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Italy

Italy

Italian wind power to receive boost following nuclear vote

ITALY: Italy could receive a boost in the medium-term for the development of wind and other renewable energy sources, following an overwhelming public vote against the revival of nuclear power.

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy would press ahead with renewables development
Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy would press ahead with renewables development
In a two-day referendum, nearly 95% of voters rejected the reintroduction of nuclear power.

The Italian government had hoped to revive nuclear energy, which was phased out following a 1987 referendum in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said the government would now commit itself to renewable energy.

Renewable energy associations have asked the government to follow through with concrete policies. Wind energy investors are expecting details of a new incentive scheme later this year.

A satisfactory market framework could help revive a market that has slowed down considerably in the last year.

At the Wind Power Italia conference in Rome yesterday (Tuesday), several delegates pointed to regulatory uncertainty and grid access as the two key issues that the Italian wind sector needs to overcome.

The referendum vote can potentially open up new opportunities for wind power and other renewables. Hwever, there are still big challenges for developers and operators.

These include, slow permitting procedures, frequent conflicts between different authorising bodies and a backlog of requests for access to the grid.

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