The ancient Greek playright Aristophanes is returning after an almost 2,400-year absence with a new comedy called “The Sun.”
The backdrop for “The Sun” is news that,
Sun-baked and debt-choked Greece presented on Monday a plan to become Europe’s solar energy powerhouse, attracting up to 20 billion euros of investment in the decades to come to lift its economy out of the doldrums.
The cash-strapped country regards clean energy as one of the few advantages of its uncompetitive economy, which is going through its longest and deepest recession in decades as a result of a debt crisis.
The ambitious plan, called “Project Helios”, involves multiplying Greek solar power production from 206 megawatts(MW) in 2010 to 2.2 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and up to 10 GW by 2050, according to an Energy Ministry presentation.
“Greece enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, almost 50 percent more sun radiation than Germany, the global leader in solar photovoltaics,” said the presentation held by Energy Minister George Papaconstantinou at an energy conference in Hamburg, Germany.
Classics fans will remember Aristophanes’ play “The Clouds” (circa 420 B.C.), in which the debtor Strepsiades enrolls his son in The Thinkery so that he can learn the rhetorical skills needed to defeat their creditors in court. Instead, the son learns cynical disrespect for social mores and contempt for authority. He subsequently beats up Strepsiades who then burns down The Thinkery.
In “The Sun”, the debtor Barackades enrolls his son in The Clean Energy Connery, where the son learns disrespect for science and economics. The son subsequently launches an improbable solar power project that bankrupts Barackades who then, in a plot twist, burns down all of Athens except for The Clean Energy Connery, which remains as a monument to hubris.