ABU DHABI, JANUARY 15 – A new first for the Italian diplomatic network. The Embassy in the United Arab Emirates is the very first embassy in the country to be powered by solar PV energy.
In the centre of Abu Dhabi, on the roof of the building hosting the Embassy, Enel put two solar installations, with a total installed capacity of 27 kWp, able to produce 40,000 kWh a year.
“The whole project, from the initial idea to its execution, was ‘Made in Italy’” commented Massimiliano Tarantino, Enel Green Power head of Business Development for the Middle East.
“I am very proud of such remarkable goal, achieved thanks to the extraordinary cooperation of RSB and the remarkable support of Enel Green Power, which is in line with the utmost attention paid by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to environmental sustainability”, Ambassador Liborio Stellino said. The PV system became operational on the eve of Italy’s assuming in 2017 the Presidency of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) General Assembly. The project, illustrated on the last of the two-days conference, was widely praised by the over 1,000 delegates who attended the meeting.
The over 200 panels installed on the roof of the Embassy were produced in Sicily (by Enel Green Power 3SUN in Catania) while both the company supplying the conversion unit and the project contractor were Italian as well. The project in Abu Dhabi is part of the Farnesina Verde initiative, launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in partnership with Enel Green Power. In 2010 in Brasilia the first photovoltaic solar installation at an Embassy was created, bringing together attention to the environment and promotion of the Made in Italy brand. The Ministry headquarters in Rome joined the program in 2012. Despite the relatively low level of irradiation of the British Isles, in 2015 the Italian Embassy in London became the first in the United Kingdom to go green after the installation of solar panels on the roof.
Italy has other “green” embassies. In Cameroon the Embassy in Yaoundé was certified “CO2 neutral” by offsetting the electric consumption of the office’s and the residence with new trees being planted as suggested by the local authorities. In Vienna, the Permanent Mission to the International Organization has been certified “green” by Wien Energie, the leading operator of electricity in Austria. The same certification and was also given to the residence of the head of delegation at OSCE.
Over the years, further PV power plants have been installed on the roof of the many other Italian Embassies and Consulates in the world, including those in Tehran, Dhaka, Casablanca, Rio de Janeiro and Asmara.
The Italian Embassy in Bucharest recently acquired two electric bicycles with rechargeable batteries, donated by Enel Green Power and Ducati Energy Romania. They will be able to replace the cars used for city post delivery, reducing the environmental impact and the cost of the petrol used previously. Finally, the Italian Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro joined the Farnesina Verde network, partnering with Enel Green Power for the installation of a photovoltaic system on the terrace of its property, Casa d’Italia. (@OnuItalia)