Pioneering project aiming to achieve clean energy autonomy for remote islands wins two EU awards

The innovative project TILOS has brought home two awards for Greece and the remote Aegean island of Tilos. TILOS, conceived by a team of engineers working at the Soft Energy Applications & Environmental Protection Laboratory of the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (PUAS), has been awarded the first prizes at the prestigious EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) contest in both the Energy Islands and the Citizens' Awards categories. The Energy Islands Award was announced by an expert committee, while the Citizens Award was a result of an online public vote among 12 final nominees. Participation of voting EU citizens in this year’s competition was unprecedented: participation was almost twice as that during last year’s competition. TILOS received half of the public’s votes.
The awards were presented by the EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, during the EU Sustainable Energy Week, the most important sustainable energy policy conference.

The aim of the TILOS project, that begun in February 2015 and will be completed by early 2019, is to achieve maximum energy autonomy from clean energy sources for the Greek island of Tilos. The project is entering now its most critical phase, as the installation of a medium scale turbine and a medium scale PV park will be completed in the next coming days. The hybrid energy system is expected to go into trial operation at the end of the summer, when batteries for energy storage are also in place. 
The successful completion of the project will mark a new day for islandness around the world, as the proposed technical solutions address interconnection and energy supply security issues, promoting the energy autonomy of islands and minimizing their reliance on expensive and polluting diesel.

“We are very happy with the recognition received by the European Commission and European citizens. Working together with many partners and in close cooperation with the local community, we have a clear objective: to convert Tilos into an island running on renewable energy. More importantly, the TILOS project is showing us the future energy paradigm for the country. In these challenging times for Greece, this is an opportunity for the government to learn from the Tilos example, replicate and scale it up.” said Demetres Karavellas, CEO of WWF Greece.

Notes to editors:
• The Tilos project involves 13 partners from seven EU countries led by the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences Soft Energy Applications and Environmental Protection Laboratory (SEALAB). Greek participants include the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator S.A, the companies Eunice and Eurosol and the environmental NGO WWF Greece. With the support of the local community and the Municipality of Tilos the project aims at achieving maximum energy autonomy of this remote Dodecanese island, that till today relies on electricity provided through subsea cables from the diesel stations in Kos.
• This innovative hybrid energy system, currently at implementation stage, comprises of a medium scale wind turbine, a medium scale PV park and battery energy storage, with the capability also to provide guaranteed energy exports to the island of Kos.
• You can find more information on the project on the TILOS website.
• More information on the awards can be found here.
• TILOS project nomination trailer can be found here.

For more information:
Anthimos Chatzivasileiou, policy communications officer WWF Greece, tel. 210-3314893, cel. 6944989749

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It is with deep sadness but also valuable memories, that we bid farewell to Luc Hoffmann, ‘father’ of WWF Greece and co-founder of WWF International.

His love for life on Earth brought Luc to the field of ecology many years ago, with numerous publications as an internationally acknowledged zoologist-ornithologist and a legendary track record of conservation efforts throughout the world. His endless love and concern about the future of the planet is also reflected in the number of organisations and protected areas that are very much his own creations – the international Ramsar Convention for the conservation of wetlands, the Tour du Valat wetlands research centre, the MAVA Foundation that has supported conservation efforts throughout the world, Doñana in Spain, Banc d’ Arguin in Mauritania and of course Prespa, of which he is an honorary citizen since 2003.

A great friend of our country, Luc fell in love with Greek nature from the 1950’s. He tirelessly studied the wetlands of Greece and founded many organisations such as WWF Greece, and the Society for the Protection of Prespa where he was President for many years. In 1999, Luc Hoffmann was also awarded the honour of the Order of the Phoenix by the President of the Hellenic Republic.

Luc Hoffmann will always be with us, through our thriving nature that he so loved and fought for but also though his writings such as the one below, that overflow with love for the beauties of our planet:

‘Greece is the country of diversity….Zeus must have hit this area with his hammer, splashing thousand islands in the sea and tearing the mainland into pieces so that the country’s coastline became as long as the one of the whole continent of Africa. This physical multiplicity is increased by a wide gradient of climates, ranging from almost subtropical to truly alpine conditions, as well as by a variety of mountains, hills, and plains, many of which scattered with wetlands. No wonder these conditions have produced an exceptionally rich living nature, in fact the highest biodiversity known in Europe. They are also at the origin of beautiful and deeply moving natural and man-made landscapes. Altogether, these form the natural heritage of Greece.’

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