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Rural EC projects continue to expand in southern Italy

The municipality of San Giorgio del Sannio, in the province of Benevento, Campania, is ready to activate its energy community. The promoter of the initiative was the municipality itself, which relied on the cooperation and experience of the FRIENDLY POWER company of San Martino Sannita, which acted as facilitator.

Town councillor Diego Mercurio, in charge of Sustainability and Circular Economy, reports how long the process has been and not without scepticism from citizens. “It started with the drafting of an outline of the statute and regulations, which were submitted to the citizenship at a public event attended by citizens and local businesses willing to become members of the community. Then we proceeded with the establishment of the association last month’.

In fact, the founding act of the association was signed, which will soon be followed by the approval of the regulations that will govern the functioning of the energy community. Approximately 40 members, citizens and businesses, have expressed their willingness to join the Energy Community. Furthermore, a resolution of the municipal council has already determined the public buildings on which the photovoltaic systems that will power the community will be installed.

Councillor Mercurio emphasised how the EC could be a process of acceleration of the ecological transition planned by European and national institutions, and how the lack of raw materials, the war in Ukraine and Covid are relevant aspects demonstrating that this is the direction to go in.

From the point of view of the benefits for our territory,’ continues Mercurio– starting with the economic ones, as those who adhere to it will not only reduce their energy consumption, but thanks to the incentive recognised by the state, they will be able to enjoy an economic advantage on their bills. In addition, businesses will make more profit by reducing energy consumption, which is currently weighing heavily on their expenses.

There will undoubtedly be an increase in work in this sector throughout the entire supply chain, from design to installation to maintenance, while from the point of view of technological benefit there will be an improvement in plant-related technologies because, if the market increases, there is more economic revenue for production companies and they will be able to invest in improving plant efficiency.

From an environmental point of view, the production of energy from renewable sources will certainly lead to a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels; and there will be a reduction in electricity losses along the national grid, currently estimated at around 7 per cent.

The most important aspect for our territory,’ concludes Mercurio– will be the fight against energy poverty because the energy community, when it has generated the profits, instead of distributing them among the members, will be able to decide to install additional panels on houses of those who have no economic possibilities, helping those who are struggling to pay expensive bills.

The municipality of San Giorgio del Sannio has done an extraordinary job in the area, focusing above all on the involvement of citizenship, which is of fundamental importance for this type of project. So we are still waiting for the directive to be issued, thanks to which the Community will be able to start.