ROME, June 8 (Xinhua) -- All of Italy's towns and cities have chosen to go the renewable energy route over the past decade, according to a report published by environmentalist non-profit Legambiente, or Environment League, on Thursday.
By 2016, each of Italy's 7,978 municipalities had installed at least one source of renewable energy, up from 356 that had done so in 2005, according to the report titled Renewable Municipalities 2017.
Of those, 3,021 municipalities produce more electricity than they consume, and 40 municipalities have gone 100 percent renewable, according to Legambiente.
Renewable energy plants in Italy have grown from a few hundred to over one million in the past ten years, and overall energy consumption from renewables (biomass, solar, wind, geothermal and mini hydroelectric) has risen from 2.6 percent in 2006 to 22.7 percent in 2016, the report said.
Renewables accounted for 34.3 percent of overall electricity consumption in 2016, up from 15 percent in 2006, Legambiente said.
The environmentalist group founded in 1980 noted that solar panels saw a "surprising growth, even without government incentives." In the past two years, 180,000 solar panel plants have been installed, equal to 25 percent of all such plants installed in Italy.
"These results have already brought significant advantages," said the report, pointing to a drop in production from highly polluting thermoelectric plants as well as decreasing fossil fuel imports.
Over the past decade, oil imports dropped 30 percent, coal imports decreased 25 percent and gas imports were down 20 percent. This has reduced CO2 emissions and also brought electricity prices down thanks to solar and wind power, the report said.
"The ever more imminent future lies in the development of renewable integrated with intelligent networks and stockpiling systems," Enel Green Power CEO Antonio Cammisecra said in a statement.
Parent company Enel is majority-owned by Italy's economics and finance ministry. It operates in 31 countries and regions across four continents.