Varese Ligure, Italy

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Varese Ligure, Italy

  • Target: 100% of renewable electricity.
  • Status: Achieved - 100% of renewable electricity supply in 2001.
  • RES: 4 wind turbines, and solar thermal systems.
  • Implementation: In the 1980s, Varese Ligure and its surroundings suffered from unemployment and de-population. The number of inhabitants had significantly dropped from 6,000 inhabitants to 2,155 (2010). In response, Maurizio Caranza, the mayor at the time, established a plan to transform the town into a destination for green and sustainable tourism through increasing the share of renewable energy and organic food products to 100%. Today, there are four wind turbines surrounding Varese Ligure producing about 8 GWh annually, which is more than three times of the town’s total electricity demand. The surplus electricity is fed into the national grid generating around 25,000 euros per year. Varese Ligure also uses solar power to heat the local swimming pool and to cover the energy demand of the town hall building to 98% and the secondary school building by 62%. Additional 8 kW is generated through hydropower and the municipality is exploring the use of wood pellets for heating. Since the shift to renewable energy supply, the number of inhabitants have stabilised at around 2400. Unemployment decreased with the creation of 140 new jobs in the renewable energy sector. The municipality is benefiting from 350,000 euros tax revenues each year from the private operator of the renewable energy network, while the number of tourists have substantially increased. Besides renewable energy, Varese Ligure is supplying 98% of its food demand with organic products from 108 organic farms, applying environmental friendly technology for water purification and achieving significant reductions in waste and pollution.
  • Population: 2,059 (2015)
  • Area: 136.3 km2 (52.6 sq mi)
  • Link: https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/01/06/how-small-town-italy-became-model-sustainability
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Varese Ligure, Italy
  • Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, Varese Ligure © Cyril Doussin CC BY-SA 2.0

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