Gesta SpA and SOLIDpower SpA together for the future of Fuel Cells in Italy
Gesta SpA and SOLIDpower SpA together for the future of Fuel Cells in Italy
author Added by FuelCellsWorks, March 08, 2016

Ravagni: In Italy, we need the support of the legislation

Mezzolombardo, TN-- A new step towards energy efficiency with fuel cell based m-CHP appliances is the object of the commercial agreement signed on the 16th February by SOLIDpower SpA, founded with the financial support of Provincia Autonoma di Trento and with HQ at the BIC (Business Innovation Centre) of Trentino Sviluppo, and GESTA SpA – Coopservice Group.

What is a Fuel Cell (FC)? Fuel cells are electrochemical devices, which directly convert the chemical energy of an oxidation reaction into electricity, without any combustion process. The typical fuel is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. SOLIDpower specifically produces solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which are usually operated with methane (or bio-methane). The electrochemical reaction allows cogeneration: SOLIDpower’s fuel cells can also produce heat for residential use (heating system, hot sanitary water).

“A synergy for energy” says the CEO of SOLIDpower Alberto Ravagni. “A close collaboration between two important national players in the field, which sees the northern region of Trentino leading the way again for a Green Economy”.

The idea is to participate in a flagship project in Italy, aiming at the development of fuel cell integrated systems for residential applications and for SMEs. The plan is to combine energy generation of PV (photovoltaics), which counts more 600.000 systems already installed in Italy, mostly under 20kW, with the micro-generation of electrical and thermal power of fuel cells. A self-production and consumption of

energy that could guarantee a double-efficiency compared to traditional technologies (engines, turbines), up to 50% reduction of CO2 emission, complete avoidance of NOx and SOx emissions (compared to traditional combustion boilers) and, with a suitable product certification, installations all over Europe.

“For future Smart Grids, the development of fuel cell market is crucial, as fuel cell systems allow power generation, but in a controlled manner. The technological know-how of SO

LIDpower and the expertise of GESTA will bring growth and innovation to the fuel cell market both in residential and P.A. sector, especially in schools and public offices”, remarks Ravagni.

A synergy 100% made in Italy that wants to be a model of innovation for the immediate future and yearns for becoming part of a common culture in national entrepreneurship, by giving more space to highly specialized activities and work force.

“The addition of Gesta SpA to Coopservice Group (almost 800 million of revenues and 18.000 employees) – says General Director of GESTA SpA Emil Anceschi – represents for us a strategic step in order to achieve a strong position at a national level in the field of energy and facility management, a sector in constant innovation, where we’ve been investing throughout the years; the agreement with SOLIDpower proves it.

Manlio Raimondi, CEO of GESTA, adds some background: “Our Company, based in Reggio Emilia, designs and manages energy systems all over the national territory and is also classified as ESCO for energy saving projects. Italian Public Administrations could provide an important contribution to the energy efficiency scenario by adopting m-CHP (combined heat and power) technologies where renewables are not suitable, i.e. old town centres of our cities. In order to achieve actual innovation, concrete solutions such as

SOLIDpower appliances, are the perfect starting point.

Coopservice Group, specifically through GESTA SpA, together with SOLIDpower SpA, aim at being the principal players in the renovation of the public and private energy system by adapting it to a future without fossil fuels, characterized by sustainability and reliable energy, and by creating development opportunities at local and national level.

The press event boasts the important participation of Livio de Santoli, president of AICARR, an Italian association that creates and promotes culture in the field of technological systems for production, distribution and use of thermal energy, both in residential and industrial buildings. “Technologies are available and ready but there is need of a more structured framework, where they can fit in. Fuel cells’ roadmap in Italy until 2030 needs political support. Furthermore, Italy lacks a legislation that understands the peculiarities of the territory, such as old town centres and Mediterranean climate. Therefore, our country currently suffers for a legislation thought for Northern – Eurpean Countries,” commented de Santoli during his speech.