December 18, 2007
Italian Town Boasts of Running On 100% Renewable Power
This town has another reason to rejoice. Not only are they privy to picturesque locales, pasta and siestas on a regular basis, they have their town running on 100% Renewable Power. The town in question is Varese, situated in Northern Italy. The town uses a mix of wind, solar and small-scale hydropower. As a result, the town has reaped benefits from the energy network through added jobs, and an additional 350,000 euros ($514,000) in tax revenues. Their efforts have even boosted tourism with six-times the tourists coming over to discover the renewable path chosen by the township. Varese even boasts of becoming the first municipality (six years ago) in Europe to get 100% of its power from renewable energy sources. It now generates three times more electricity than the people living in Varese need and there are plans in the pipeline for even more renewable. Four wind turbines located on a ridge 1100 meters above sea level generate 8 million kWh of electricity a year that is fed into the local grid managed by Acam, a power company in La Spezia.
A total of 108 organic farms supply 98% of the town’s food; water is purified using environmentally friendly technology, and waste has been significantly reduced. The town’s swimming pool is heated by solar power and a program to promote the use of wood pellet stoves is in the works.