Published on : Friday, July 24, 2020
The public sandy beach near the city hall of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni municipality, in southern Athens recently installed solar panels on top of beach umbrellas so that visitors are able to charge their devices while they tan and splash at the beach. Dozens of umbrellas have been scattered along the beach adhering to safe distancing measures and each umbrella have been fitted with a system consisting of solar panels and USB ports offering free of charge and environmentally friendly charging.
Under the pilot program sunbathers will be contributing to energy-saving efforts using solar energy and will be able to see how much electricity was saved on a website run by the scientists of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) of the National Technical University of Athens. The program named “GrEEnBeach solar charging system” marks the European Green Deal’s arrival to the Greek beaches. It will conclude at the end of September.
Spiros Panas, Mayor, Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni Municipality said in a recent press statement that the installation of solar chargers is a very innovative action which shows what digital technologies are all about and how they can serve environmental protection. He mentioned that it is a pilot project and the valuable results will be evaluated at the end of the summer season. He also mentioned that the program will be expanded to other open public beaches as well as suggested for closed beaches in the region.
George Markopouliotis, Head of Representation, European Commission in Greece added that the technology is a clear example of Europe’s ‘Green transition’ and has been introduced to showcase that environmentally friendly technology can be used on a daily basis. He shared that authorities want to make Europe and even the planet, climate neutral, having zero greenhouse gas emissions which are damaging the planet. Dr Angelos Amditis, Research Director, ICCS further mentioned that the system would allow people to continue everyday routine even at the beach at an environmentally friendly manner. He said that the initiative is very important and can be expanded to other municipalities, other beaches as well as to public squares and all other spaces with crowds in near future.