As lithium-ion battery prices fall, Greece receives EUR 12.5 million in EU funding to become first member state to use solar power as a way of reducing power outages
The European Commission recently announced that the Greek Island of Tilos will become the first Mediterranean island in the European Union to be autonomously powered by renewable energy thanks to an advanced Lithium-ion battery system, which is driven by an 800Kw wind turbine and a solar park.
A popular holiday destination, the population of Tilos swells from around 400 during the winter to approximately 3,000 in summer months. Its current electricity supply is partially supplied by an undersea cable which runs 90 kilometres from Tilos to the neighbouring Greek island of Kos.
In summer, the temperatures in Tilos frequently average above 32 degrees Celsius. When combined with the population increase, these conditions often render the island’s existing energy supply largely useless – summer months are frequently plagued by power outages, and local businesses such as hotels and restaurants are forced to turn to diesel-powered generators for power as way of sustaining the local economy.
By 2020, the EU is seeking to have its member states sourcing 20% of their energy from renewables. As way of doing so, it will provide Tilos with EUR 12.5 million of the 15.7 million it needs to install its renewable energy system as way of avoiding power outages and overhauling the island’s grid.
Sun Investment Group believes that the Greek island will set an example for avoiding power blackouts across Europe, especially as the price of lithium-ion battery packs has been in decline in recent years. Between 2014 – 2016, the price of these battery packs dropped from $400/kWh to below $190/kWh.
As experts predict the price will fall below $100/kWh by 2025, Sun Investment Group’s Chief Business Development Officer, Andrius Terskovas believes solar power will become a widespread way of avoiding future power blackouts across Europe in the future.
“The decreasing prices of lithium-ion batteries used to solar power farms will surely lead to the further adoption of solar energy as a way of avoiding power outages across Europe,” said Andrius Terskovas. “The batteries store energy produced on sunny days, which can then be deployed for use during times of power outages or heavy demand such or in the case of Tilos – tourist season. As an organization, Sun Investment Group looks forward to solar energy being used to alleviate problems that traditional energy sources still bring to many households and businesses across Europe.”
Tilos’ status as the first Mediterranean island to be powered by renewables is yet another example of Europe taking its commitments to renewable energy seriously, and the decreasing prices of lithium-ion batteries will be yet another factor in the continent’s green future and energy security.