Baerbel Epp, Solar Thermal World
In 2005, Legambiente, the largest environmental association in Italy, began publishing an annual report called Comuni Rinnovabili to show renewable deployment in Italian municipalities. The number of communities which had solar thermal installations increased from 108 in 2005 to 6,820 in this year’s edition, which is based on 2016 figures. Data is collected by sending a questionnaire directly to the municipalities and cross-checking the responses with official figures from GSE, the state-owned business managing renewable incentive schemes in Italy, and information and reports sent in by regional and industry associations and individual companies. Less populated municipalities are doing well in these statistics: Of the 6,820 communities which reported solar thermal installations, 4,454 are small and very small ones with a population below 5,000.
The number of responses added up to 7,893, meaning around 86 % of all municipalities reported solar thermal installations in their area. The small town at the top of the solar thermal ranking was again Seneghe, in the Oristano province of Sardinia, which boasts 2,075 m² per 1,000 population if private and public building installation figures are combined.
Larger cities showed less appealing results regarding square meters per capita, but solar thermal deployment was slightly on the rise in these areas too. Comuni Rinnovabili includes a table showing the top 10 solar thermal cities and towns, from 9,185 m² in Perugia to 4,060 m² in Senigallia. Italy’s capital Rome is part of the top 10, at 5,188 m², whereas Milan, another big Italian city, is not.
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