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Money from wind projects to fund small town economic programs

Wind power could be the saviour of the southern Italian town of Alberona. Money generated by wind projects will be used to fund a number of economic programs designed to encourage people to remain in the town. Alberona's population has fallen from a high of 5000 to just 1000 and local mayor Arturo Petti wants to stem any further decline by recycling revenues generated from 120 MW of planned wind projects back to the local community. The projects, being developed by Italian companies WorldWind Energy Holding (WWEH), Fortore Energia and Energy, have yet to complete the approvals process, but Petti says the EUR 1.3 million in annual royalties they are expected to generate will be used provide a number of economic incentives to the locals. These include wiping out a series of local taxes and providing parents with a lump sum of EUR 1000 for every child born in the town or sent to the local school. "We have lots of wind but unfortunately it's the only real source of income for an area that has increasingly been abandoned," Petti says.

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