The Greek photovoltaic program was launched in 2006 and rebranded in 2011 as a way to repay debt and decrease national deficit. The scheme promotes new livelihood opportunities on all levels, from micro-scale home installations to macro-scale solar parks producing energy for international export. Offering potential economic stability to a nation at the fore of global neoliberal crisis, solar energy also presents an alternative to petroleum and lignite that currently dominate the energy sector. However, there are many hesitations and conflicting rhetorics surrounding the photovoltaic drive. Its success or failure as a sustainable economic pathway lies as much in understanding local nuances of social relations and historical consciousness as in governmental policy. This paper presents the findings from preliminary research that aims to “scale” all levels of the Greek photovoltaic experience and raises questions of energy policy, neoliberal rationale, and the relationship between local and global socioeconomic systems. It considers the everyday cultural complexities of implementing energy policy and assesses the contribution of an ethnographic approach to interdisciplinary energy research.

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