New National Energy Strategy
by Gianni Silvestrini, Scientific Director Kyoto Club
Shutting down coal power plants, reach ambitious renewable targets, and maintain a central role for gas. These are the directions of the new National Energy Strategy (SEN). This certainly represents a discontinuity with respect to the previous 2013 document. But of course, more could and should be done.
The clearest signal comes from the shutting down of coal-fired power plants by 2025 in tune with the international trend. In 2030, moreover, renewable sources will have to cover 55% of electricity consumption. Particularly significant is the projected solar leap that should triple its production from 23 to 72 TWh/a, a result that could be obtained only with a tenfold increase of the current level of installations. Unlike the recent outbreak allowed by very high incentives, these goals can be achieved with limited economic support in the early years and then eliminating the support thanks to the price collapse of PV and storage systems.
Another decisive field addressed is transport and construction. The SEN outlines the need for “deep renovation”, the energy retrofit of entire buildings, but without too much conviction, as demonstrated by the limited ambition shown in energy saving targets. In the field of transport only a few lines are devoted to electric mobility with the indication of a possible “nearly 5 million” vehicle fleet in 2030. But there is no final deadline for the sale of petrol/diesel cars as set in France and UK. The SEN strongly focuses on the gas sector, especially in the construction of new infrastructures. However, these projects should be carefully analyzed in the context of a more intensive efficiency and renewable policy and of the European decarbonization scenarios by 2050. The real risk is the possibility of stranded investments.