New systems and technologies could have an impact of 2% of GDP on the national economy and produce a reduction of 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020.
Rome, October 30th, 2013 Employing tools and systems that enhance energy efficiency could have an impact of 2% of GDP on the national economy and produce an annual reduction of between 50 and 72 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2020. This would be accompanied by an increase of up to 2% in employment and a decline in total energy consumption of between 12% and 18%.
These are the findings of the State of and outlook for energy efficiency in Italy study conducted by Fondazione Centro Studi Enel and the Energy & Strategy Group of Politecnico di Milano, presented today in Rome.
The conference was attended by Enel Chairman and Chairman of the International Scientific Committee of Fondazione Centro Studi Enel, Paolo Andrea Colombo; the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Enel Group and Chairman of Fondazione Centro Studi Enel, Fulvio Conti; the Under-Secretary for Economic Development, Simona Vicari; and the President of the Authority for Electricity and Gas, Guido Bortoni.
More efficient use of energy, said Paolo Andrea Colombo,is the foundation for developing a sustainable energy policy. In Italy in particular, the promotion of energy efficiency is the most economical and the most rapid way to enhance our energy security by reducing imports of fossil fuels, of cutting down CO2 emissions and of stimulating growth, both through containing the cost of the energy we use and through investments that our industry can stimulate, an especially important issue in times of economic and financial crisis.
Fulvio Conti remarked thaet energy efficiency offers Italy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for development. However, action must also be taken on the regulatory front to eliminate the barriers that inhibit its spread. Power companies are leading the way in taking on the challenge of energy efficiency, not only to reap the environmental benefits, but also to produce an impact on the economy and employment. Enel is the leader in this area and works closely with its customers to find the most effective ways to save energy.
The event was also attended by representatives of government, academia and industry, who stressed the importance of efficiency as a strategic tool of energy policy and a driver of economic recovery for Italy.
The study found that the main problems in implementing policies that improve energy efficiency comprise a range of cultural, economic, regulatory/legislative and technological factors. They run from the highly inefficient allocation of incentives compared with the real needs of the market, such as grants for mature, widespread technologies, to the difficulty of access and the lack of understanding of the real needs of operators. Moreover, complex regulations also play a part, particularly in cases of technologies associated with the use of electricity, accompanied by the absence of a coordinated national campaign in support of energy efficiency.
Many of the benefits are tied to reducing energy consumption, both in terms of decarbonising certain sectors such as transport and heating and by reducing pollution, especially in cities. However, as the study presented today points out, these improvements are limited by a number of economic and regulatory factors, such as the highly progressive structure of electricity tariffs and the difficulties of using non-standard contractual arrangements.
Furthermore, the study recognizes that utility companies play an important role in lowering the barriers to the spread of energy efficiency. Power companies can act as a system integrator for technologies on a national scale, encouraging the long-term development of an integrated industrial system. Finally, by combining scale and extensive coverage, utility companies can serve as a hub for offering turnkey services to customers featuring low costs, technical expertise, reliability, simplicity and substantial financial resources.
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