Lake Como goes all-electric

Italy’s Lake Como is Europe’s first ‘electric destination’ after efforts to install a far-reaching electric-charging network were realised.
Published: Mon 28 Aug 2017

Popular tourist destination, Lake Como, has gone all-electric, with an extensive network of electric vehicle charging points.

Italy’s network of historic gardens (GGI) has managed to set up 15 electric vehicle charging points around the lake’s 170km perimeter, using Tesla’s ‘Destination Charging’ technology. Tesla has provided 13 of these free of charge, according to a Lake Como press release.

Pledge to support ‘green’

The project has the backing of 27 local stakeholders, including hoteliers and restaurant owners, who have pledged to implement and support green practices.

The network is boosted by further charging points for electric bicycles and electric boats. GGI said it hopes the new infrastructure will help reduce air and noise pollution, as well as protect native animal and plant species.

GGI’s Judith Wade said: “Our biggest asset is our environment. The lake will be less noisy and have the air quality our visitors deserve”.

The association added that it wants to “make Lake Como the ideal destination for those who have an electric vehicle, bike or boat, making sustainable tourism, which respects the environment, a possibility”.

‘Como – The Electric Lake’ will be trialled for the rest of this year ahead of a nationwide roll-out of the scheme. Many of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations suffer from overcrowding and traffic congestion, with the idea being to alleviate these problems as much as possible.

Italy pushes ahead with clean energy plans

The Renewable Cities Report 2017, compiled by Legambiente with contributions from Enel Green Power and in collaboration with GSE in Italy, highlight that there are now 7,978 municipalities – in 2005 there were 356 – that have renewable technology for energy production in their territory. Of these, 3,021 produce more energy than their residents consume, and 40 are “100% renewable”. This means they rely on clean energy alone to meet all the electricity and heating needs, lowering the costs carried by citizens and businesses.

In 2016, renewable sources overall contributed to 34.3% of total energy consumption, decreased due to a drop in hydroelectric production (-8.9%).

The report reveals that the contribution made by so-called “new renewable sources” (biomass, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, mini-hydroelectric) continues to grow: in the last year, they covered 22.7% of electricity production compared to overall consumption, confirming a trend of constant growth since the 2.6% of 2006.

Italy met 87% of its electricity demand via energy produced from renewable sources on May 21, a new record, according to Luigi Ferraris, the CEO of power-grid company Terna.