Citizens first should enjoy the benefits of the energy transition

In her article entitled “The paradox of Western Macedonia: Energy transition in a bottleneck”, Alexia Kalaitzi, journalist for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, maps the views of Western Macedonian residents and experts on the path towards energy transition as well as its impact on local communities. The trigger was the Energy Communities Forum which took place in Kozani on 3 November 2023 and brought to the surface what the journalist calls the “paradox of Western Macedonia”. This describes the feeling of isolation of the residents of this region, that, although for decades have been responsible for the electrification of the entire Greek territory, today face obstacles in their efforts to participate actively and collectively in the energy transition through energy communities.

In a statement to the journalist, Nikos Mantzaris focused on the existing conflict between large renewable energy projects by big companies and smaller self-generation projects by energy communities : “It is a fact that priority is given to very big RES projects. We have big companies installing renewable energy projects in the lignite areas. These are necessary, of course. In our view we need to combine things,” he said, suggesting that this should be done through the shareholding of large-scale renewable energy projects, involving citizens and energy communities, so that everyone benefits from the energy transition.

The article by Alexia Kalaitzi was published on 06 November 2023 and is available at