Waterpower in Italy.

Waterpower in Italy.

The Roman correspondent of the London Times states that applications for waterpower concessions are being rapidly sent in to the Minister of Public Works, and that private companies and manufacturers throughout northern Italy especially are looking forward to the possibility of “white coal” as a means of reducing the cost of production of power, which may enable industries to be carried on profitably that are in direct competition with those of other countries supplied with comparatively cheap fuel. It is estimated that Italian rivers would yield between 4,000,000 and 5,000,oso horsepower, of which scarcely twenty per cent, is at present turned to account. The city of Rome has obtained a concession which will mean an addition of 25,000 horsepower, and Naples also adds 16,000 horsepower to her supply.

WATERPOWER IN ITALY.

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WATERPOWER IN ITALY.

A correspondent of the London “Times” reviews the progress made within the last seven years in the utilisation of hydraulic power for the generation of electricity in Northern Italy. A line twenty-five miles long, opened in 1898 by the Edison company, was practically the first important venture of its kind in that part of the world. It brought to the city of Milan 13,000 horsepower from the river Adda. At the close of 1905, it is estimated, not less than 1653×10 electrical horsepower, derived from mountain streams, had been made available. Additional works, now under construction, will probably raise the total to 225,000 or 250.000 horsepower during the current year. These results have been achieved in part by corporations like the SocietS Lombarda per la Distrilmzionc di Energia Klettrica, in part by communities which have acted for themselves, and in part by private manufacturers who wished to procure power at the cost price. The essential fact is, however, that big cities, towns of moderate size and even small villages in Lombardy and Piedmont are now profiting by the example set by the Edison company. These provinces have been greatly favored bv Nature, no ixmbt, in the ample supply of hydraulic power which they possess. Northern Italy is not, perhaps, better off than Switzerland or Sweden; but it is certainly more fortunate than England or Holland.