This review analyses the energy challenges facing Italy and provides sectoral critiques and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide Italy towards a more sustainable energy future. The Italian government has made substantial progress in a number of sectors since the last IEA in-depth energy policy review in 2003. The success of the green certificate and white certificate schemes and continued reform of the electricity and natural gas supply markets are just a few examples and build on the recommendations contained in the previous review. Nonetheless, many challenges remain.
Italy recognises the need to diversify its energy supply portfolio to reduce its heavy dependence on fossil fuels and electricity imports, and to decrease its growing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, the government announced its intention to recommence the countrys nuclear power program and start building a new nuclear power plant by 2013. To do so, Italy must first develop an efficient process for identifying critical energy infrastructure, including nuclear power, and subjecting it to an effective, streamlined siting and permitting process.
Italy will face another major challenge in complying with Europe’s new climate and energy package, particularly in relation to renewable energy and emissions targets. Italy must step up efforts to comply with its new responsibilities, specifically by developing and putting in place a comprehensive climate change strategy for the years until 2020.
In mid-2009, the legislature enacted a comprehensive new law that will facilitate the emergence of a robust long-term energy policy. The government must respond to this opportunity and elaborate, with industry, a comprehensive long-term strategy for the development of the energy sector.