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Pandora's Box: photovoltaic energy and economic crisis in Greece

Knight, D.; Bell, S.

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D. Knight


The Greek photovoltaic program was launched in 2006 and rebranded in 2011 as a way to repay debt and decrease national deficit. The scheme promotes new livelihood opportunities on all levels, from micro-scale home installations to macro-scale solar parks producing energy for international export. Offering potential economic stability to a nation at the fore of global neoliberal crisis, solar energy also presents an alternative to petroleum and lignite that currently dominate the energy sector. However, there are many hesitations and conflicting rhetorics surrounding the photovoltaic drive. Its success or failure as a sustainable economic pathway lies as much in understanding local nuances of social relations and historical consciousness as in governmental policy. This paper presents the findings from preliminary research that aims to “scale” all levels of the Greek photovoltaic experience and raises questions of energy policy, neoliberal rationale, and the relationship between local and global socioeconomic systems. It considers the everyday cultural complexities of implementing energy policy and assesses the contribution of an ethnographic approach to interdisciplinary energy research.


Knight, D., & Bell, S. (2013). Pandora's Box: photovoltaic energy and economic crisis in Greece. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 5(3), Article 033110.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2013
Deposit Date Aug 30, 2013
Publicly Available Date Jan 29, 2014
Journal Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 3
Article Number 033110


Published Journal Article (359 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in ight, D. and Bell, S. (2013) 'Pandora's Box : photovoltaic energy and economic crisis in Greece.', Journal of renewable and sustainable energy., 5 (3) 033110. and may be found at

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