Economy

The main source of renewable energy in Veneto is at risk of being cut off

BELLUNO – Italy and the Northeast are turning off the lights and saving gas at the same time The main source of renewable energy in the Veneto region is in critical danger of being interrupted. From January next year about 30% of Hydroelectric power production in Belluno It is actually in danger: the county has decided to adapt the ecological flow of water from plants, in practice Increased release into rivers, streams and the environment in general. “By the end of the year we have to adapt, and there are factories that according to these parameters can reduce production by half, others by 30%: these are significant figures, for example, the energy needs of a city with a population of 50 thousand people for three months. not to mention Loss of income for our member municipalities That they from the sale of hydropower collect 3-4 million annually on average, oxygen to their budgets, especially today with the increases we are seeing – warns Bruno Zanolathe sole director of Infrastructures Bim Belluno– A company that operates 35 hydroelectric power stations in the province. Environmental directives mandating a redefinition of minimum outflows are based on criteria that are often outdated or not in line with the actual situation of rivers or streams. I also remember that hydropower production is the renewable energy source par excellence, the system completely restores water to the environment and does not pollute. Right now we have so many energy issues, with gas and electricity at incredible costs, that doesn’t seem like a priority to me. If this directive is delayed by a year or two, nothing will happen, there will be no environmental disasters, and the waterways are already safe despite the drought. And then it is not clear why Belluno only started in fourth place: I don’t know that in other areas there was this guidance ».

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“I have a console near Lorenzago di Cadore and 4 in Emilia Romagna, only in the Belluno area was this order that risks cutting my production by more than 30% causing economic damage of about 200 thousand euros after all the problems we had. They have already suffered this Summer between drought and Faya 2 – explains Michelle Borrego, entrepreneur at Sip of Bolzano – they practically want to abolish the production of electricity that ensures the consumption of 900 households per year. We prefer to produce energy from coal, which is a very polluting source, rather than prolong the launch. We are not Against environmental flow but it must be applied rationally and on concrete data.” “In our case, a 20-25% reduction in electricity production is expected – explains Gianpitro Zanoni, Sole Director of Valmontina srl ​​- all after a drought-stained year. Moreover, our system does not cause problems for the environment: after settling the water ends up in a narrow passage and is absorbed by the earth. The region has delegated functions related to derivations to the province of Belluno, which is the only body that has taken action on this front: the Veneto Council can now prevent enforcement of the law in the name of the best interest in this energy emergency. In the meantime, we are ready to join the agreement signed with Enel Green Power, Basin Authority and Arpav.”

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Yes, because the big producers will have a ready loophole. Belluno Province alone has about 125 hydroelectric plants, 15 of which are of large derivation (the most powerful) and all of them are from Enel. In normal years, the production of hydroelectric power in the Belluno region is about 2.1 billion kWh per year for a total consumption of about one billion, but with the drought, the output was halved. And as of January, if new rules on offshoring go into effect, it will only get worse. In the worst winter for Italy.

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Thelma Binder

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