Italy in bid to boost renewable energy

Government says 1.5% of carbon tax revenues will fund renewables promotion

The Italian government has proposed an amendment to its 2001 budget that will allocate 1.5% of revenues garnered annually from the 'carbon tax' to promoting wider use of renewable energy sources, environment ministry under-secretary Valerio Calzolaio told journalists on Tuesday. Mr Calzolaio made the announcement at a seminar on renewable energy held in Rome. Other speakers included Enea president Carlo Rubbia, environment ministry director-general Gianni Silvestrini and EU affairs minister Gianni Mattioli. The government is keen to promote renewable energy to reduce Italy's dependence on fossil fuels. It is pushing to extend EU framework legislation on renewables to cover uses such as heating, as well as electricity. It is especially keen to promote passive solar energy in this regard. "Requiring 1.5% of annual carbon tax receipts to be allocated to national and regional governments to stimulate energy production from renewable sources and encourage greater energy efficiency will ensure permanent public investment in renewable energy sources," Mr Calzolaio said. He said the decision represented a significant change of energy policy by the present government and underlined the importance of renewables for the future, "irrespective of oil markets". Presented to the Italian parliament on 30 September, the 2001 budget is due to be voted into law by the end of November.Follow Up:
Italian environment ministry, tel +39 06 57 22 55 80

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