In the context of the financial and Eurocrisis and after the second Greek bailout at the end of last month, aGreen delegation made up of Greens/EFA Co-Presidents Dany Cohn-Bendit and Rebecca Harms and Green MEP Nikos Chrysogelos held a series of high-level meetings in order to debate the latest developments of the situation and seek to further explore alternatives in Athens. As well as meeting 30 representatives of the Greek Greens, economic and social stakeholders, trade unions, SMEs and NGOs, the Green delegation also had constructive discussions with Prime Minister, Mr Lucas Papademos, Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas and the Governor of the Bank of Greece, Mr Georgios Provopoulos





A different energy future is feasible!
A Public Hearing in Brussels organised by Nikos Chrysogelos
  • There exist 2 million energy producers from renewable energy sources in Germany (small producers, houses, cooperatives, social and community enterprises), not just the 4 major companies.
  • Güssing, a small town in Austria that was suffering socially and economically, managed to stop the tendency of local population towards migration and increase its population from 500 to 3764 people, by creating 1100 new jobs and attracting 50 new companies, primarily through the development and utilization of local biomass for electricity, heating and fuel, thus reaching the impressive levels of 71% energy self-reliance. At the same time, this effort ensured stable, low prices for the heating of the residents while the prices of heating oil sky-rocketed.
  • 5400 companies and 18 million members participate in DGRV, the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation. Many of the cooperatives produce energy from renewable sources.
  • Many of the social and community enterprises participating in the European confederation of cooperatives and small RES producers have history from 20 to 100 years.
  • A group of German University students who created a cooperative for energy production collected from students-small shareholders 400.000 euro in order to install photovoltaic systems at their university, within a few weeks.
These are some of the most impressive highlights that were presented in the public hearing entitled "Social-Cooperative Enterprises and Renewable Energy Systems" organized by Nikos Chrysogelos, MEP of Ecologists Greens at the European Parliament, on Thursday, March 8, with a large turnout of people from both Greece and Europe.
The aim of the hearing was to bring civic groups, professional associations, representatives of municipal authorities, scientists, etc who either have started or are interested in participating in social-cooperative enterprises for utilising renewable energy sources, together with the existing institutional framework at the European level, the rich experience from different European countries, and possible sources and funding mechanisms for such efforts. Experts from all aformentioned areas highlighted the possibilities and fundamental advantages of the social-cooperative model for promoting decentralized renewable energy production as well as for maximizing the economic and environmental benefits for local communities.
Earlier, Nikos Chrysogelos’ guests attended, and participated with several comments, in the very interesting discussion on the Energy Roadmap for 2050, organized by the Greens, while the previous day, the group of visitors attended the workshop of the Greens on the consequences and lessons learnt from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima last year.
 “The response to our invitation from people from so many different regions of Greece, municipal and regional authorities, scientists, representatives of chambers and groups of citizens was really encouraging in terms of promoting the idea of ​​decentralized renewable energy development with true social participation", Nikos Chrysogelos stated. "In a period of a harsh and unprecedented attack on environmental, economic and social sustainability, the creation of social-community enterprises will contribute towards an increased participation of RES that the country needs so urgently, as well as towards battling unemployment and promoting responsible economic activities. Even under the stifling economic conditions experienced currently in Greece, through mobilizing local actors and creative human resources, and through good organization and cooperation with institutions from different countries, it is possible to say in a few years that there exist Greek cities like Güssing in Austria with energy self-sufficiency based on local renewable energy over 70% and thousands of new jobs by SMEs and cooperatives. The participation in our group, of Greeks who have already started such efforts in our country, is definitely a source of inspiration and optimism. Despite the current dependence of Greece on oil and coal, an alternative energy future is possible and a trully social economy is realistic!
Please follow the links to see:
  • The video from the public hearing:
  • The photographs from the public hearing:
  • A short interview by Nikos Chrysogelos in ERTworld:
  • A short interview by Vassilis Bellis, director of the Development Company in Karditsa in Ertworld:
The program of the public hearing follows:
12.00 - 12.10: Welcome speech, Nikos Chrysogelos (MEP Greens, Greece)
Institutional frameworks
12.10 - 12.25: Tom Howes, deputy Head of Unit Renewables and CCS policy, European Commission, DG Energy, Renewables policy (Click to download the presentation)
12.25 - 12.40: Mathieu Ficther, policy analyst, DG Regional Development, Regional policies for RES development (Click to download the presentation)
Best practice case studies
12.45 - 13.15: Dirk Vansintjan, president of the European federation of groups and cooperatives of citizens for renewable energy, (REScoop 20-20-20 and Eeklo-Ecopower projects) (Click to download the presentation)
13.15 - 13.35: Horst Kluttig, Aachen Hat Energie, Aachen, Germany (Click to download the presentation)
13.35 - 13.55: Joachim Hacker, European Centre for Renewable Energy, Gussing, Austria (Click to download the presentation)
13.55 - 14.15: Timo Gensel, Renewable energy cooperatives in Germany (Click to download the presentation)
14.15 - 14.30: Q&A
Funding opportunities
14.30 - 14.45: Vassilia Argyraki, project officer renewable energy, DG Energy "Intelligent Energy Europe". (Click to download the presentation)
14.45 - 15.00: Maud Skäringer, policy analyst, DG Regional Development, Structural Funds for RES development (Click to download the presentation)
15.00 -15.15: Pe Verhoeven, senior policy advisor, European Investment Bank (Click to download the presentation)
15.30 - 16.00: Q&A and Roundtable discussion