Close to 7,000 Italian municipalities meet energy demand using renewable sources

6,993 municipalities in Italy have at least one renewable energy installation, 97% of which consist of solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic modules. 5,580 new installations were commissioned during 2009, which represents a considerable jump from the total of 3,190 registered in 2008. In all, 15 municipalities cover their energy demand solely with renewable energy.

These figures come from the latest inventory taken by the ecology association, Legambiente; acknowledged as an “association of environmental interest” by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. Legambiente represents the UNEP National Committee for Italy, is one of the leading members of the European Environmental Bureau, and is a member of the Federation of European Environmental Organisations and of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“In 2009, the uptake of renewable energies has been significant, with an increase in output of 13%, showing that these technologies are reliable and competitive,” said Legambiente’s chairman, Vittorio Cogliati.

The data published by Legambiente shows that Italian municipalities clearly favour solar power. 6,801 of the installations registered were solar, compared with 297 wind installations, 799 small hydroelectric plants, 181 geothermal plants, and 788 biomass plants.

15 of the municipalities included in Legambiente’s figures meet all of their energy needs using renewable sources, with Sluderno standing out as the most successful. This town in the province of Bolzano in northern Italy has a population of 1,800 inhabitants and receives its energy from960 square-metres of solar thermal collectors, 512 kW of photovoltaic modules, four small hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 232 kW, a 1.2-MW wind farm, and biomass and biogas plants supplying domestic heating.

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