Italy to boost energy efficiency efforts

Ronchi promises new public funds to cut energy sector emissions, foster renewables

The Italian government is to spend up to IL6 trillion (Ecu 3.1bn) over the next five years to encourage greater energy efficiency and cut carbon dioxide emissions, environment minister Edo Ronchi has said. Coinciding with a plan to coordinate efforts to address climate impacts from energy use (ENDS Daily 27 November), the IL5 trillion of new funding announced on Friday is intended to help double the amount of energy produced renewably and encourage more scientific research. Actions will also include a project to re-launch Italy's railway system, improve urban transport and upgrade electricity generation. Spending of IL300-400bn per year has already been earmarked for doubling renewable energy production (ENDS Daily 1 October). Increasing Italy's energy self-reliance is another important part of the programme. According to Mr Ronchi, the share of energy imports should fall from over 80% now to 40% in the medium term.

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