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Summary of events around the huge planned windfarm in the sea off north-west Corfu until September 2010

September 29, 2010

Map of planned wind turbines off Agios Stefanos

This is what the sea might look like if plans go through

It’s been more than a year since the summer of 2009, when the plans for the construction of a wind farm in the sea between north-west Corfu and the Diapontia islands (Othoni-Erikousa-Mathraki) started getting widely known. In the fall of 2009 and with the initiative of some active citizens of the area, the “Association of unions and citizens of northern Corfu and the Diapontia islands” was formed. We started researching and discovered that applications had been filed by 14 companies to the RAE (Regulatory Instance of Energy). We are talking in total of 400 windmills with a height of over 150 meters and a total power of 1200 MW! The Association had several general assemblies with an average of 30-40 people and appointed a coordinating committee. This committee gathered articles and information, composed a memorandum of opposition and collected about 5000 signatures against the construction of the windmill park in our area. The memorandum and the signatures were handed over to the local authorities and the Corfiot members of parliament, as well as to 44 related agencies and ministries in Athens. Also, after pressure by the Association, official decisions against the windfarm were taken by local municipalities, the prefecture of Corfu, the Union of tourist agents, the Technical Chamber and Chamber of Commerce, fishing unions and many other instances of Corfu.

In December 2009 the draft of law for the “Speeding up of Renewable Energy Sources to deal with Climate Change” is put online for “public debate”. In the draft is mentioned that:

“protection of the climate by promoting energy production by RES (Renewable Energy Sources) constitutes an environmental and energy priority of the highest importance for the country, prevailing decisively in cases where it is weighed against other environmental or social parameters”

The draft is put to the vote and becomes a law of the State in June 2010 (Law 3851/10).

Sea wind farm Corfu - Phase 1

The plans for phase 1

Just one month later, the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change announces the procedure by which sea wind farms will be planned and placed, as well as maps of the 12 areas preliminary selected for the construction of sea windfarms. Corfu is included in thse areas, completely disregarding the opposition of inhabitants and the local authorities and instances. Of course it’s true that the government has done a little step back and is now talking about 2 areas between Othoni and Mathraki and Othoni and Erikousa where much less wind turbines can be installed. But the plan is labeled Phase 1, meaning that there will also be a phase 2 and maybe a phase 3 and 4 and….At the same time, the wind turbines themselves have grown taller and now we are talking about monsters of 180 meters (a 60-storey building!).

Michalis Dekleris

Mr Michalis Dekleris

In the beginning of September 2010, Mr Michalis Dekleris visited Corfu to examine the garbage dump in Lefkimmi and the area of north-west Corfu regarding the sea windfarm. First of all, let us see who is mr Michalis Dekleris. Michalis Dekleris is one of the greatest Greek lawmakers of the last century. As funder and head of the 5th department of the Council of State (the Supreme Administrative Court of Greece) he has produced legislation on environmental topics, sustainable development and natural reserves that has been adopted worldwide! He has stopped many colossal projects that did not comply with environmental regulations.

In his interview he talked about the natural reserves of Corfu that are being exhausted in a breathtaking pace. All islands are sensitive ecosystems and their natural reserves should be maintained at 30-50% of their area. Of course, as we all know, the natural reserves of Corfu have been cannibalized for many years and the outlook in the near future is even worse.

Specifically on the issue of the windmill parks (beside the sea windmill park there are also plans for windmill parks on the Pantokrator!), he stated that

“windmill parks are a well-designed scam by international loansharks“

as the energy produced is not continuous and has large fluctuations, and so requires a complete backup system powered by conventional means. Thus, there is really nothing “green” about them.

Especially regarding the planned sea windfarm he stated that the millions of tons of concrete that will be used to support the windmills on the sea bottom will cause the total destruction of the invaluable marine ecosystem of the area.

“The sea windmill park is an environmental crime as the sea bottom is a living organism“.

He also stated that the new law (3851/2010) which puts energy production from RES above all other environmental and social issues is fundamentally incompatible with the Greek constiution and all related Greek and international laws.

This is where we are today.

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