Sometimes you find leading-edge energy technology in unexpected places. We’ll show you where. Today, on Engineering Works!
When someone mentions green energy, stuff like wind turbines and solar panels, one place you’re not likely to think of is Italy. Think again. Small towns in Italy are showing the rest of us what can be done to use green technology to cut our energy bills. They’ve got motivation. Their electric rates are about three times what we pay in the United States.
More than 800 small towns and villages in Italy are investing in green energy and making it work. Consider the mountain village of Tocco, population 2,700. Tocco gets electricity from four wind turbines and an array of solar panels. The village doesn’t get its electricity directly from the turbines. The company that owns the turbines sells the electricity they produce to the national electric grid and Tocco gets a share of that price. Last year that paid for the village’s electric bill and produced a profit. About $200,000 worth.
The solar panels provide electricity to light the village cemetery and buildings. They produce a small profit, too.
Residents of the village are getting into it. Some of them are installing their own solar panels. It works for them, too. One new solar panel owner saw monthly electric bills drop from as much as $700 to zero.
Our electric bill is paid up, but it’s still time to wrap this up for today. See you next time.
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Start the discussion: This kind of stuff is pretty small stuff in the big picture, but it shows that wind and solar can work in the real world. Pretty cool.