From Italy’s AGI Online, a small article on a potentially big development:
The energy authority gave the go ahead to the self-production of energy with small sized plants from renewable sources today. The authority has passed measures to promote the self production of electric energy from small plants supplied by renewable energy sources with a power up to 20 kW. With these measures the authority implements the 2003 decree for the promotion and the development of the renewable sources. The authority envisaged the possibility to sell to the local electric grid the energy output from renewable sources made with plants whose power is not superior to 20 kW.
While I’ve noted a number of large-scale renewable projects here in the US, it appears that the Italians are taking more of a distributed generation approach (though I can’t speak right now to any other renewable developments in Italy currently). Jason Coolman from SolarDweller posted a comment recently about the benefits of small-scale solar energy production; the Italians are taking this one step further by authorizing any small-scale renewable energy development. Small, diverse and distributed seems smart on so many levels, not the least of which is the issue of security: no single plants to take out. Of course, on a much more mundane level, there’s a higher likelihood that power is constantly being fed to the grid regardless of interruptions to any particular kind of source.