Solar power making progress in Italy

Industry welcomes launch of government grants to support photovoltaic, passive solar, installation

An Italian government support programme for solar energy has had a promising start following its launch nearly three years after first being proposed (ENDS Daily 27 July 1998). According to the national office of the international solar energy society (ISES), an official hotline offering information on available funding was inundated with calls during its first 10 days in operation.

Funds amounting to euros 1bn (IL1,900bn) have been earmarked to develop photovoltaic solar over six years. Both public and private projects are entitled to funding, which can reach up to 75% of installation costs.

Low-temperature passive solar will also be financed under the programme, with 5 initial projects worth euros 45m planned for 2001. Towns with a population of over 50,000 will receive a 30% contribution to passive solar systems installed on public buildings.

Suppliers of natural gas, which starting from 2002 will have to devote some resources to promoting energy efficiency, will also receive a 30% contribution for the installation of passive solar systems in both public and private buildings.

Follow Up:
Italian environment ministry, tel: +39 06 57221.

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