The future of energy will be decarbonization, the elimination of the use of fossil fuels to counter climate change. The here and now, however, is the energy transition, the strategies to adopt and the speed with which the intermediate targets can be achieved. And it is precisely in order to accelerate this shift that the companies in the Italian electricity sector have joined forces in Elettricità Futura. The association, of which we are a member, represents more than 70 % of the electric energy consumed in Italy and consists of producers, distributors and service providers.
Elettricità Futura, which belongs to Confindustria (the Italian industrial federation), was founded in 2017 following the merger between Assoelettrica and AssoRinnovabili. Led by Agostino Re Rebaudengo, it is composed of more than 500 operators that together boast more than 75,000 megawatts of installed electric capacity and around 1,150,000 kilometers of power lines. Together with Utilitalia, the association represents the Italian electricity industry in Eurelectric, the European association for the sector, and is part of WindEurope, SolarPower Europe and Bioenergy Europe.
“Today powerful systemic logistics are required to ensure balance and an effective national energy strategy,” explained Carlo Tamburi, Head of Enel Italia (from 2014 to 2020) and Vice President of Elettricità Futura, while speaking at the association’s public meeting on September 25th.
The association is also committed to a wide-ranging alliance with environmental and consumer associations, with whom a dialogue has been under way for some time. This is in addition to its commitment to involving suppliers with a view to decarbonizing the economy.
For Elettricità Futura, the recent proposal by the European Commission to raise – from 40% to 55% – the Italian decarbonization target for 2030 represents an unprecedented opportunity, with benefits for the environment and in terms of jobs.
But in addition to the European Green Deal, which makes it necessary to update Italy’s National Energy and Climate Plan both for the production from renewables and for the increase in energy efficiency, there is also the opportunity provided by the Recovery Fund to support the economic recovery from the pandemic. The association is in fact calling for at least 37 % of these funds to be invested in the energy transition in order to respect this overall commitment.
To put the Green Deal into practice will require significant political will and a series of measures like those that were proposed during the most recent meeting of Elettricità Futura. They include authorizations for revamping and repowering wind plants, the extension of large hydroelectric contracts in order to encourage a new cycle of investments, regulations to discipline the creation and the activation of storage systems, the development and promotion of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), the long-term contracts governing companies’ purchase of renewable energy. There’s also the extension of GSE auctions until 2030, not to mention the revision and simplification of regulations concerning the White Certificates to encourage energy efficiency.
These are ambitious goals that can be achieved only by working together. Indeed, Elettricità Futura represents a unique example in Europe for having understood that collaboration does not diminish representation. On the contrary, it actually reinforces it in order to overcome the new challenges and use an innovative approach to face the changes that we are currently experiencing.