Renewables: 200 billion good reasons to choose them


An investment of 126 billion euro will be required by 2030 to meet the new renewables targets set by the European Union, with 68 billion going to the electricity sector and 58 to the thermal one. This could also boost our nation’s economy:  if these investments were fully implemented by the Italian manufacturing sector, they could generate an increase in industrial output of  226 billion euro by 2030, with positive impacts for both businesses and employment. 

That is the scenario outlined in the  White Paper on Efficient Renewables Development, produced by Confindustria in collaboration with Ernst & Young and Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (Energy System Research) - RSE Spa. It was presented on 4 December at the industry representative organisation’s headquarters in Rome as part of the “Strategies for Renewables Development Up to 2030” conference. This brought together representatives of the worlds of economics, politics and research with those from the energy sector, including  Simone Mori, president of Elettricità Futura (Future Electricity), and Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, the world leader in renewable energy which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. 

In his address, Cammisecra highlighted the opportunities outlined in the scenario that emerged from Confindustria’s in-depth study. He argued that they could be embraced through constructive dialogue between all the stakeholders in the energy sector with regard to a shared strategy for the development of both renewables and the nation’s economic system.  Research and technological progress, new tools such as long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), infrastructural work and a new market design are just some of the issues that need to be tackled in order to reach the new sustainability targets through renewables.

The findings of the White Paper were introduced by Massimo Beccarello, Confindustria’s Deputy Director of Industrial Policy, and then discussed in detail by Romano Carlo Ambrogi, RSE’s spokesman on Strategy, Institutional Relations and Communications, and Paola Testa, E&Y MED’s Market Segment Energy Director. These findings highlight how the nation needs to lay down clear, efficient and time-stable rules to ensure it benefits from the opportunities offered by the energy transition and which must be formulated with a medium-long term view without being tied to any current ideologies or technological trends.

With its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, the Enel Group reiterated its intention to continue decarbonisation of its energy production by investing in green technologies and grid digitalisation with the aim of achieving zero fossil fuel generation by 2050.  

This route demands openness and a long-term vision, and focuses on embracing the opportunities offered by the drive to combat climate change described in the 2015 Paris Agreement. This laid the foundations for a global path towards decarbonisation of the economy which inspired the new European emissions targets. For 2021-2030, the EU has already set a target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases with respect to 1990 levels, through boosting renewables generation by  up to 32% and energy efficiency by 32.5%. The path ahead is clear: it is in everyone’s interests to follow it.