Recovering mountain pastures,
Studies & research,
"FOSSIL-FREE" DEMONSTRATION AREA
OF PARCO NAZIONALE DOLOMITI BELLUNESI
1. The protected areas for a sustainable energy system
The project "Fossil-free Demonstration Area of Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi" has been inspired by the idea of a protected area which, besides accomplishing its mission of naturalistic conservation, scientific research, and environmental education, can and should represent a real "sustainable development workshop", carrying out pilot projects of alternative technologies:
· energy production and use
· waste cycle management,
· waste water treatment,
in order to launch a challenge and some proposals to the territories out of its borders, exemplifying and anticipating a new way to manage natural resources and to consider the rights of the future generations and the countries of the south of the world.
This "solarization" project of Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi aims at promoting a widespread penetration regarding in particular:
· the modern technologies for the exploitation of the energy deriving from wood (wood chip, pellet, and firewood) through the gasification combustion process,
· vegetal heating gas oil, micro-cogeneration, and alternative feeding of diesel engines,
· thermal and photovoltaic solar energy
· micro-hydroelectric energy,
both in the areas within the Park and in the limited settled areas along its perimeter, with the prospect to transform it into a completely "free" demonstration area (at least as a medium-term objective, considering in particular the difficulty of replacing the conventional fuels for the transport) from the fossil sources of energy; in other words, an area which does not contribute to the global climate change through the emission of greenhouse effect gases.
Although the fossil energy replacement potential in a protected area characterized by a limited human presence like Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi is intrinsically limited from a quantitative point of view, the great communication and pedagogical impact of such a "focal point" for alternative solutions aimed at meeting the thermal, electric, and transport energy needs is ensured by the great number of climbers and hikers, tourists and groups of students visiting the Park every year.
A section of the Park where pilot projects regarding alternative energies assume a particular importance is Valle del Mis. The valley was disconnected from the Enel electrical network after the flood of the year 1966, an event that led to the outcome of a ten-year long historical abandonment process. Today, the valley represents one of the most important gateways to the Park, and its most important place of mass tourism. In order to adequately support its enhancement, the local administrations want to bring electricity back to the valley. The proposed alternative electrification project aims at meeting the legitimate need of electrical energy of the valley depending on the planned tourist infrastructures by using renewable sources of energy, in particular the micro-hydraulic and photovoltaic ones. On the whole, this proposal for an alternative electrification strategy would give the opportunity to create in Valle del Mis a real "technological showcase" of the possibilities offered by the renewable sources of energy, probably the only one in Italy both for the variety of the planning solutions presented and for their spatial concentration. Thanks to the great innovative and demonstrative value, this "showcase" can become an attraction for tourists, as well as the object of targeted technical visits.
2. Review of the proposed measures for a fossil-free Park
1. "Solarization" project (with photovoltaic, micro-hydraulic, and bio-diesel micro-cogeneration energy) of the mountain infrastructures, with the aim to eliminate as much as possible the environmental impact and the noise of the conventional electric generators, whose use is contradictory in contexts of great ecological sensitivity:
· the mountain huts within the Park territory, contributing in this way to make the tourist flow sustainable;
· the mountain pastures which are still active, contributing - thanks to the substantial improvement of the mountain life and working conditions these installations enable - to reverse the abandonment process of these essential sections of the mountain territory preserving precious historical and anthropological values.
2. Plan of demonstrative and promotional installations working with thermal and photovoltaic solar energy and low-altitude forest biomass heating, in particular in the contexts interfacing with the tourist and visitors flows, in order to maximize the communication and demonstrative impact of such alternative solutions: visitor centers, guest houses and hostels, museums, forest stations, the headquarters of the Park Authority.
3. Alternative electrification project of Valle del Mis:
· photovoltaic and micro-hydroelectric electrification for the installations in the tourist infrastructures (campsites, bungalows, refreshment facilities) and in the traditional rural towns;
· road installations with photovoltaic supply (lighting of road tunnels, traffic lights supply, telemanagement systems of the parking places in the valley) and other installations demonstrating the possibilities offered by the photovoltaic technology: electric boats with no environmental impact for tours on the lake, photovoltaic street lamps, rural radiotelephony network, automatized UVA ray systems for the purification of water.
4. "Solarization" promotion plan for the houses of the families living within the Park perimeter, through the use of gasification biomass boilers, thermal solar headers, photovoltaic roof network.
5. Sustainable accessibility and mobility plan for the Park territory, based on systems of seasonal restrictions of the private traffic in the most critical access areas and on the use of bio-diesel or hybrid (electric and bio-diesel) shuttle buses and of electric cars and mopeds supplied by photovoltaic shelters to guarantee individual mobility.