VENICE / PADUA – The Veneto Region has started the discussion on the proposal of law presented by Roberto Bet – “Identification of areas for the realization of photovoltaic systems with modules located on the ground “- with the “knot” of agricultural land for the installation of plants that is creating controversy and debates. Net the opposition of the agricultural organizations (Coldiretti, Cia) already battered by the consequences and economic repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which makes it very difficult to import corn and wheat from those countries. Subtracting even a part of agricultural land from its natural destination would worsen the situation of the entire agri-food industry.
But there is an equally strategic need to expand the electricity generation from renewable sources, given that the reuse of coal, envisaged by the government to cope with the lower future imports of gas from Russia, will not be able to fill the electricity deficit.
How to respond to the two emergencies
The proposal comes from two Paduan “experts” with long experience in the sector: the engineer Mario Breda, environmental engineer, and Claudio Vergerio, former technical director of Amniup (later Aps Padova). Their open letter to governor Luca Zaia enters the heart of the problem: “A first, necessarily partial, response to these needs concerns the possible use, as an alternative to the use of agricultural land, of exhausted landfills for inert waste and non-hazardous municipal waste, present by the hundreds in our Region. These plants, largely disused, could be used for the installation of photovoltaic panels, with a significant production of electricity. The useful surfaces we are talking about are very large: from our research we have estimated at least sixty usable disused plants, with an average unitary electrical capacity of 4 MWe peak and a total production of over 250 million electric kWh per year. This value corresponds to the domestic electricity consumption of over 300,000 citizens ».
The technical-economic and regulatory difficulties
«There are no particular technical difficulties for the use of the panels on the land at the top of the landfills. And also the investment and management costs, compared to a thirty-year life of the photovoltaic systems, now allow completely competitive prices for the kWh – without any state contribution – with that produced with traditional fossil sources. On the other hand, the regulatory aspects are more problematic.
The current legislation in force in our country imposes a post-operation period for exhausted landfills of thirty years, during which the operator must provide, among other tasks, to the evacuation and treatment of the leachate and biogas that continue to occur in the landfill body. In addition, during the initial authorization, the presentation of an environmental restoration plan for the site is envisaged. The most widespread environmental recompositions consist in the creation of urban parks and / or in the reforestation of abandoned areas; in fact – for agronomic-sanitary reasons or for the insufficient stability of the land – both the agricultural use of the areas and the construction of buildings on them are to be excluded. It would therefore seem at first glance that the use of landfills for photovoltaics was in contrast with the regulatory obligation of the thirty-year post-operation.
In reality, the two activities can certainly coexist, both because they do not interfere with each other, and because their equal duration – 30 years for both – can optimize their management, both from an operational and economic point of view.
The urgency of a regional cadastre and guidelines
«We think – conclude Breda and Vergerio – that the Governor of the Veneto must assess the urgency of building a regional land registry which, in agreement with the Provinces, identifies and punctually characterizes all landfills, exhausted or not, in the Region. It should be accompanied by specific guidelines regulating the use of landfills for energy purposes.
These actions of the Veneto Region could then, as part of the State-Regions Conferencealso be proposed at a national level, thus providing a useful contribution to tackle the energy crisis that awaits us starting from the next few months ».
Here is the location of some controlled landfills for municipal solid waste or special waste non-hazardous decommissioned or close to completion in the Veneto Region.
Province of Verona:
Controlled landfill for MSW (Urban Solid Waste) in the municipality of Legnago, nearing completion.
Controlled landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Pescantina under seizure.
Former landfills for RS (Special non-hazardous waste) in the Municipalities of Villafranca and Sommacampagna.
Province of Vicenza:
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Montecchio Maggiore.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Lonigo
Former landfill for MSW in the Asiago plateau.
Former landfill for RS in the Municipality of Montecchio Maggiore.
Controlled landfill for RS in the municipality of Montecchio Precalcino, nearing completion.
Province of Padua:
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Padua.
Former landfill for MSW in the municipality of Ponte S. Nicolò.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Este.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Campodarsego.
Province of Venice:
Former landfill for MSW of Ca ‘Rossa in the Municipality of Chioggia.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Mirano.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Marcon.
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Portogruaro.
Province of Treviso:
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Villorba
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Altivole
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Conegliano
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Povegliano
Former landfills for RS in the municipalities of Istrana and Quinto di Treviso
Landfill for RS in the Municipality of Riese PioX
Province of Belluno:
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Ponte delle Alpi
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Longarone
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Cortina d’Ampezzo
Province of Rovigo
Former landfill for MSW in the municipality of S. Martino di Venezze
Former landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Bergantino
Landfill for MSW in the Municipality of Rovigo
Last updated: 21:36
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