Friday, 23 March 2012

Renewable energy growth in Basilicata, Italy

Region works towards energy self-sufficiency through local, renewable sources and reduced consumption.

by Michele Lapini 

Despite holding the biggest onshore reserve of oil in continental Europe, Basilicata represents one of the greenest regions of Italy, with a huge production of renewable energy.
Currently, Basilicata covers half of its energy production with local renewable energy such as solar and wind resources. This co-exists with the biggest “Centro Oli” of Europe, where oil is refined and sent to Taranto, via a pipeline 140 kilometres long. 

Despite the presence of “black gold”, in 2010 Basilicata produced 49.6% of its energy consumption from renewable energy sources, which is almost double the Italian average (24.2%). The particular geographic formation of Basilicata favours solar and wind energy, due to a low population density and the presence of an important mountain range. According to Terna studies, Basilicata is the third most productive region of renewable energy, after Trentino and Valle d’Aosta.  

Photo by Michele Lapini
The President of Basilicata, Vito de Filippo, explains that this region will be self-sufficient in terms of power supply through increasing its renewable energy production and reducing its energy consumption. Regarding the first point, the Energy and Environment Regional Program aims to increase wind power, solar, thermodynamic, biomasses and hydroelectric energy, with a total growth of 2300 Gwh/years until 2020. Another important aspect of the Basilicata energy policies is the creation of an energy district situated in Val d’Agri, with the purpose of developing research, technology, innovation and formation in the renewable energy sector. This plan represents a big opportunity for this region and for the renewable sector, but at the same time, there is a risk that overproduction could damage this territory, its tourism and its agriculture sector. 

Photo by Michele Lapini
This little region of Italy represents one of the main strategic points of Italy's energy production, covering 80% of total oil production and representing the third highest region in terms of renewable energy production. It is important to emphasise Basilica's outstanding performance in the renewable energy sector, because it co-exists with the largest oil reserves of continental Europe and with a critical economic and social situation: Basilicata is the poorest region of Italy, even though the oil company extracts 80 000 barrels of oil a day (about 6 million Euro each day). This case highlights that there is a concrete alternative to fossil energy in order to preserve our environment, even where there are huge reserves of oil we can produce green energy!

No comments:

Post a Comment