Keywords: renewable energy region, 100% renewable energy self sufficiency region, Region of Liguria, renewable energy in Region of Liguria.
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions, but it has one of the highest density population in Italy (300 inhabitants/km2). Its surface area is 5,416.03 km2, 1.18% of Italy’s surface area. The capital is Genova. This region is a long, arch-shaped coastal strip stretching from France in the west to Tuscany in the east ; to the south is Ligurian Sea while the northern border is formed by the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy (Figure 1).
The geography has led to the development of the tourist industry with many seaside resorts, while commerce and industry are also very active, with considerable stimulus coming from the ports and allied activities in Genoa and and La Spezia.
Liguria produces exactly twice as much electricity as it consumes. The surplus (50%) are exported to other regions such as Lombardy and Piedmont. Share of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) is 1.5% of total primary energy. Share of electricity from RES is less than 1% (0.85%) of total electricity. Target electricity from RES (national or regional) in Italy is 25%.
It is the body, recognized by the Regional Law no.18/99, appointed to provide technical support activity to the Ligurian Regional Administration in the field of energy policy.
It is a tool for the regional energy policy on sustainable development. This agency was established in 1996 within the framework of the EC PERU Program “Creation of Regional and Local Energy Agencies”. Since 1997 the agency has been a member of FEDARENE and the steering committee of RENAEL (the national network energy agencies) in 1999.
The activities are:
- takes part in European projects that promote energy saving and RES exploitation
- carries out specific activities in areas of public interest (hospitals, schools, public buildings, etc)
- carries out dissemination and educational activities
- energy certification development by developing two test areas for the promotion of energy efficiency in ARTE (Regional Territorial Construction Corporations) and for energy certification in Liguria
Regional Energy Environmental Plan – REEP
The plan has some objectives related to energy saving and GHG emission reduction by hydroelectricity, solar, wind, biogas, biomass, and energy saving. The REEP was partially updated by the Regional Law 22/2007 and Council Decision 3/09 and will be updated in 2010 as to the 2013 objectives.
In December 2008, the Region of Liguria adopted an Environmental Energy Plan which defines its energy policy to the year 2010. The targets are:
- an increase in renewable energy sources from 1.4 to 7%
- CO2 emission at 1990 levels
- a 10% increase in energy efficiency
Regional Strategies and Priorities
The priorities are:
- to enhance the use of local renewable sources such as biomass in small and local plants (local wood supply chain)
- to provide the solar energy systems
- public buildings servicing and substitution (e.g. hot water heating, solar in particular schools)
The strategies are:
- development of new regulations
- promote and support: renewable energy production; energy save and energy efficiency in private and public home-building, industry, tourism, and harbour areas.
Objectives and Results
There are two objectives and results of Regional Energy Environmental Plan (2003). They are in the sector of renewable energy (Table 2) and CO2 emission reduction up to 19% by 2010 (Table 3).
Renewable energy is included into the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 for the Liguria Region.
- Developing the production and the utilization of renewable energy is one of key actions that should be implemented to maintain and create employment and income in rural areas; and to enhance the condition of rural areas, for the population, and the enterprises.
- Modernization of agricultural holdings: in case renewable energy production, power plant will be proportionate to the farm dimension and aimed to the reduction of the costs of production.
- Realization of power plants for renewable energy production (from biomass max. 0.5 MW) is one of actions of diversification into non-agricultural activities; and one of actions to support for business creation and development.
- The realization of power plants below 0.5 MW will be supported by EAFRD and the realization of bigger power plants will be supported by EFRD.
Renewable Energy in Liguria Region
The development of green electricity in Liguria is focused on small scale RES-e and nowadays there are concrete opportunities for renewable sources. The actual technological and financial instruments make the most common renewable sources applicable in most cases.
- The past: the first wind power plants in Liguria were not set up (up to after 2000) and therefore constitute a relatively new challenge in the field of renewable energies.
- The present: there are 3 wind farms in Liguria (total installed capacity is 4.8 MW) established with the use of regional cofinancing and equipped with windmills of average installation size 750-800 kW. The wind farms is connected directly to the local distribution grid (Enel Distribuzione).
- Short term perspectives (up to 2007): it is difficult today to assess the short term prospects for wind power.
- Mid/long term perspectives (up to 2015): taking into account the poor wind conditions in Liguria, there is a little likelihood of significant growth in the development of wind power in the medium/long term.
- The past: the generation of electricity from biomass is a new opportunity to harness the potential of renewable sources. Up to now this source of energy has only been used for domestic heating.
- The present: there are no plants operating, but only some projects designs within the framework of the PEAR (Ligurian Regional Environmental Energy Plan), which explicitly promotes cogeneration from wood biomass.
- Short-term perspectives (up to 2007): the initial phase of PEAR foresees the creation of cogeneration plants to be tested and produced in Liguria, where the resource is abundant. Therefore the prospects are good.
- Mid/long perspectives (up to 2015): after the PEAR implementation is complete, there will be a possibility to increase the production of electricity from wood biomass.
- The past: biogas conservation plants for the generation of electricity have only been constructed at landfills.
- The present: there are 4 plants operating in Liguria. The plants are managed by private operators and have a total installed capacity of 3.5 MW.
- Short-term perspectives (up to 2007): there will be a significant diffusion of biogas technology. Proposal are being assessed for energy recovery plants processing urban solid waste.
- Mid/long term perspectives (up to 2015): the outlook is poor.
- The past: photovoltaic solar has increased due to (primarily) Italian State and Regional incentives for the public sector.
- The present: the regional funding is frozen. The Ligurian Regional Administration has a total of 86 installations, which 28 of them are belong to public, the capacity is around 56 kW (based on the data inferred from the last call for tenders in 2004). Some plants are still being set up.
- Short-term perspectives (up to 2007): the extension of “tetti fotovoltaci” (“PV roofs) tenders combined with the application of incentive tarrifs as per Legislative Decree no. 387 could make the use of PV attractive also for small installations.
- Mid/long term perspectives (up to 2015): the long-term development of PV depends on (essentially) the introduction of suitable legislative measures and incentive policies. In fact, Liguria has excellent radiation characteristics that could be exploited for future applications.
- The past: the Liguria Region has substantial hydroelectric potential. In general, this region is served by storage reservoirs used for periods of low water.
- The present: there are 41 plants (dams, run-off-the river, and pipelines). The total installed capacity is 67 MW with typical size of installations are 400 kW, 1500, and up to 5,000 kW. The plants are managed (mainly) by private operators and/or former municipal utilities.
- Short-term perspectives (up to 2007): the short-term prospects are good, the Ligurian Regional Administration is assessing co-financing options for the refurbishment of disused mini-hydro plants and/or water works pipelines.
- Mid/long term perspectives (up to 2015): Due to the hydroelectric potential has already largely been exploited, the long-term prospects are not great.
Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving in the Building Sector
- Target: Total Energy Saving of 10% in 2010.
- Tools: incentives for energy re-qualification of the building sector, energy certification (Figure 7), sustainable building regulations, innovative management models, speeding up the authorization procedures for interventions on covering buildings and plants.
- Strategy: pilot projects in the public sector (schools, hospitals, council houses, other public building sector, etc)
Energy Efficiency in the Liguria Hospital Sector
The project (June 2001- February 2003) aimed at studying and implementing new forms of management and innovatives technologies (thermal insulation, cogeneration, solar roof) that could allow a reduction and a rationalization of energy consumption in the hospital system. It was financed by the Liguria Region Administration. The study is organized into three main phases:
- Drawing up of guidelines for energy efficiency in the hospital sector (adopted by the Regional Administration in date 18/09/2002).
- A pilot action in a Ligurian ASL (local health enterprise) aimed at carrying out an energy audit of the structure.
- The operative plan for the creation of a pilot ESCo and Consortia for electrical energy purchase.
Results of the projects:
- The potential for energy saving can reach and pass 15%, would bring a saving cost of 3.4 million Euro.
- A.R.E. has set up the Ligurian Energy Consortium, whose the members are public bodies (Regione Liguria, ASL 3 and 4) and a certain number of hospitals, more than to 25 GWh.
- The implementation of the proposed interventions from thermal solar and photovoltaic system would reduce energy consumption of about 4,638 MWh/year. The reduction in CO2 emissions would be 1.300 tons/year.
- The economic benefits are 171.220 €/year, and the project itself allowed to increase the personnel of A.R.E. Liguria of 3 people.
- A.R.E. made the Regional Administration and hospital managements aware of the critical situation in the health sector.
Main Market Actors in the Field of Ligurian Renewable Energy
The main actors in the field of Ligurian renewable energy are (essentially) private companies set up the electricity market and Law Decree no. 79 of 16/3/99) transposing EU Directive 96/92/EC. After the introduction of the above-mentioned decree, the following bodies were established:
- The Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale (GRTN, or Italian Grid Authority)
- Tirreno Power
The former municipal water/gas/electricity/waste disposal utilities:
- AMGA – Azienda Mediterranea Gas e Acqua (Genoa)
- ACAM – Azienda Consorzio Acqua Metano (La Spezia)
- AMAIE – Azienda
For the public administration and/or other organizations:
- Ligurian Regional Administration
- Provincial Administrations of Genoa, Savona, Imperia and La Spezia
- ARPAL (Regional Environmental Protection Agency)
- Università degli Studi di Genova
- Environmental associations
- Research institutes
- Autorità per l’Electricity ed il Gas (AEEG)
- ENEL Distribuzione
- UTF – Ufficio Tecnico di Finanza
- NEG MICON