Italy´s growth in the renewable energy sector
Over the past decade, Italy has been developing rapidly in the renewable energy industry. Talking about the country’s progress means mentioning the focus of diversifying from its historical dependency on imported fuels to develop and implement energy policy along the region.
According to DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook; Italy is one of the countries that have led the deployment of renewables. It is also one of the eight EU members that have committed to phase out of coal in their National Energy and Climate Plans (2021-2030).
The most notable improvement in Italy’s renewable energy industry has been the publication of the National Energy Strategy (NES) presented by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of the Environment. The document exposes the Government’s general intentions, highlighting the country’s strong commitments toward the climate and the energy future. But as it is also the case in most other countries, it is not legally binding, the core and practical decisions and directions are left to future legislations.
The ten-year plan looks at possible challenges of the national energy system to anticipate and manage the groundwork with the goal to develop an advanced and innovative energy model. The main idea of the Strategy is to evolve Italy’s national energy system making it more competitive, more sustainable, and more secure.
The targets of the document’s latest edition (2017) include: reducing final energy consumption by a total of 10 Mtoe by 2030; reaching a 28% share of renewables in total energy consumption by 2030, and a 55% share of renewables in electricity consumption by 2030; strengthening supply security; narrowing the energy price gap; furthering sustainable public mobility and eco-friendly fuels; and phasing out the use of coal in electricity generation by 2025.
The energy transition is shifting up the agenda, moving from previously being considered important to now becoming something urgent; becoming a source of great risk, but also of opportunity. In balancing the energy trilemma, there is increasing focus on the ‘economic case’ for the transition, focusing on economic opportunity, employment, and health and environmental benefits, and also on rising levels of energy poverty.
DNV GL’s ETO 2019 mentions that Europe’s climate and energy targets for 2030 have been strengthened over the last year, as follows: GHG emissions reductions by at least 40% compared with 1990; at least 32% of final energy consumption from renewable energy; 14% of renewables in transport; and an energy-efficiency target of at least 32.5% (compared with the 2007 primary-energy baseline). At the same time, the report predicts that these goals will not be achieved but the staggering pace of the energy transition continues. To help limit global warming to well below 2°C, DNV GL suggests put in place 10 technology measures.
In the coming years, Italy´s growth in the renewable energy sector has ambitious and complex targets. Implementing more efficient public policies will be key to achieve them. The progressive transition towards low-emission models requires substantial efforts in supporting technological evolution, as well as research and development of new technologies. Additionally, to ensure the progress It is important to guide citizens towards responsible energy usage patterns will be imperative.