Italy approves six new wind farms; affirms move away from Russian gas

The Italian government has given the green light to the construction of six wind farms with a capacity of 418 megawatts.

The parks will be developed in the central and southern regions of Puglia, Basilica and Sardinia, a government statement said.

The six wind farms are on top of two already cleared by the government last month, with a capacity of 65.5 MW.

Rome, which has introduced a series of measures to spur the development of renewables, counts on gas to generate some 40% of its electricity.

Russian gas, meanwhile, accounts for around 40% of total imports, and the renewables push by Italy will be welcomed by those who are seeking to reduce such dependence in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Indeed, at a joint press conference during the week alongside Italian PM Mario Draghi, EC President Ursula von der Leyen was clear in spelling out Europe’s mission:

“We have to get rid of the dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal. I know that the two of us agree on this.”

“There are three main pillars: one is the diversification of supply away from Russia and towards reliable suppliers. This is mainly LNG and pipeline gas. Both have the advantage that the infrastructure is over time hydrogen-compatible.”

“The second main element is to repower the European Union. Repower means massive investment in renewables, like solar, wind and hydrogen. We are looking for a focused acceleration of the European Green Deal. This is not only important and good for our strategic investment in our independence, it is also good for our industry and it is good for our planet.”

“This has to be complemented by a third pillar and that is improved energy efficiency: from renovation of buildings to smart industrial processes, to artificial intelligence, for example, to effectively manage smart energy grids – you name it.”

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