Pylon of the Month - September 2022
September 02, 2022
After taking the month of August off, the new school year starts with a holiday pylon. These beauties were snapped on the way to Preveza airport in Greece (by my daughter - I was driving) at the end of a wonderful two weeks on the island of Lefkada. This photo was one of many, but it caught my eye because it captures a tension pylon where the line is changing direction as well as a suspension pylon with the lines continuing straight. I also like the fact that the three conductors are side by side rather than stacked as is usually the case in the UK. I'm guessing that this is to reduce the height of the tower but it isn't something you see very often in the UK (if at all?) so it has a whiff the exotic about it! This type of pylon is (according to the French pylon Wikipedia page) a cat pylon (Le pylône Chat) and you can see why with the triangular features on top looking like ears. Whether that is a name recognised across international borders I have no idea - well travelled pylon experts please do get in touch and let me know.
The island of Lefkada is connected to the mainland via a 150 kV power line which continues (underwater) to the well known island of Cephalonia to the south. It therefore has the same electricity generation mix as Greece as a whole:
.......dominated by natural gas (36%) and coal (21.8%) while wind power served 15.2%, oil 9.6%, solar PV 8.3%, hydropower 8.3% and biomass 0.8% of the total generation.
The above quote is from the Islander project website, which is a project to accelerate the decarbonisation of islands' energy systems. The project started in Holland but there are now four follower islands - Orkney in Scotland, Cres in Croatia and Skopelos and Lefkada in Greece. There is still some way to go and Greece is identified as a green energy laggard in this Al Jazeera article from December 2021. The issue that seems to have prevented an earlier push for renewables is that Greece has considerable reserves of lignite and so many coal powered fire stations, but the mood is now shifting with a plan to phase out coal by 2028. Generating more energy using solar and wind seems to be a no-brainer for Greece and exporting solar energy could boost the Greek economy and help other European countries reach their renewable energy targets. That's pretty much the definition of a win-win situation.
That's all for now. See you next month for more pylon action!