Pay for renewables, buy exhaust fumes

Seven months after the launch of the Energy Account I’m having a look to see what has happened.

The law was received by Italians with great enthusiasm: 25,000 requests have been received by GRTN {Gestore della Rete di Trasmissione Nazionale = Energy Network} for a total of about 900 MWp. And it is estimated that 19,000 of these are without errors and represent a total of about 700 MWp. A similar photovoltaic capacity could generate electrical energy that would be produced by a thermo-electric generating station of about 140MW!
Unfortunately, the update to the law that came into force at the beginning of February put a limit of 85 MWp/year for requests arriving after the first of Mach. This is equal to a tenth of the power installed in Germany in 2005. Thus many requests will not be satisfied.

It seems that the reason for the limit is the excessive cost if too many photovoltaic systems are installed. In fact, the financial resources for the Energy Account arrive from the tariff A3 component. This is shown on our energy bills with the wording “Costruzione impianti fonti rinnovabili” {construction of renewable energy plant}.
Thus on an electricity bill of say, 936 Euro we are paying 34 Euro (3.6% of the total) to finance renewable Italian sources. In reality only about 20% (less than 7 Euro) goes to renewable sources. The other 27 Euro pay for electrical energy produced by generating stations fuelled by sources defined as “assimilated” (defined by GRTN): “those in cogeneration: those that use resulting heat, exhaust fumes, and other forms of energy that can be recovered in processes and in structures; those that use the by-products of production and/or of processes and those that use fossil fuels produced only from minor, isolated deposits.”

How many Italians know that from 1992 to the present we have paid (out of our own pockets) about 30,000,000,000 Euro (thus equal to 2 important budget packages) that according to what is written on our electricity bills should be going to the “construction of renewable energy plant”?
In the end only about 6 of those 30 billion Euro are being used for clean energy (mainly hydroelectric).

A good portion of the other 24 billion has instead gone to fill out the coffers of well known oil companies that were burning off (and still do burn off) the by-products of their production (that is also the most polluting part) to produce electrical energy. And still today they write on our electricity bills that that money is going to support renewable sources instead of the oil companies.

Doesn’t it seem a great cheek? The interests of the great  (and rich) energy groups are more important than the majority of Italians who have shown their wish to develop truly renewable sources.

Among the first actions the new government must take is to remove the limit of 85 MWp/year and above all it must stop the money collected from “construction of renewable energy plant” going to sources that are assimilated and in co-generation. This situation reduces investments and employment in a sector of environmental protection that has enormous potential for development. As well as that, it increases our electricity import bill.

At a conference last February our neo-employee Romano Prodi said: “as a minimum, we must reach the levels for photovoltaics as installed in Germany” Now it’s the moment to respect promises. Get moving Prodi, get moving…

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:54 AM in | Comments (14)
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Posted by: Tang Kai | February 11, 2009 09:48 AM

How much do you know about China?
China PV Industry, under the boost of International Market challenges and the implementation of domestic policies, has gradually start to grow and is very likely to emerge soon as one of the greatest solar energy production bases in the world. For this reason properly understand what´s going on in such a big Country could make the difference between closing that deal and catching the next plane home

News on Euro-China Solar Promotion Association website at:

Posted by: Tang Kai | February 11, 2009 09:45 AM


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Posted by: Williams | May 6, 2006 10:30 PM

Emmanuele. today was a wonderful day here in Rome. 25°, blazing sun. I took a day off and I went to the beach. I was happy. I will never own a Ferrari and live in a villa, I'm satisfied with my Reanult Twingo and my little apartment, but every morning I look at myself in the mirror and say: you did the right thing!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | April 24, 2006 07:23 PM

oh that's amazing... I see things exactly as you do. As a matter of fact, I am doing my doctorate in physics, but so many times I think I'd rather be in my homeland Sardinia doing even the humblest job but where I can have a walk by the sea whenever I want to...

Posted by: Emmanuele Da Iglesias | April 24, 2006 04:53 PM

Emmanuele: thank you for your nice words!:-)
But you are right, I'm romantic, sometimes I think I come from another space. I look at the people entirely taken up with making money or achievieng fame and I think they are wasting their time and their energies, because the finest things are all for free!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | April 24, 2006 11:19 AM

...just two lines to clarify that Ling is a friend of mine, but he did not write the first comment, he only tranlated it for me (and you)...

PS: little girl... yesterday I read your comment about the low lights and candles and all that when you get home at night, it was all so romantic, so warm, so enchanting... made me really be in the mood to be your man (blush :">
a big hug to you...

Posted by: Emmanuele Da Iglesias | April 24, 2006 12:40 AM

ndocojo cojo theorie is very nice! ;-);-)
It look like a bit japanese, maybe our friend Ling understand it!
;-) ;-) ;-)

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | April 23, 2006 07:58 PM

Hi you all,
Once upon a time, walking around chats of any kind, I felt inside a japanese room and after my polite hello , as nobody was answering to me I ask around in 6 languages if there was somebody able to understand me. Nobody was answering to me and I was looking to go away when somebody ask to me: Do you like women?
And me, very enthusiastic and happy to have somebody to chat with me about a good subject:
- Yes, of course, very very much, I love them!
And the guy answer to me something in japanese which was looking like the chinese Ling wrote here above and he put me out of the chat room and closed the door!
I dindn't laugh immediately. Only one minute later when I understood. And you?:-)
Grillo starts to be boring to put a new subject every two days. I wonder how he can do that between his shows and his family so, today instead of using ndo cojo cojo theory I prefer to talk about nothing. Take care

Posted by: blisco jaio | April 23, 2006 07:48 PM

Ling, welcome to this site!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | April 23, 2006 06:45 PM

Translation of the previous comment:

courtesy: Ling (a dear friend of mine)

Posted by: Emmanuele Da Iglesias | April 23, 2006 06:14 PM

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