1 Dicembre 2019

Energia 4.19: index and abstracts


Alberto Clô introduces Energia 4.19


Climate crisis and new ecological mobilizations (pp. 6-10)
(Crisi climatica e nuove mobilitazioni ecologiche)
di Luigi Pellizzoni (Università di Pisa)

The alarm on the severity of the climate crisis has reached the highest levels of global governance, but hardly any merit can be given to the warnings that the IPCC has been launching for years. More likely, the greater attention is due to the emergence of a wave of mobilizations from below – Extinction Rebellion, Gilets Jaunes, Fridays For Future – sealed by the intervention of Greta Thunberg at the United Nations summit last September. Who would have expected that from the small aristocratic and upper-end associations of the late nineteenth century we would have gone to the mass mobilizations of the 1960s and 1970s? Who, faced with the radicalism of many slogans of those years, would have predicted the transformation of ecological organizations into pressure groups in support of an “ecological modernization” in favor of the conjugation between economic growth and environment? And who would have expected the protests that resound today in the metropolises and in the global northern province? Above all: how to read them?


Communication and climate: a complex relationship (pp. 12-18)
(Comunicazione e clima: un rapporto molto complesso)
di Alberto Clô (Direttore Responsabile «Energia»)

This article examines how communication deals with the issue of climate change, by influencing in a crucial way the public opinion perception. Climate communication often distorts the results of the scientific research or fails to highlight the inevitable uncertainty of the issue. Catastrophism and contrived optimism are both dominant in climate communication. The first tends to neglect the improvements that have been observed over time, while the second paints things better than they really are.

What role for nuclear power in a zero carbon world? (pp. 20-26)
(In un mondo zero carbon, quale ruolo per il nucleare?)
di Dominique Finon (Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement – CIRED)

Can the global electricity mix rely only on renewable energy sources? Can nuclear power be definitively abandoned, as many partisan experts claim? If this happens, what consequences will a 100% renewable scenario have? Finally, is there an optimal electricity mix? After the 2011 Fukushima accident, nuclear technology went through a bad moment and it seems destined to disappear, due to both social negation and high capital costs. But the climate clock forces to quickly decide how to achieve the energy transition. And nuclear technology may be rethought as part of the solution.

The structure effect role in the reduction of the Italian industry energy demand (pp. 28-38)
(Il ruolo dell’effetto struttura nella riduzione della domanda di energia dell’industria italiana)
di Francesco Gracceva, Bruno Baldissara, Alessandro Zini (ENEA)

In the last decade, the Italian manufacturing industry has represented almost two-thirds of the energy consumption reduction of the entire Italian energy system. The reduction of a quarter of the sectoral energy intensity seems to explain much of the drop in consumption, but is this improvement due only to the energy efficiency improvement in the production processes? Did Italy make a substantial decoupling of economic growth from energy consumption? The detailed analysis of the internal transformations of the main energy intensive sectors tells us that the reductions in energy consumption are due first to structural changes. Carried out on three different databases, the analysis also tells us that the more the sectoral disaggregation of the database is modest, the more the role of the intensity effect is exaggerated at the expense of the structure one.


World Energy Outlook 2019: main conclusions (pp. 40-45)
(World Energy Outlook 2019: le principali conclusioni)
di Agenzia Internazionale per l’Energia

It’s been a decade that the review «Energia» publishes the summary of the World Energy Outlook to preserve its memory and make it a point of comparison for other forecasts. This year’s edition updates the outlooks for all fuels, technologies and regions, based on the latest market data, policy initiatives and cost trends. Among this year’s key points: understanding our scenarios; energy security remains paramount, and oil stays in the spotlight; electricity moves to the heart of modern energy security; the rise of the African energy consumer; an urgent need to take full advantage of the world’s “first fuel”; critical fuel choices hang in the balance; however fast overall energy demand grows, electricity grows faster; battery costs matter; offshore wind is gathering speed; tackling the legacy issues head on; what’s in the pipeline for gas?; shale and solar PV show that rapid change is possible, but the direction and speed is set by governments.

On the uncertainty of energy forecasts: the case of shale gas (pp. 46-55)
(Sull’incertezza delle previsioni energetiche: il caso dello shale gas
di Adam Reed, Sean Ericson, Morgan Bazilian, Jeffrey Logan, Kevin Doran e Chris Nelder

Decision makers rely on forecasts to shape policies and investments in the energy sector. However, it happens that some disruptive events may not been foreseen, even a year or two before they explode. This is the case of shale gas that has revolutionized the US and, in part, the global energy landscape. How is this possible and how can we cope with this uncertainty? The article take the case of shale gas to shed light on the challenges that energy forecasters face in managing and communicating two important types of uncertainty: epistemic (unknown unknowns) and stochastic (known unknowns).


Needs and resources of the local public transport (pp. 56-63)
(I fabbisogni e le risorse del trasporto pubblico locale)
di Giorgia Marinuzzi e Walter Tortorella (Istituto per la Finanza e l’Economia Locale – IFEL e Fondazione Filippo Caracciolo)

The sustainability of urban mobility represents one of the greatest challenges that local administrators have to face, in a context of perennial precariousness due above all to the uncertain timing of policy and the instability of the financial and regulatory framework. The local public transport (LPT) of major Italian cities emerges today as a sector with «variable speed», in which competitive market realities coexist with other strongly subsidized ones. What are the possible developments of the sector for the future? This article analyzes the recent changes in LPT demand and supply and the requirements for its future transformation, including the governance models and the available economic resources to convert local public transport into a sustainable sector.


PPA between incentives and market (pp. 64-73)
(PPA tra incentivi e mercato)
di Giovanni Goldoni (Università di Verona e «Energia» Scientific Committee)

Since many years, US utilities have been bought electricity for their customers by signing multi-year contracts (Power Purchase Agreements, PPAs) with producers. Recently, PPAs are also spreading among industrial companies committed in clean energy strategies. However, the potential of PPAs is strongly connected with market conditions and incentive scheme of renewables. While in the United States and the United Kingdom the industrial and financial context is highly favorable to long-term contracts, Italy still lags behind, risking to lose investment opportunities in renewables and not to reach the targets of PNIEC.

The independence of the national regulation authorities at the clean energy package test (pp. 74-79)
(L’indipendenza delle autorità nazionali di regolazione alla prova del clean energy package)
di Michela Giachetti Fantini (Dottore di ricerca in Diritto pubblico dell’economia presso La Sapienza e tecnologo presso ENEA)

The Clean Energy Package introduces a new regulation on ACER, which goes in the direction of increasing the influence of the European Commission on this Agency. The reform aims to bring ACER back into the context of the ordinary European agency model, configuring ACER as an executive arm of the European Commission. Indeed, it is not coherent with the Third Package, which has required Member States to guarantee the independence of the national regulators from their governments, since it does not seem to respect the principle of separation between regulation and politics at European level. Furthermore, it disregards the advantages of the independent regulation, that ensures stable, efficient and impartial market discipline. In order to strengthen ACER’s independence, it is crucial to transform the Agency into a European Regulatory Authority.


Sioshansi F. (a cura di), Consumer, prosumer, prosumager. How service innovations will disrupt the utility business model
di Nicolò Rossetto (Florence School of Regulation)

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