Wind energy production boasts fastest growth period

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Italian wind energy production rose 61.8% in the first four months of 2006 to 1149 GWh, reports electricity transmission company Terna, far outpacing the overall 8.1% growth rate for Italy's overall electricity production in the period. Terna also reports a 4.7% decline in hydroelectric production in the January to April period, a 9.9% increase in thermoelectric generation and a 3.7% increase in electricity from geothermal sources. Impressive growth in the wind energy sector has largely been driven by a lucrative market for the trading of green certificates, with total installed wind capacity rising some 452 MW to about 1717 MW in 2005. Despite the strong growth, however, wind energy is still a marginal energy source in Italy, accounting for just over 1% of total electricity production in the first four months of the year.

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