Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will announce the incorporation of Halki island in the national GR-eco island plan for transition of Greeks islands to green energy in a ceremony on Friday in the presence of ministers and the French Ambassador to Greece Patrick Maisonnave.
The plan is to make the island energy self-sufficient and to introduce electromobility, as well as other features of “smart cities”.
A memorandum to that effect was signed in July by Envirnoment & Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas, the French Embassy in Athens, the South Aegean Region, the Municipality of Halki, the Public Power Corporation, the Syngelidis/Citroen Group , Akuoenergy Greece, Omexom/Vinci Energies, Vodafone Hellas and ALD Automotive. Papastratos company is contributing an electricity-powered ship for summer transport.
Part of the reason the island was picked is its strategic location and the fact Halki is under the aegis of UNESCO as an International Peace & Friendship Center.
RESOURCE | ABOUT CHALKI ISLAND
Halki is a Greek island and municipality in the Dodecanese archipelago in the Aegean Sea, some 9 km (6 mi) west of Rhodes. With an area of 28 km2 (11 sq mi), it is the smallest inhabited island of the Dodecanese. It is part of the Rhodes regional unit.
It has a permanent population of 330 (increased during the summer months), concentrated in the only village Emporio. The 2011 census showed a population of 478 inhabitants. The community is divided in two parts, Horio and Emporio.
The island supported a much larger population but following emigration in the mid-20th century Horio was almost completely abandoned. A sizable group of the residents moved to Tarpon Springs, Florida, establishing the Greek-American community there that continues to this day. A ruined medieval castle of the Knights of St. John overlooks the old town and the chapel contains some of the original frescoes.
The Municipality of Halki includes several uninhabited offshore islands, the largest of which is Alimia to the northeast, and has a total land area of 37.043 square kilometres (14.302 sq mi).
The island’s primary industry is tourism, although fishing is also substantial. There is virtually no natural water supply on the island and rainfall is collected in large cisterns.
Drinking water is brought in from Rhodes but there can be shortages during the summer months with the increased population. As of 2014 there is a desalination plant on the island and the water boat no longer comes every few days. However, bottled water still arrives.