Sicily, the island of Solar Thermal energy. Towards the Charter of the Sun, an energy pact between territory and industry.
The new solar energy technologies and the relaunch of the Sicilian industrial system. Defining a Charter of the Sun; anact of commitment by social, productive and political forces to make the island the capital of Solar Thermal energy inItaly and the Mediterranean, while respecting its territorial and environmental features.
Sicily is the region with the greatest opportunities, possibilities and prospects for the development of renewable energies: it is the largest Italian region, with the greatest solar irradiation in the country, it has excellent research centres and a business potential in the sector of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Sicily must aim at becoming the leading region in Europe and the entire Mediterranean of a “decarbonized” economy based on solar energy, deriving from the needs and resources of the territory. We read in its Energy and Environmental Plan: “a Third Industrial Revolution now seems under way, one which must permit the shift from an economy based on the carbon cycle to one founded on that of sun, water and wind, with a consequential beneficial effect on the decentralization of production, the accumulation and distribution of energy and the conferring of a new economic and political leading role at regional and local territorial levels”.
Sicily could therefore become the pathfinder for solar energy in Europe and the entire Mediterranean, if it succeeded in developing industrial models on its territory based on complete energy production chains. In order to set in motion this process, starting this time from the needs and resources of the territory, bearing in mind that the “Concentratin Solar Power (CSP)” production chain of solar energy ensures exploitation of those climatic resources in which Sicily has a competitive advantage and can lead to increased development of the local economy, ANEST- Associazione Nazionale Energia Solare Termodinamica and FRED- Forum Regionale per l’Energia Distribuita are jointly promoting a two-day initiative (18 and 19 September 2012) in Palermo on “The Sicilian energy model, an
opportunity for Europe and the Mediterranean, in partnership with Confindustria Sicilia and with the hospitality of Fondazione Sicilia.
On the first day (18 September) – in the meeting on “Distributed energy and a leading role for citizens. Local bodies and small-medium enterprises for a Sicilian energy model”, coordinated by the FRED– stock will be taken of the concrete application the distributed and interactive energy model of the Third Industrial Revolution on the island. Renewable sources are a resource for the territories, for companies and for the citizens, and it is first and foremost for them that it must create wealth.
The creation is therefore to be encouraged of local production chains with high added value, promoting energy models with high labour intensity and the redistribution of wealth in the form of new employment. The response to these needs starts from integration between renewable sources and energy efficiency and proceeds through the contemporaneous development of all the technologies of the Third Industrial Revolution: photovoltaic (organic, BIPV, photovoltaic bricks); solar thermal energy at medium-low temperatures; solar cooling and solar refrigeration; thermodynamic solar energy on a small scale (Fresnel, Stirling and exothermic motors); heat pumps and geothermal energy with low enthalpy; small-scale wind power and hydro-electric power; zero emission buildings; storage technologies; network systems (Smart grids, domotics, local mini grids); zero emission or low emission mobility.
Sun, an energy pact between territory and industry”, coordinated by ANEST, will deal with the contribution of Solar Thermal energy to the relaunch of the region’s industrial system. Sicily is the Italian area with the greatest vocation to Concentrating Solar Power.
It was, in fact, the first region to experiment with it, in the Archimedes Project (ENEL-ENEA), and it is the region enjoying the most favourable climatic and geographical conditions. Moreover, the island has a company system in need of a continual supply of renewable energy, such as that produced by CSP.
At the same time, the economic development areas are able to provide spaces for the installation of a renewable energy source specifically dedicated to industrial and handicraft production.
Sicily is a natural bridge towards those regions of North Africa that are most rapidly moving in the direction of a net opening-up of markets. Lastly, it has a tradition and
culture historically oriented towards the development of solar sources. Sicily can therefore become the pathfinder of the national and Mediterranean production chain of CSP, obtaining substantial economic and employment advantages and becoming the “Region of the Sun”, to which may be summoned for discussion all regional productive, economic and administrative entities and a good many national and international interlocutors, the former including the Ministry of the Environment, on the basis of its new law decree incentivising renewable sources, while among the latter are ESTELA, the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association, and the EU Commission. The result of this meeting –which will also open up a constructive debate with the candidates to the forthcoming regional elections – will be to create an operative dialogue between the principal players in the development of this innovative renewable source, with the launch and signature of a “Charter of the Sun an energy pact between territory and industry”, a tool for collaboration between regional and local institutions and the business world, and at the same time an important vehicle of information towards the media.