Italian Town Runs Solely On Wind, Sells the Rest

A small town in rural Italy is proving that renewable energy doesn’t have to be big to be important.

Just four turbines provide all the power needed to run Tocco Da Casauria and then some.

As you look beyond the town, filled with cobblestone streets, you see the mountains and the wind turbines. Because of the windy conditions there, the 3000 people who live there get all the electricity they need and even make a profit, which supports the school and town services such as street-cleaning and cutting the grass.

Actually, the turbines produce a third more energy than the town needs, which is sold to Italy’s grid at a profit of about 170,000 euros.  

And that’s reduced local taxes a lot.

BBC map

"We’re demonstrating what is possible with wind. It’s something others could follow, whether it’s with wind, solar power or other types of renewable energy. Italy and the world can learn from this, Mayor Riziero Zaccagnini told BBC News. "There is a simple lesson here about sustainability." 

About 7% of Italy’s energy comes from renewables and like most countries, still relies on imports of fossil fuels to meet most of its needs.

While critics maintain that renewables can only provide marginal amounts of energy, towns like these show the opposite is true.

If we thought about renewables in terms of each individual town, before long they would add up to cities and countries.

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