Monday, February 13, 2006

Italy Nuclear Update

Why is Italy thinking twice about the decision the nation made back in 1987 about the future use of nuclear energy?

One of the main effects of the anti-nuclear stance is that Italy depends heavily on oil and natural gas bought in other countries, with total energy imports estimated at about 15% of its total requirements.

According to a 2005 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Italy is in fact the worldÂ’s largest energy importer ahead of Germany, Brazil and the US.
This, in turn means Italians pay the highest electricity bills in Europe – 14.6 euro cents per kilowatt/hour compared to a European average of 10 cents and just 5.6 cents in Greece.
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4 comments:

Paul said...

In fact, Italy gets the bulk of its electricity from all the surplus nuclear power generated in France, hence the reason for the most expensive electricity.

We are closely following the Berlesconi effort to site a nuclear waste dump in Scanzano for all of Italy's nuclear waste from its nuclear industry retired by the Chernobyl accident plus the fuel rods from the Elk River nuclear power station which somehow wound up in Italy. More than 200,000 southern Italians mobilized and occupied the propose site within two weeks of its announcement and squelched the dump effort.

Paul Primavera said...

Paul Gunter,

The alternative to using nuclear energy and having a small repository for its 'waste' is dumping millions of tons of green house gases into the atmosphere every year for replacement fossil fuel power. These more than 200,000 Italians (if the number is to be believed) would rather choke on their own wastes than to use a small amount of area for a respository - to use your own phrase, more poisons dumped into the environment.

David Bradish said...

Paul,

In fact, Italy does NOT get the bulk of its electricity from France. It actually gets it from Switzerland, 50% to be exact. France only contributes 35% to Italy. 43% of the electricity in Switzerland comes from nuclear.

Here are the electric retail prices for households in some European countries:

Italy - .17 euros / kWh
France - .11 euros / kWh
Switzerland - .11 euros / kWh
Germany - .16 euros / kWh
Greece - .09 euros / kWh
UK - .08 euros / kWh

Before you assume that electricity prices are high in Italy because of nuclear, you need to check what the other costs of electricity were in the countries supplying the electricity.

If France and Switzerland's electricity costs were as high as Italy's, your claim would be correct but that's not the case.

All my stats are from IEA's Electricity Information book.

David

Starvid said...

The reason power is expenisve in Italy is not due to them importing nuclear power from France, since power would then also be expensive in France, which it isn't.

Italy gets a very large part of it's power from pricy oil and natural gas. http://www.iea.org/Textbase/stats/PDF_graphs/ITELEC.pdf

Without the Swiss and French imports prices would be even higher.