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Local wind turbines profitable

..the costs of renewable energy have fallen rapidly. And, as in much of Europe, the lure of alternative power here was sweetened by feed-in tariffs – government guarantees to buy renewable electricity at an attractive set price from any company, city or household that produced it


Italian towns turn a profit with the wind at their back, The Age, Elisabeth Rosenthal,Tocco da CasauriaOctober 4, 2010 THE towering wind turbines that rise from gnarled ancient olive groves here speak to something extraordinary happening across Italy.

Faced with sky-high electricity rates, small communities across a country known more for garbage than environmental citizenship are finding economic salvation in renewable energy. More than 800 Italian communities now make more energy than they use because of the recent addition of renewable energy plants, a survey by Italian environmental group Legambiente shows.

Renewable energy is such a boon for Tocco that it makes money from it and has no local taxes or fees for services such as garbage removal………from an energy perspective, Tocco is tomorrow. In addition to its wind turbines, solar panels generate electricity at its ancient cemetery, its sports complex and a growing number of private residences.

”Normally when you think about energy you think about big plants, but here what’s interesting is that local municipalities have been very active,” said Edoardo Zanchini, in charge of Legambiente’s energy division. ”That this can happen in a place like Italy is really impressive.”….

……..the growth of small projects in towns such as Tocco – in Italy and other countries – highlights the way shifting energy economics are often more important than national planning in promoting alternative energy…

..the costs of renewable energy have fallen rapidly. And, as in much of Europe, the lure of alternative power here was sweetened by feed-in tariffs – government guarantees to buy renewable electricity at an attractive set price from any company, city or household that produced it. With its four wind turbines (two completed in 2007 and two last year), Tocco is now essentially energy-independent from a financial standpoint, generating 30 per cent more power than it uses.

Italian towns turn a profit with the wind at their back

October 4, 2010 - Posted by | decentralised, Italy | , ,

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