Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks at Ameresco Wind Park Launch Ceremony
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
St. George Lycabettus Hotel, Athens
Thank you very much, Peter. Kalispera sas. Minister Papathanasis, Governor Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Mr. Kappatos, Mayor Michalatos, George, colleagues, and friends, it’s a fanstastic honor for me to be here on this beautiful evening to help you celebrate the launch of the Xerakias wind park in Kefalonia.
I’ve spoken a lot over the past year about how Greece and the United States are working together to meet our shared goals of energy transition and dealing with the climate crisis.
We saw some fantastic examples of this last week in Glasgow, where President Biden unveiled several new programs, including the Clean Energy Demand Initiative, the First Movers Coalition, and the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate. I’m very glad, Minister, that Greece is participating in many of these, including the Global Methane Pledge and the Greening Government Initiative.
We also welcomed strongly in Glasgow Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s vision, where he talked about Greece becoming a hub for the transfer of clean energy across the Mediterranean, Greece’s role as a leader in decarbonization of the maritime sector, and Greece as an incubator for innovative projects like the green island initiative.
We applaud Prime Minister Mitsotakis as well for demonstrating Greece’s leadership on energy and climate with the introduction last week of this country’s first climate law.
President Biden and Prime Minister Mitsotakis have set ambitious targets for our two countries to work together. And I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate a milestone like this one, with the Ameresco project, which demonstrates how much we can achieve when we work together.
Over my past five years in Greece, I have seen a dramatic transformation of the energy market here, as Greece has begun to realize its vision of becoming a regional energy hub and a leader in clean energy. And I am incredibly optimistic about Greece’s commitment to continuing to build that leadership.
Greece and its neighbors will play an important role in developing the next generation of technologies that will further energy diversification and climate transition.
President Biden, my boss Secretary of State Blinken, the President’s Climate Envoy former Secretary John Kerry, and Secretary of Energy Granholm have made clear that climate change is the challenge of our age. They also agree, as Prime Minister Mitsotakis highlighted in Glasgow, that the climate crisis is an opportunity to make historic advancements in global prosperity and quality of life.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s bold decision to retire all lignite power plants by 2028 and drive the country towards its green energy transition highlights both the challenges and opportunities of the Greek energy market.
And U.S. companies, like Ameresco, have an important role to play realizing those opportunities.
Thanks to Greece’s bold ambitions and committed leadership, we are seeing increasing interest from U.S. investors in clean energy technologies, energy storage solutions, smart technology, and e-mobility.
These are areas where U.S. technology and American companies lead the world. And my team and I are committed to facilitating U.S. investment in these areas, building on the activities of companies like Ameresco, GE, 547 Energy, Advent Technologies, Tesla, Blink, Amazon Web Services, and Cisco.
I want to commend Ameresco, RESINVEST, and PPC Renewables for working so efficiently together to bring this project to fruition in record time. And I hope that that’s just the beginning of your collaboration.
This project is also a signal of Ameresco’s future in Greece, which I look forward to seeing grow over the coming years through additional investments in wind, solar, and energy efficiency technologies.
I also want to thank Mr. Kappatos and Mayor Michalatos for being here today. Your support for this project is an example of how companies and local leadership can work together for the benefit of our environment and our communities, while contributing to global goals. And you have my promise while I have not yet gotten to Kefalonia, it was on my list before the pandemic, and my wife is making sure that I get there eventually. And I look forward very much to seeing the Ameresco project when I’m able to visit.
As I’ve said about so many of the areas where the United States and Greece are cooperating: we are at a summit of our relationship but not the peak. There is much more that we can do and many more opportunities that we can seize, building on the great momentum that we enjoy. We need to be ambitious in our goals, and perhaps this is nowhere more apparent than in the area of our collective struggle to meet the challenge of the climate crisis and to accelerate the energy transition that is already begun here in Greece. The time to act is now!
The United States is going to continue to partner proudly with Greece on clean energy and sustainability initiatives, and I look forward to helping launch many more of these initiatives to bring together the best of American and Greek innovation, leveraging the strength of our energy, trade, and investment ties. Our countries – and indeed the entire region – I am confident will be more secure and prosperous as a result.
Congratulations again to the team at Ameresco, and efcharisto poli for having me here with you this evening.