The environment ministry on Tuesday unveiled its 'Green Island' and 'Green Village' programmes, saying that the target was for the selection of eligible communities and signature of contracts to be concluded by the end of November.
A pilot 'Greek Island' programme is already underway on the small island of Aghios Efstratios, with the islet of Lipsous considered the next likely candidate. Earmarked for the 'Green Village' programme is a village in the mountains of Arta.
An official invitation for applications will be announced at the end of June and the communities interested are expected to submit their bid portfolios by the end of September. This will be followed by evaluation and the signature of contracts.
The programme is funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework and has a total budget of 50 million euros for four years. Its aim is to reduce the eligible communities' reliance on fossil fuels and reduce their carbon emissions to effectively zero.
This will be achieved by employing a combination of available technology and techniques for renewable energy sources (power generation from wind and solar energy), energy storage and hydrogen production, smart networks, energy-efficient buildings, electricity-powered transport and others to create communities that generate minimal CO2 and thus generate opportunities for green economic activity and investments.
It chiefly targets small communities of 500 to 800 residents, with potential access to a usable source of renewable energy, strong community support for the project and previous experience.