As hydrogen has entered into the  Italian governement’s alternative fuels ambition in the latest Decreto published on December 16, 2016 , the IEA  published a new report, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: Italy 2016 Review. The report states that the country’s 2013 National Energy Strategy (NES) sends strong signals about the government’s long and medium term energy sector objectives. The NES establishes clear goals concerning the reduction of energy costs, meeting environmental targets and strengthening security of energy supply as well as fostering sustainable economic growth.

However, the review also found that monitoring implementation and maintaining momentum would be a challenge for the government. For this reason, the IEA has welcomed the Italian government’s latest decision to present a consultation document for an updated 2030-2050 energy strategy, that would take into account the EU 2030 energy package and the impact of the Paris Agreement.

One of the four main goals of the NES is decarbonisation of the economy. Notably, the country aims to surpass its 2020 EU environmental and decarbonisation objectives and take the lead in implementing the EU 2050 Roadmap.

Italy’s leading source of carbon emissions comes from the transport sector: there are almost one million natural gas-fired vehicles in Italy. The country has adopted numerous measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector. Italy has also been looking to develop its LNG sector to fuel its goods transport and shipping. However, there has been limited progress in developing integrated urban transport systems. Due to diesel use being increasingly supported by favourable tax regime.

Through the NES energy efficiency has become a national priority. The country has published and undertaken a number of comprehensive evaluations of the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency policies, including the energy efficiency certificate scheme. By the same token, Italy has maintained an impressive growth in the renewable energy sector and has successfully integrated large volumes of variable renewable generation. The support mechanisms introduced in 2014 to reduce the cost of renewables have created uncertainty, with negative implications on investor confidence.

There have been improvements within North-South electricity connection within the country. Market coupling has resulted in price convergence throughout the country as well as price convergence with other European markets.

(photo: Dolomitech FC Minibus, Trento)