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13 July 2015

Italy sets an important record for solar energy

More Italian towns are using renewable energy and we are No. 1 globally for using solar power  

Italy has won the important distinction of being the first country in the world for solar electricity consumption. We have also achieved great results in our use of other renewables, as can be seen in this breakdown for each type of energy in terms of its use by the number of Italian towns:

  • Solar power – used in 8,047 Italian towns. In fact, a solar photovoltaic system is to be found in every municipality in the country and in 6,803 communities there is a solar thermal plant.
  • Wind power – used in 700 towns. Of these, 323 are self-sufficient in terms of electricity just by capturing the power of the wind.
  • Mini-hydroelectric – 1,160 towns are using this form of energy. The report considers plants up to 3 MW, while the total installed capacity in Italian municipalities is 1,358 MW, capable of producing more than 5.4 TW annually. That’s enough to meet the electricity needs of more than 2 million households.
  • Geothermal energy – used in 484 towns, with an installed capacity of 814.7 MW, 264.4 MW of heat and 3.4 MW of refrigeration. In 2014, these facilities produced around 5.5 TW, producing enough electricity for2 million families.
  • Bioenergy – used in 2,415 municipalities and making a total installed capacity of 2,936.4 MW, 1,306.6 MW heating use and 415 kW for refrigerators. Biogas use is growing rapidly and has reached a total of 1,165.9 MW (176.5 MW for heating and 65 kW for refrigerators). In 2014, the combined output of biomass plants reached around 12 TW, meeting the electricity needs of more than 4.4 million households.

So, overall the picture is a very positive one – but there is one drawback. While the use of renewable energy is allowing us to shift from the old, polluting energy sources of coal and oil, alternative energy installations should always respect the environment. This is especially true for all those solar energy plants that have been constructed in fields which could otherwise be used for grazing or agriculture.


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