June 11, 2012
Energy concessions could offer relief for Eurocrisis
The countries most affected by the Eurocrisis could reduce their debts substantially with concessions for renewable energy. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have excellent conditions for harvesting energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. They could give their creditors concessions for large scale investment programs in renewable energy that offer enough long-term financial profit.
This ‘renewable-energy-concessions-for-debt-reduction-plan’ was introduced by a group of renowned economics and energy professors and proposed in the Dutch daily ‘NRC Handelsblad’ last Monday. A thirty percent debt reduction is possible if Ireland gives less than one percent, Portugal about one percent and Greece about two percent of its total surface into concession for renewable energy production. The authors emphasize that ‘the energy projects don’t have to exclusively be large-scale and on a few big pieces of land. They could capitalize on vast opportunities for decentralized energy locally as well’.
The involved countries would be able to pay off a substantial part of their debts to the creditors and at the same time they will also receive a positive stimulus for their economy and employment from the construction and maintenance of the projects. ‘Especially the young generation in these countries who now face a tremendously high unemployment rate will enjoy a new perspective for a debt-free future with many opportunities for healthy growth. And Europe will have more renewable energy with which to contribute to a cleaner, healthier and safer environment for its citizens’, according to the professors.
The EU Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs has been requested to seriously examine this plan. The proposals met with positive reactions from Liberal Democrat, Social Democrat and Green MEPs. They welcome all innovative and creative input into the ongoing debate. Solving the financial crisis as well as the energy and environmental crises requires out-of-the-box thinking and new economic models.Marco Witschge