Italy faces wind opposition

MILAN, ITALY - While most members of the European Union have joined in the push for wind energy, some, like Italy, face resistance.

Anti-wind groups are pushing for a moratorium on new wind-power projects, claiming the wind turbines negatively affect the landscape and surrounding wildlife. They also say developers take advantage of residents in small towns with bad deals, and they question the reliability of a power source that is highly variable.

"Anti-wind has been more successful here," said Fabrizio Fabbri, head of the Technical Secretariat for the Italian Ministry of Environment.

While the industry needs better rules and regulations, Fabbri acknowledged, a full-fledged, permanent moratorium would not accomplish anything, and, in addition, it could hinder the European wind industry.

Residents are hesitant to allow wind projects anywhere near historical sites or natural reserves and are greatly limiting the areas where turbines could be placed.

Under the new EU policy, Italy will have to come up with a plan, said Mechtild Rothe, vice president of the European Parliament. A plan to meet the bloc's emission-reduction targets will be mandatory.


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