Electric Power in Italy

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    THE generation and distribution of electric power in Italy began towards the close of the last century. Recently, owing to the great water power resources of the country, the industry has developed very rapidly. In a paper to the Institution of Electrical Engineers read on Dec. 17, Mr. A. Dalla Verde described the high voltage systems of Italy. In 1894 a bill was passed compelling every property owner in Italy to allow overhead or underground electrical lines for industrial use to pass through his property. There are other regulations in connexion with the use of water power, which is the property of the State. The Alps and the Apennines provide the two great sources of water power. The average flow of water in the Alpine region is a minimum in February and a maximum in June. In the Apennine region, however, the average flow is a maximum in February. The greatest amount of power is derived from the Alps. Owing to the difference in the flow characteristics of the rivers in these two mountain ranges, the combined water power available is more constant than that of either. As in England and America, the power stations are of various types, standardisation being little considered in the early days. In the high power transmission lines the pressures employed are 60, 125, 150, and 200 kilovolts. In Italy there is a strong tendency towards discarding lightning ‘arrestors’ altogether and experiments are being carried out with underground cables. There are many different frequencies of supply, and this makes interconnexion with the older systems difficult. Mr. Dalla Verde stated that the ratio in Italy of the steam power to the water power production of electrical energy is less than four per cent.

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    Electric Power in Italy. Nature 129, 125 (1932) doi:10.1038/129125a0

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