Economy and Environmental Sustainability

Results of some successful Italian projects and a European report on Green Jobs

The Environment and Energy IFTS Pole of the Lazio Region featured a two-day conference on “Job Objective: Research, Training, Enterprise”, where representatives of institutions, research and businesses were involved in a debate to pinpoint the link between economy and environmental sustainability.

The first day was dedicated to “10 2008 renewable stories”, 10 excellent projects on renewable sources carried out by the Lazio Region in 2008. Three of them were accomplished by partners of the Pole and H2Rome. The first one concerning the Civitavecchia Hydrogen Pole (click here to see the video), was born out of an agreement between the Lazio Region’s Environment Department, the Civitavecchia Municipality and its Port Authority. The project, whose scientific partner is CIRPS (Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile di Sapienza Università di Roma) envisages a three-year-long 9 million euro investment and its objective is to supply qualified jobs and to attract funds not only in the research field but also in the one of sustainable enterprise. The second project, entitled “Put energy efficiency into a (data) bank”, involved ENEA to draw up an agreement with the Ministry of Economic Development for the accomplishment of a web data bank supplying information on energy efficiency. The third project, called “Solar Vatican”, designed by Mauro Villarini, a researcher in charge with the CIRPS projects on renewable energy sources, consisted in having photovoltaic panels installed over 5,000 square metres on the roof of the Paul VI hall.

The second day was devoted to the workshop on “The Revolution of Green Jobs” which offered the opportunity to discuss the subject of green jobs’ world and local markets, mainly the ones related to renewables and energy efficiency. The starting point was the information of a report published last September: “Green Jobs, Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World”, a study, drawn up by the Worldwatch Institute with the technical assistance from the Cornell University Global Labour Institute, and commissioned and funded by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) in collaboration with ILO (International Labour Organization), ILOE (International Organization of Employers) and Ituc (International Trade Union Confederation). The report estimates that by 2030 there will be 20 million “green” jobs concerning wind, photovoltaic, solar heating, bio-mass, hydroelectric, geothermal systems and their function will be to spur the economy mainly in developing countries.

The report highlights the outstanding positions of Spain and Germany as far as wind power and photovoltaic systems are concerned. Italy, however, seems interested in keeping abreast of the green trend as confirmed in the talk by Sebastiano Serra from the Ministry for the Environment, who said that the efforts made to reduce CO2 emissions have so far been very weak and quite disjointed, probably due to inefficient rules which should be replaced by a general policy law on renewables. Furthermore, he added that the Italian electric network, which was designed for a continuous flow of energy, because of the discontinuity of renewable sources, should be renovated in order to guarantee the system stability. To avoid capital flight, then, national products should remain in the country and produce low-cost energy. The government, according to Serra, is interested in second-generation bio-fuels and in the use of bio-mass systems, sectors which would boost employment.

Against the annual want of 80 thousand technicians, Mariagrazia Nardello from the Ministry of Research and University, said that the government is determined to re-launch vocational technical education by funding 19 projects in three different environmental sectors. “The gap between the companies’ requirements and the educational standard – said Ms Nardiello – is growing and to act against it new technical schools will be opened by 2010.”

Tags: CO2 , H2Roma , CIRPS , ENEA , environment , renewables , photovoltaic , hydrogen , University , biofuel , wind energy , Sapienza University of Rome , Polo Idrogeno Lazio , clean energy , Lazio Region , investments



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