,000 permanent jobs.”

Plans to make use of the abundance sunny weather in the Mediterranean, turning the region into a green hydrogen source has been heavily discussed by governments in Europe. For example, Spain averages 4.6 kilowatts-hours (kwh) of solar power daily, while Morocco averages 5.6 kwh, double of what counties further north, like Germany, can ever expect.

If Europe’s aspirations become reality, the abundant and cheap supply of renewable energy will be a significant step forward in the race for ridding carbon emissions. However, the development of clean energy initiatives is lacking in Southern Europe compared to its Northern counterpart. Another serious issue is North Africa, where sunlight and strong winds create ideal and rare conditions for the production of green hydrogen, but the political and regulatory instability of the region severely hinders such projects from taking root.