Today’s Solutions: August 11, 2022

Famous for its beautiful coastline and Game of Thrones filming locations, Croatia is also finding newfound notoriety as home to a progressive new green energy initiative. The country’s 1000 Solar Roofs project is environmentally and economically beneficial and has been selected for support as part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) Crisis Response Initiative and the Climate-KIC Cities Accelerator Program. 

The program, whose full name is “1,000 Solar Roofs — Cities and Jobs Regeneration through Community Led Solarization,” has a budget of 121,000 euros to bring 1,000 solar photovoltaic systems to homes across 10 cities. Construction began in July and is expected to be done by the end of the year. 

The solar panels will provide reliable green energy across the sunny Mediterranean country. In addition to environmental benefits, it will also generate between 3,000 and 8,000 new jobs per year. In Croatia, 19,310 people claimed unemployment between January and April of this year, so the solar project will help kickstart a green economic recovery. 

The project is largely community led, so these jobs will also be highly beneficial to local communities and take into account regional needs and differences. The community-oriented nature of the project relies on energy cooperatives to support renewables. These cooperatives connect private households willing to invest in rooftop solar with local entrepreneurs in the field of solar energy to build local climate resilience and reliable green power. 

The pandemic has offered us a unique opportunity to reboot our economies in new and improved ways. Placing environmental and social justice goals at the center of this “back to better” phenomenon includes solutions such as widespread support of reliable renewable energy. Hopefully, more countries follow Croatia’s lead in supporting a greener future.

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