Greek Energy Scout teams in the spotlight – projects on sustainable catering, the construction of a photovoltaic plant and the optimisation of hydroponics win awards

On December 8th, twelve Energy Scouts from six companies presented live their practical projects in the competition for the “Best Energy Scout” project in Greece. Alexandra Sdoukou, General Secretary for Energy at the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy welcomed the innovative ideas and emphasised that the new generation taking responsibility in companies also needs the know-how to integrate the efficient use of energy, environmental protection aspects in the soon-to-be sustainable businesses. Around 300 visitors followed the hybrid event via live stream.

At the top of the podium were Angeliki Samara and Konstantinos Kaltsoukalas from the engineering firm Samaras & Associates S.A. with a sustainable catering concept for the employees. They found a service provider, who prepares daily fresh dishes from food that otherwise would be disposed of. On the one hand, this reduces food waste and, at the same time, means that there is less demand for it in the future. The production of food, especially meat and animal products, requires many resources such as water, fertilizer, but also energy for machinery, transport and cooling. The project helps to balance supply and demand and therefore reduces waste. In a employee survey, about 90% of the workforce welcomed such an offer. The management has agreed to a pilot project.

 Second place went to the three Energy Scouts Barbara Elaiotrivari, Manolis Saridakis and Vassilis Tsagkas from Elval Colour, with two measures. They are planning to install a photovoltaic system on the approx. 14,000 m² roof of their production facility. The location has ideal conditions with an average of 2,900 hours of sunshine per year. Furthermore, they calculated the costs for replacing the previous mercury lamps with efficient LED lamps, which require 172 MWh less electricity per year. Together, the PV system and LED lighting reduce emissions of 734 t CO2 per year and reduce the company’s ecological footprint.

The jury selected the Energy Scout Konstantinos Peponakis from Agrotikes Luseis OE for third place with a agricultural project. He plans three measures around the cultivation of fruit and vegetables in greenhouses, which is typical in Crete. Highly efficient hydroponic systems, which supply the plants with water and nutrients without soil, are common. In the concept, firstly open hydroponic systems will be converted into closed systems in order to recycle the nutrients contained in the water. Secondly, rainwater will be collected and used directly for watering the plants. Thirdly, a renewable energy source, including a semi-transparent or partially shaded PV system depending on the location, is to be integrated as an on-site energy source, e.g. for the pump systems.

The Energy Scout qualification program will be continued next year. The exact content of the training program and the dates will be announced here (“Greek only”) in the beginning of 2022.

Alexandra Sdoukou, General Secretary for Energy at the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy at the award ceremony (©AHK Greece)
The winning team Angeliki Samara and Konstantinos Kaltsoukalas from Samaras & Associates S.A. (©AHK Greece)


Dr Athanasios Kelemis, Managing Director and Board Member of the German-Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce praised the Energy Scouts for participating in the qualification. (©AHK Greece)
From theory to practice – Energy Scouts get the tools to implement their concepts out in the real world. (©AHK Greece)