The government presents the new National Energy Strategy: the public consultation is under way
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
October 16, 2012 - Reducing energy costs, attaining and surpassing all of the European environmental targets, greater security of supply and industrial development in the energy sector. These are the objectives set out in the national energy strategy document which the Minister for Economic Development, Infrastructure and Transport, Corrado Passera, submitted to the Council of Ministers on the 16th of October. The modernisation of the energy sector is a key element in the government's Sustainable Growth Agenda. More than 20 years on since the adoption of the last National Energy Plan, the industry had been eagerly awaiting this programme and policy document.
Over the coming weeks, the government will be embarking on a wide-ranging public debate to openly address these decisions with all the stakeholders involved (an online consultation has been published on the ministry website). The aim, within two months or so, is to define objectives, fundamental policies and priority measures that achieve the fullest possible consensus, in the general interests of the country.
The measures proposed in the energy strategy, which extends, essentially, to 2020, are intended to ensure that energy ceases to be a structural disadvantage for our country and a factor that weighs increasingly on household budgets. The lines set out in the strategy will at the same time make it possible to maintain and improve our already high environmental, security and safety standards, thanks to the substantial investment expected in the sector.
Once the proposed strategy has been implemented, it will enable the system to evolve, gradually but significantly, and to surpass the 20-20-20 European targets. The results expected by 2020 (assuming economic growth to be in line with the latest European Commission forecasts) are as follows:
- The wholesale prices of all energy sources – electricity, gas and fuels – will be aligned with European price levels.
- Expenditure on energy imports will be reduced by about €14 billion/year (from the present €62 billion), and dependency on foreign supplies from 84% to 67%, thanks to energy efficiency, increased production from renewables, lower electricity imports and increased production from national resources.
- €180 billion will be invested between now and 2020 in the green and the white economies (renewables and energy efficiency) and in traditional sectors (electricity and gas networks, re-gasification plants, storage, hydrocarbon development). These will be private investments, partly supported by incentives, and are expected to generate positive economic returns for the country.
- Greenhouse gas emissions will fall by about 19%, exceeding the European targets for Italy, set at 18% below the 2005 emission levels.
- Renewable energy sources will account for 20% of gross final consumption (compared with about 10% in 2010). This is equivalent to 23% of primary energy consumption, while fossil fuel use will fall from 86% to 76%. Furthermore, it is expected that renewables will become the primary source in the electricity sector, equivalent to, or slightly overtaking, gas, to account for about 36-38% of consumption (compared with 23% in 2010).
- Primary consumption will fall by about 24% by 2020 compared with the reference scenario (an estimated 4% below 2010 levels); this exceeds the European objectives of -20%, thanks mainly to energy efficiency measures.