Italy builds six new wind farms to wean itself off Russian gas

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As part of its attempts to minimize reliance on Russian gas, the Italian government has approved the building of six wind farms with a total capacity of 418 megawatts.

According to a government statement, the parks will be constructed in Puglia’s central and southern areas, as well as Basilica and Sardinia.

The six wind farms are in addition to two that were approved by the government on February 18th, with a combined capacity of 65.5 MW.

Along with the rest of the EU, the UK, and the US, Italy stated on Tuesday that it intends to phase off its dependency on Russian gas by 2025.

The goal is to reduce the country’s dependency on Russian gas imports “within 30 months,” according to the minister of ecological transformation.

Experts predict that it will be difficult for Italy to break its dependence on Russian gas. So far, Russia has been the major provider, but it is now scrambling to increase supplies from Algeria, Libya, and Azerbaijan to fulfill demand and fill storage before the coming winter.

Rome, which has taken several steps to encourage the development of renewable energy, relies on gas to generate about 40% of its electricity.

According to climate change think tank ECCO, Italy should be able to manage a Russian gas outage during the next year by implementing energy-saving measures, accelerating renewables deployment, and leveraging existing gas infrastructure.

Italy is ranked third in Europe for both renewable energy consumption and renewable energy output (electrical and thermal). It is one of 14 EU countries that has met its renewable energy target of 10% of total energy consumption by 2020. (18.2 percent versus a 17 percent target).

Italy will have about 37,000 storage units linked to renewable energy power stations by the end of October 2020.

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