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Hydroelectric power in Italy

In Italy 67% of energy produced by renewable sources comes from hydroelectric. According to the data of GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici), in 2010,  the hydroelectric power produced in Italy amounted to 51,117 GWh. In Europe, Italy is one of the three major producers of hydroelectric energy, together with France and Spain. Furthermore, according to the GSE data, in Italy 1965 hydroelectric plants were active in 2000, out of which 1120  with a power less than 1MW; in that year, the production amounted to 51 TW. It has been calculated that the hydroelectric potentiality of the Italian territory could be approximately 65 TW. When compared with the amount of energy produced, this indicates that the potential of the hydroelectric resources in Italy is exploited to about 90% and the maximum limit of possible exploitation has been reached. It therefore does not seem to be a sector that can expand further. The  fact that more favourable and convenient sites, from a technical and economical point of view,  are already being utilized, contributes to the  “closing” of this sector, and a number of technical, environmental and economic obstacles have arisen with regard to the realization of new high-capacity  and high-output power stations. Consequently the future of hydroelectricity in Italy seems to consist in the realization of only the low-output  (<100 kW)  so-called micro-hydro plants, that imply a poor economic and technical commitment and have a very low impact on the environment. (Sourcei: Impianti a fonti rinnovabili – Rapporto statistico 2010, GSE 2011)

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