The global trend of transitioning to clean energy has witnessed Italy’s Magliano Alpi becoming a municipality dealing in renewables; hence the new name renewable energy community (REC). The stipulation of new energy incentives and regulations in the final half of last year facilitated this trend. The area is now anticipating RECs’ interlinkage to meet half of its population’s energy demands, provided bureaucratic procedures do not sequester the allocated public funds. The mayor of Magliano Alpi, Marco Bailo, stated that they have seven members linked with the REC, and three of them are public apartments. Each REC must link with one transformer station before they can distribute the energy to the interested customers. Bailo reported that the challenge in this program knows the users linked to one substation. He explained that they are using the town hall substation as a pilot program before going to the other substations.

Magliano Alpi is partnering with other towns in the Piedmont region to cover more ground in the country’s switching to renewables. The head of the scientific committee of the REC, Sergio Olivero, stated that they are partnering with the neighboring municipalities to develop other RECs and create a connection and stir up development across the region. Olivero explained that they would begin as separate units before determining the next step they will take. However, after a successful operation of these units, they will merge them to form citizen energy communities (CEC). According to the local authorities, the CEC will mark the launch of partnerships between municipalities before they can transcend into other projects.

Olivero explained that the law that established the development of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) is crucial since it creates an avenue for the municipalities, citizens, and companies to partner in developing other entities. He added that the regulation creates a public-private association that did not exist in the past due to the collaborations’ frugal nature hindering private entities’ participation. These collaborations will help all the sectors benefit from the Ministry of Economic Development funds to support energy projects. Additionally, the municipalities with not more than 5000 citizens have received €100000 to facilitate the growth of energy communities through the next three years. Bailo underlined that some municipalities have been utilizing PV systems connected with RECs to secure their energy supply in the winter season. He is hopeful that the other municipalities can copy this idea to prevent future blackouts and electricity problems.

By Adam

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