While Athenians tan and splash at the beach, they are able to charge their devices, thanks to solar panels that have been installed on top of beach umbrellas at the public sandy beach near the city hall of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni municipality, in southern Athens.
Adhering to the safe distancing measures, dozens of umbrellas scattered along the beach, are fitted with a system consisting of solar panels and USB ports offering free of charge and environmentally friendly charging, Xinhua reported.
Under the pilot program launched on Tuesday, 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.
“It is a very innovative action which actually shows what digital technologies are all about and how they can serve environmental protection. It is a pilot project and we will certainly evaluate the valuable results at the end of the summer season and we will expand this program also to other open public beaches and suggest it also for closed beaches in our region,” mayor of Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni municipality, told Xinhua.
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.
“It is a clear example of what we are calling in Europe ‘Green transition’. We want to show that on a daily basis we can use technology which is also environmentally friendly. In 2050 we want Europe and our planet to be, if possible, climate neutral, meaning to have zero greenhouse gas emissions which are damaging the planet,” George Markopouliotis, Head of Representation of the European Commission in Greece, added.
“(The system) allows us to continue our everyday routine even at the beach, but also do this in an environmentally friendly manner. It is a very important initiative that we hope we will expand to other municipalities, other beaches as well as to public squares and all other spaces with crowds,” said Dr Angelos Amditis, research director of ICCS.