Fossil Free (en)

Fossil Free Demonstration Area of Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

1. The project

Freeing the Park from the use of fossil energy: this is the goal of “Parco Fossil Free”.
The project has been inspired by the idea of a protected area which, besides accomplishing its mission of nature 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
  • mobility

The Park becomes in this way a “technological showcase” that can inspire administrators and citizens and prompt to the application of innovative technologies also outside the protected area.
Thanks to the project “Fossil free”, the Park infrastructures (mountain huts, bivouacs, mountain pasture structures, visitor centers, info points) have been provided with energy supply plants using:

  • biomasses (wood chip, pellet, and firewood)
  • vegetable heating gas oil (biodiesel), micro-cogeneration, and alternative feeding of diesel engines
  • thermal and photovoltaic solar energy
  • micro-hydroelectric energy

The plants have been created both in the areas within the Park and in the settled areas along its perimeter, transforming it into a completely fossil energy “free” demonstration area; 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 the Park is intrinsically limited from a quantitative point of view, the great communication and pedagogical impact of the project is ensured by the great number of climbers and hikers, tourists and groups of students visiting the Park every year and seeing with their own eyes practical examples of use of renewable sources of energy.

2. Implemented measures

1. “Solarization” project (with photovoltaic, micro-hydraulic, and biodiesel micro-cogeneration energy) of the mountain infrastructures (mountain pasture structures, mountain huts, bivouacs), with the aim to eliminate as much as possible the environmental impact in contexts of great ecological sensitivity

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 (visitor centers, guest houses, hostels), in order to maximize the communication and demonstrative impact of such alternative solutions.

List of the implemented projects

Guest house and Cultural Center – AgreBiomass boiler 50 KW and district heating
Guest house and environmental education center Al Frassen – Val CanzoiBiomass boiler 25KW, photovoltaic plant 1KWp, biodiesel generator
Environmental education center at Santina – Val CanzoiBiomass boiler and solar thermal plant of 3.5 square meters
Val Imperina Visitor Center – RivamonteBiodiesel district heating system
Shop and picnic area – CandatenPhotovoltaic roof 1.5 KWp and biomass boilder
C.A.I. Mountain Hut Pian de FontanaMicro hydro power plant 5KW
C.A.I. Mountain Hut BianchetMicro hydro power plant 0.5 KW
C.A.I. Mountain Hut Dal PiazBiodiesel generator 20 KWA, Photovoltaic plant 1.5 KWp
C.A.I. Mountain Hut BozBiodiesel generator 22KWA
Malga EreraBiodiesel generator and boiler cheese factory and photovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Malga Vette GrandiBiodiesel generator and boiler cheese factory
Malga Casere dei BoschiBiomass boiler 95 KW and biodiesel boiler cheese factory
Surveillance mountain hut and bivouac AlvisPhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Surveillance mountain hut BrendolPhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp and wood-burning stove
Surveillance mountain hut and bivouac Le PresePhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp and wood-burning stove
Surveillance mountain hut and bivouac MonsampianPhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp and wood-burning stove
Surveillance mountain hut Le MandrePhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Surveillance mountain hut Vette piccolePhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Surveillance mountain hut VescovàPhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Bivouac CampotorondoPhotovoltaic plant 150 Wp
Main building in the recreational area Pian FalcinaSolar thermal plant and biomass boile
Service building motorhome area Pian FalcinaSolar thermal plant
Cultural Center “Piero Rossi” – BellunoHeating system with heat pumps and geothermic drills fed by photovoltaic plant 3,3 KWp (under construction)
Park Authority Head Offices – FeltrePhotovoltaic canopy 6.05 KWp (under construction)
Restaurant Antica Torre – Col dei MichWood-burning stoves and photovoltaic plant 3.36 KWp (planning stage)

3. Awards and “exportation” of the project

The project “Parco Fossil Free” obtained in 2003 the award “innovation friend of the environment”, organized by Legambiente in association with Regione Lombardia, Università Bocconi, Politecnico di Milano, Camera di Commercio di Milano, and Fondazione Cariplo.
In 2004 it was awarded the European Solar Award “Eurosolar”.
In 2008 the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Ministry for the Economic Development decided to finance a project to export the experience “Fossil free” to Pollino National Park.