The Solar Capital of Greece

Ierapetra is an important town in the Lasithi prefecture of Crete. It is distinct at least because of two factors: the biggest amount of sunny hours throughout the year and very high technology culture of the farmers, who make up majority of the local economy.

I arrived to Ierapetra thanks to the invitation and support of its current and former citizens: Alex, Michalis and Tally. We only had less than 48 hours to get to know each other a bit, to establish some framework and to make plans for cooperation. And we did it.

So, here is a brief report:

  1. The Ierapetra region is still wealthy and well developed, compared to the rest of Greece. However, it suffers the cuts and downsizes also at the scale much bigger than other areas.
  2. Community there is well integrated and pretty radical. There is no significant tension between the countryside and the town. The area is certainly a bit isolated and may use some “fresh blood” both in the political and technological sense.
  3. I had a very interesting meeting with one of the most open and highly qualified farmers in the area. We have agreed that he will partly finance a prototype installation of the solar soil heating system. This is important to increase productivity of local farmers during the winter. The system will be prepared and documented under the CC-BY-SA licence, to give all interested parties access to the technology. We are currently gathering people and the missing funds to start the project in December. More details soon.
  4. I also had a talk for the local group “Citizens in Action”. The topic was “How the sun can help” (here is the PDF version). The reaction was very warm. Now I expect some discussion about setting up a Community Technology Center in Ierapetra.

My next visit in Ierapetra is expected in December. Meanwhile we shall continue work over internet.

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