Palermo Solar City

Mario Pagliaro, Zeila Tesoriere and the advanced students of Palermo Solar City lecturePalermo Solar City - Mario Pagliaro's lecture at Palermo's University on Nov 23rd, 201723-Nov-2017 - Invited by Palermo's University, Mario Pagliaro has delivered today a lecture on the energy transition for the city of Palermo, Sicily, from fossil to renewable energy to the advanced scholars of the  Infrastructural leap course of the D'Arch Department.

The lecture was given in the context of Manifesta, a European contemporary art biennial aiming to work with local communities (including the city's University) in order to rethink the basic architectural and urban structures of the city via cultural intervention, whose 12th edition will be held in Palermo between June 6th and November 4th, 2018.

Dr Pagliaro gave on overview of how energy is produced and consumed in Sicily's largest city, and suggested avenues on how to reshape the energy system evolving from widespread utilization of thermal engine cars and buses to electric cars and buses accompanied by near future widespread use of existing buildings' surfaces as renewable energy generators in such a large amount as to realistically end the era of fossil fuels and enter the solar economy era within the next ten years.

Dr Pagliaro presented the students with the outcomes of the Sicily Solar Report 2017 published on the same day in which his and Dr Meneguzzo's teams show how by simply installing 5 kW of PV (photovoltaic) power on each of Sicily's 1,722 million buildings, Sicily will be able to generate 8,61 GW of PV power, namely enough power to generate yearly over 11 billion kWh.

Since solar PV systems are currently installed in Sicily at €1,400/kW for domestic arrays, and €950/kW for systems above 200 kW, he further explained how the transition, now fully feasibile from economic and technical viewpoint, will be inevitable.

When a modest revamping of its current 1,500 wind turbines from the current 1 MW average power to 2 MW will be completed, Sicily will generate another 6,13 TWh yearly. Together, only the wind and PV energy generated every year in Sicily, without any extra soil consumption, would amount fo over 17,3 billion kWh - namely enough energy to meet Sicily's current electricity needs (16.84 billion kWh in 2016).

All estimates, he explained, are largely conservative because the equivalent number of hours of PV systems used (1298 h, namely the value for Sicily's PV plants in 2016) was largely constrained due to the insufficient capacity of Sicily's current high-voltage transmission grid - whose improvement and expansion is currently underway.

Once completed, not only Sicily's but also Malta's electricity needs (currently importing 68% of its electricity from Sicily through a submarine interconnector) will be met by renewable energy only.

Including a break, the lecture lasted more than 3 hours, with several thoughtful questions posed by the students also thanks to the atmosphere provided by the organizer, Professor Zeila Tesoriere, encouraging students' questions and direct involvement in a truly question‐driven classroom.

Dr Pagliaro sits frequently on international PhD evaluation committees and regularly evaluates research projects for leading research agencies. His and Professor Meneguzzo's teams have lately devised a transition rooadmap to Italy 100% renewable by 2050

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