2011-06-14 04:18:36Italy against nuclear


Italy voted again against nuclear. This is the second vote on nuclear, the first was in 1987 which current government tried to circumvent.

2011-06-14 04:57:13
Dana Nuccitelli

So what does this mean Riccardo - no new nuclear plants to be built in Italy?

2011-06-14 05:06:19


I guess not much of a change as Italy currently doesn't have any operating nuclear power plants anyway:

"Italy is the only G8 country without its own nuclear power plants, having closed its last reactors in 1990. In 2008, government policy towards nuclear changed and a substantial new nuclear build program is planned."

That "build program" has now been stopped before it got under way.

2011-06-14 05:19:26
Paul D


Italy imports electricity across it's borders that was generated from nuclear energy.

2011-06-14 07:42:22


We closed our nuclear plants 25 years ago after a referendum; so at the moment we have none. Recently the government tried to push nuclear again with a law that was able to circumvent the referendum's results. The plan was to build four plants.

We import about 10-15% of our needs mainly from Switzerland (40% of whch is nuclear), some from France (87% of which is nuclear) and just a bit from Slovenia and Austria. We have the capacity to produce by ourselves the energy we need. We import it as part of the european grid integration, a energy policy choice more than a need.

As of 2010, our mix is roughly 52% gas, 13% coal, 10% oil, 17% hydro, 8% other renewables (rapidly growing).

2011-06-14 08:00:30
Dana Nuccitelli

That's a really good mix.  USA has 10% renewables including hydro.  Germany is 17% including hydro.  Italy is 25% - I'm impressed!  Plus only 13% coal - it's about 44% in the USA and Germany.  Viva Italia!

2011-06-14 08:42:34


You are right Riccardo, renewables are rapidly growing in Italy!

According to this source about 3500 MW of photovoltaic capacity is installed and the target set by the government is 23000 MW in 2016! In addition the total installed wind capacity reached nearly 5800 MW by the end of 2010.

But on the other hand Italy pays, for all I know, a higher fed in compensation for photovoltaic than Germany (and it's much sunnier in Italy than in Germany). Thus their support isn't very cost efficient.

2011-06-14 09:17:23


We're just lucky for having that much hydro, thanks to the Alps. Not having much resources, after the oil shocks in the '70s Italy decided to switch to gas which at that time was directly imported from Lybia and Algeria via submarine pipes. That turned out to be a good choice. Now we import mainly from Russia.

Although a bit late in the rush for renewables, they're now growing fast thanks to very convenient feed-in tariffs. Of the 8% renewables (excluding hydro) the mix is about 3% each biomass and wind, 2% geothermal and 0.5% solar PV. The latter went from almost zero to 1600 KWh in 4 years and is still growing fast. The other fast growing technology is wind which more than doubled in the same 4 years from 4,000 GWh to 8,500 GWh.

Thanks to this new stop to nuclear, the money will hopefully go to renewables. I expect both wind and solar PV to keep growing fast. We're still way behind other european countries but improving relatively fast.