100 Percent Renewable Energy for Italy
Modelling long-term energy and power development plans for Italy to meet the global 1.5 degree Paris climate targets
Greenpeace Italy commissioned the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures to provide rigorous and independent modelling into Italy’s plan to phase-out coal by 2025.
In this report we explore accelerated decarbonisation pathways and analyse their costs, employment effects, and possible implications for critical issues.
Our analysis also develops a possible pathway for Italy that supports a European Union (EU)-wide energy decarbonization that is ambitious enough to maintain the global temperature rise at +1.5 °C, as agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.
The technical and economic analysis of long-term energy and power development plans for Italy is based on the [R]E 24/7 energy access pathway methodology developed by ISF and is based on the long-term energy scenario model of the Institute for Thermodynamics of German Aero Space Centre (DLR), energy models developed for various ISF surveys, and the [R]E 24/7 model.
Pathways to 100% renewable energy
In this analysis, we have taken Italy’s Climate and Energy Plan (PNIEC 2018) as the Reference scenario and developed two more-ambitious scenarios, both with a 100% renewable energy target.
The Energy [R]evolution scenario will lead 100% renewable electricity and the complete decarbonisation of the energy sector by 2050. By 2030, Italy’s renewable electricity share will increase to 66%, and the renewable final energy share will reach 33%.
The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario is an accelerated pathway that will achieve 75% renewable electricity by 2030 and will decarbonise the electricity sector by 2040. The share of renewable final energy will increase from the current 16% to 52% in 2030 and to 100% in 2040. The Advanced Energy [R]evolution, which reflects the Greenpeace demands, will require more-ambitious efficiency and renewable energy programs than are currently suggested in the Italian Climate and Energy Plan (PNIEC 2018). Furthermore, the utilisation of gas will be significantly lower under the advanced scenario than under PNIEC.
The Reference scenario will result in a slight increase in employment in the energy sector, from 88,000 currently to 98,000 in 2030, whereas the Energy [R]evolution scenario will add 37,000 jobs and the advanced scenario 65,000 jobs in addition to what's modelled for the REF scenario.
The total employment in Italy’s energy sector will reach 163,000 people under the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario by 2030.
Security of supply
Both Energy [R]evolution scenarios prioritise the use of Italy’s renewable energy resources to reduce its dependence on energy importation and to utilise local resources. Italy will increase its power demand under each power generation scenario as a result of the implementation of electric mobility, although this is currently at a low level. Therefore, power grids must expand and power generation must increase as the load increases, under both a conventional power generation pathway and a renewable-power-dominated pathway.
We see no substantial technical or economical barriers to implementing a more ambitious climate and energy plan, such as either Energy [R]evolution scenario. However, their successful implementation will require significant policy changes to fast track renewable project developments, especially with regard to construction permits and grid connections.
Teske, S., Morris, T., Nagrath, K (2020) 100% Renewable Energy: An Energy [R]evolution for ITALY. Report prepared by ISF for Greenpeace Italy, June 2020