Italy has broken new NGV ground by reaching 1,000 natural gas filling stations, the latest being in Udine in the country’s far northeast and the other in the far south, in Misilmeri, Sicily. With an NGV population of more than 750,000 vehicles, Italy stands as the dominant NGV nation in Europe and the seventh largest by vehicle numbers worldwide.
According to data of the Ministry of Economic Development, as reported by ecomotori and confirmed for NGV Global by NGV Italy, in 1997 the natural gas fleet in Italy numbered 260,000 vehicles, while the distribution stations were little more than 270. Today, after a little more than 15 years, the number of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) has almost tripled and stations quadrupled.
There remains room for development: NGV infrastructure is unevenly distributed with large numbers of stations found mainly in the regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. There is also a need to increase the number of self-service stations, enabling 24/7 service.
The impetus for increased supply may reportedly be assisted by a drive from the Italian Biogas Consortium to increase the harvesting of biogas produced by anaerobic digestion of residues and by-products of animal and vegetable origin, for biomethane fuel for automobiles.
“We are excited at the growth rate of CNG and what we have achieved up-to-date but there is still space to do more,” Mariarosa Baroni, President of NGV Italy told NGV Global News. “We are among the first countries to embrace NGV Biomethane and today we can consider it as one of the most effective and readily available responses to a sustainable mobility. Ecology and affordability will be the real winning engine for the coming years. Powering a cleaner future is the mission of NGV Italy.”
NGVA Europe, the European Natural and bio Gas vehicle Association, commented on recent biogas developments in Italy:
Last December, the Italian Government published the long-awaited decree ’05 dicembre 2013′, which provides incentives for the production of biomethane. This document implements what has been foreseen by the previous decree ‘n.28 of 03/03/2011’ that introduced a national definition of biomethane and anticipated what the different ways are to obtain the incentives: biomethane injected into the natural gas grids; biomethane used as a biofuel; and biomethane used in high efficiency cogeneration plants.
In the next months, technical conditions will be specified by GSE, AEEG and Ministry of Agriculture. After that, biomethane will be promoted for the injection into the natural gas grid, for usage in transport and electricity production.
NGV Italy (the Italian NGV Association and Assogasmetano (Italian National CNG Distribution Companies Association) worked closely with their members and industry participants to get the decree passed.