The Italian Member Committee of the World Energy Council is a non-profit multi-energy association based in Rome, set up under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the former Ministry of Industry, Trade and Crafts in 1988. The members’ network brings together industry, institutions and universities and represents the different levels of all energy sources. Due to these characteristics, the Committee has taken on a role of “super partes” in the Italian energy sector. The Italian Member Committee promotes the World Energy Council’s mission and objectives and participates in its Global Studies Programme and is active in publishing the results of these studies in Italy. The Committee also participates in furthering the national energy debate, mainly organizing conferences and workshops on key energy issues and acts to provide reliable and up-to-date information at all levels, not only for people working within the sector.
Marco Margheri, Councillor and Vice Chair of the World Energy Council's Italian Member Committee since 2011, today holds the position of Chair of the Committee. In addittion to being ENI’s USA International Relations Office SVP, Marco Margheri, is also Council Member of the ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations) and Executive Committee of the IAI (Institute of International Affairs). Previously, it had covered several responsibility in Edison, General Electric - Oil&gas and Young&rubicam - Cohn&wolfe.
Paolo d’Ermo, Secretary of the World Energy Counci's Italian Member Committee since 2016, is also a member of the Italian Order of Journalists, Member of the Board of the Italian Association of Chemical Engineers, Communication Manager of AIDIC’s Energy Transition working group, and a Member of the Scientific Committee of ConferenzaGNL and Hydrogen Energy Summit&Expo (HESE). Analysis of energy policies, development of multi-stakeholder dialogues on energy transition issues, and management of training courses, project management of international conferences, are just some of the features that outline his profession in the energy sector.
Paolo Storti, Senior Energy Analyst since 2001 and currently Operating Director for the Italian Member Committee, holds a degree in Environment and Development Economics. As part of his professional experience, he developed specific programming and communication skills on issues related to the energy-environment nexus, especially from the point of view of both technological and regulatory developments, managing international conferences, training courses and in-depth studies.
Energy in Italy
Comparing 2019 and 2020 results, Energy Geopolitics lead the uncertainties section for Italy’s energy leaders, with main concerns revolving around EU Cohesion, US Policy and China, together with Sustainable Cities evolution. Meanwhile, digitalisation and technology issues move completely into the Action Priorities section, led by Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies and Market Design.
US Policy continues to represent a very significant Critical Uncertainty. Developments on tariffs and international trade dynamics have added a higher degree of uncertainty. The most relevant energy issue in the relationship with the US involves natural gas. The US is negotiating LNG supply agreements with a number of European countries, including Italy, which can help to lessen dependence on a single supplier. Domestic US policy on export licences is being monitored closely to assess the expected growth of export volumes.
EU Cohesion is perceived as an issue of higher uncertainty. The main focus has been on the Clean Energy for all Europeans package which was completed in 2019. Setting new rules for renewable energy, energy efficiency, emission reductions, energy infrastructures and the production of National Energy and Climate Plans, the package poses challenges especially regarding the coordination of energy polices among EU member states. Regulation and permitting procedures require improvements for development of energy assets needed to reach the 2030 and 2050 EU decarbonisation goals.
Sustainable Cities are also seen with increased uncertainty. Cities play a growing role in the country’s economic, infrastructure and social development. Balancing energy equity, sustainable mobility as well as the reduction of local pollutants will be required in designing sustainable cities. Italian energy institutions are engaged in this process in urban areas. However, the biggest challenge remains identifying new flexible resilience tools to effectively convert existing urban infrastructure, buildings and transport networks into smarter and more sustainable systems.
Energy Efficiency remains the leading Action Priority to achieve the three interconnected objectives of competitiveness, security and energy efficiency. Policies and practices in efficiency can meet these objectives without placing additional financial burdens on households and businesses. The 2019 budget law provides tax deductions (IRPEF and IRES) for investments in energy efficiency measures, particularly for the redevelopment of buildings in line with European guidelines.
Renewable Energies emerge with higher impact and become an Action Priority. The price reduction of photovoltaic panels and wind turbines has boosted investments in these technologies over the year. In the January-September 2019 period, renewable sources met 36.1% of the country’s electricity demand. Together, solar and wind power covered 14.5% of national electricity demand.
Market Design is also identified as an Action Priority. The need for timely adaptation of the energy market is necessary to support technological evolution and enable renewables growth together with flexibility and security of supply. The newly launched Capacity Market and the advancement of PPAs for renewable plants are among the most significant developments. System operators will be heavily involved in this process, as their investments depend on signals that the market will be able to offer.
Italian energy leader’s concerns and actions are aligned with technological developments, environmental awareness, security of supplies and geopolitical issues. In the same way, Italian public and private energy actors are implementing actions to support the strengths of the important Italian legacy on efficiency, natural gas and renewable energies along with the resilience and security of the energy sector.
Furthermore, in the context of the Energy Transition, natural gas, bio–methane, electric mobility and the development of “green fuels” (biofuels from non-food crops) technologies are increasing the portfolio of actions towards sustainable mobility. Moreover, the digitalisation of energy chains is at the core of businesses’ strategies, empowering more efficient and flexible asset management along with new business models.