Clean Mountain Air and Keeping the Lights On

by Griffin Merians

Mountains are home to some of the most pristine and beautiful places on our planet but life often isn’t easy for the people that call them home, particularly when it comes to having enough energy to keep the lights on. Research published by Nicholas Katsoulakos and Dimitris Kaliampakos in the 91st issue of Energy Policy finds policies that encourage decentralized energy systems and renewable energy may be the key to addressing energy poverty and reducing costs for mountainous regions. The research conducted in the mountainous regions of Greece sought to identify the most viable energy solutions with consideration for key factors including altitude, remoteness, spatial and aesthetic restrictions, energy poverty alleviation, and employment invigoration. The analysis found that at high altitudes (above 800 meters), 8 out of 10 families experienced energy poverty in that they spend over 10% of their annual income on energy costs. The study sought to find the optimum energy mix or optimum balance of different methods of energy production to help alleviate energy poverty in these high altitude regions.  Continue reading