2014 is the year of alternative energy. As established by Renewable Energy Report 2015, investments in renewable energy sources are growing with over 310 billion dollars invested, reversing from the negative trend of 2012-2013 and the investment levels approaching the record in 2011.
The positive figure relates to forecasts for growth in energy demand, which doesn’t only include countries with strong economies but also African, South American and Asian countries (India, China, Peru, Bolivia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Senegal, Cameroon, etc.). It is estimated that by 2030 renewables will account for 50% of the increase in electricity supply.
How does Italy react to this new green style?
A livello economico, nel nostro paese si assiste a un’inversione di tendenza: l’intero comparto ha subito una flessione di investimenti e installazioni, con una produzione assestata a 697 MW realizzati, 385 dei quali appartenenti al fotovoltaico e 107 all’eolico.
Complice un quadro normativo che non aiuta, cosa frena il decollo delle rinnovabili in Italia? Abbiamo cercato una risposta in Rete, ascoltando le conversazioni tra opinion leader e utenti.
From March to August 2015, 166,498 people or groups talked about the subject, with at least one message or interaction. An upward trend over the previous six months indicates increasing attention due to the coming Expo and organized events around the planet’s energy, sustainable and future models.
Content is produced on the daily, with volume peaks every month, especially in May (thanks to the publication of Corriere della Sera’s article: “Extract heat from the heart of the Earth without polluting: Italy’s first plant in September “) and July (For posts by Beppe Grillo and Luigi Di Maio: “Every billion euros invested in renewable energy creates 3,000 jobs”).
Facebook monopolizes online space
Over 59% of messages come from Facebook pages and groups, especially newspapers or newsgroups, politicians and activists or environmentalists who are very active and able to generate participation.
Industry or activism forums and blogs follow, in sum, they collect a quarter of total discussions (21%) and focus on more technical or local news. Less active: Twitter (7%) and news sites (3%), with prevalence of news or opinions of greater political impact, but also less involvement
The debate is alive: the main focus is climate change and its side effects.
From the analysis of themes and sentiments, it’s clear that online users and opinion leaders are divided, with 18.7% content in support of renewables and 23.8% opposing, dissatisfied or not entirely convinced.
Most of the content has a neutral mood (57.5%) with news on progress in research or application of renewables, or we can also find articles and content that cite convincing Italians about clean energy and expressing concern about climate change and excessive use of fossil fuels. Investing in renewable sources is an advantage for the future of the planet in terms of slowing climate change and safeguarding health, the environment and its resources. Many of the user’s posts out there try to convince their network of friends or readers through the presentation of best practices around the world (ie. Costa Rica only uses renewable energy, Uruguay generates 84% electricity from alternative sources, the airport Of Kochi in India is fed only by sun power, etc.). Alternative energies are also seen as an opportunity for Italy to boost economic growth and new jobs, an aspect that affects in particular the sensitivity of young people, women and parents.
There is, however, an aversion to prices and side effects: high photovoltaic installation costs, noise and landslide pollution for eolic, odors and the production of harmful substances from geothermal combustion, crop land abandonment and biomass particule emissions.
Users also oppose because of a maladaptation of the renewable system in our peninsula, in terms of failed or insufficient state investments, misuse of European Union funding, interests – if not lobbying – of companies issuing photovoltaic patents, and mismanagement of photovoltaic systems to cover toxic waste areas.
Keyword tag cloud
What will it be? We will continue monitoring the online debate to understand the future of Green Power in Italy.