Alberto Clô introduces Energia 2.20 (pp. 2-5)
di Alberto Clô
Alberto Clô introduces the contents of the new issue of ENERGIA: “Nothing as it was before?”; “A pandemic by no way egalitarian”; “The collapse of energy”; “What to do looking to the future”. Enjoy the reading!
Pandemic, conflicts and social transitions (pp. 6-9)
(Pandemia, conflitti e transizioni sociali)
di Fabrizio Battistelli (Dipartimento di scienze sociali ed economiche, Sapienza Università di Roma)
The pandemic turned out to be not at all egalitarian and on the contrary aggravated, by widening them, the social disparities (by gender, age, income, education, territories, employment) so that “the rich become increasingly rich and the poor increasingly poor”. The editorial of the new issue of ENERGIA is signed by the sociologist Fabrizio Battistelli and deals with the complex dialectic between conflicts and social transitions during the pandemic and especially in the economic crisis that will follow. The effects of these social disparities risk extending for a long time and becoming more pronounced. Democratic procedures and citizens’ involvement are needed, but above all the value of equity must be placed at the center of reconstruction, also in the sense of environmental justice.
ANALYSIS OF THE CRISIS
Prospects and challenges for the economy (pp. 10-14)
(Prospettive e sfide per l’economia)
di Sergio De Nardis (Luiss School of European Political Economy)
The global economic growth estimated in expansion only few months ago has been revised downwards due to the economic shock provoked by COVID-19. Forecasts remain surrounded by a high level of uncertainty, given the exceptional nature of the situation and the close connection with the evolution of the health crisis. Nonetheless, they can provide a starting point for an assessment of the economic policy instruments that have been promptly deployed. The European Union response to the crisis was progressive and offered some instruments to the most affected Member States such as Italy.
The dissolution of the oil market (pp. 16-25)
(La dissoluzione del mercato petrolifero)
di Alberto Clô (Direttore responsabile «Energia»)
Between the vacuum of demand and the price war, the global oil market as we know it is literally dissolved. If the landscape of the unraveling picture is not possible to know yet, then it is worth rewind the tape before the pandemic explosion. Crucial to what will come next is the time factor. How and when the oil demand will restart, and how the supply side will be affected meanwhile: oil industry, developed and planned fields, global geopolitical architecture. At all of this, consumer States watch silently and passively, even though they are and will be primarily affected by these dynamics.
Impact on the Italian energy system (pp. 26-31)
(Impatto sul sistema energetico italiano)
di Francesco Gracceva, Bruno Baldissara, Alessandro Zini (ENEA – Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l’energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile) e Ettore Bompard, Stefano Corgnati, Carmelo Mosca (Politecnico di Torino EST@energycenter/PoliTO)
The COVID-19 emergency and the Italian government measures to deal with it produced immediate effects on the national energy system. The drop of both industrial production and mobility recorded during the lockdown implied a deep reduction of primary energy consumption, estimated beyond 20% compared to the same period of 2019. The electricity system was also affected, revealing a condition similar to that expected in the decarbonisation process, in which the increase in unconventional power generation – a key factor of a sustainable energy mix – shows large security challenges. Although the economic recovery is still far away, this article provides an initial assessment and estimate of the effects of the ongoing crisis on energy consumption and emissions in the first half of 2020.
Some reflections on the prospects of mobility (pp. 32-36)
(Alcune riflessioni sulle prospettive della mobilità)
di Giuseppina Fusco (Presidente Fondazione Caracciolo)
The coronavirus crisis risks provoking a prolonged change in our behaviours. Some will lead us to lower energy consumption, and thus a lower environmental impact, others will go in the opposite direction. Many public transport users will tend to make modal choices in favour of the private car. Also due to the upcoming serious economic crisis, it is likely that old, dangerous and polluting vehicles will return on the streets. On this background, how can we guarantee a safe and sustainable mobility for everyone? It is necessary to push the car fleet replacing, a process which was too slow even in normal times. This would be a stimulus for both the car industry and the related supply chain, which is an important sector for the national economy.
Tue European energy transition at risk (pp. 38-45)
(Rischi per la transizione energetica europea)
di Clémence Pèlegrin e Renato F. Rallo (Groupe d’Études Géopolitiques)
The coronavirus crisis has brought brutal and deep uncertainty to the global economy and our energy systems. Europe is no exception: the fall in energy demand has triggered a momentary drop in both CO2 emissions and electricity prices on wholesale markets. The disruption of some strategic supply chains has revealed the economic interdependencies between Europe and its commercial partners. While these chains have already been or are in the process of being resorbed, this crisis offers an opportunity to think about the future of our energy system and its technological ecosystems, in terms of resilience, security of supply, industrial competitiveness and, above all, the shift towards a low-carbon society.
Environment and energy in the US presidential elections (pp. 46-49)
(Ambiente ed energia nelle presidenziali degli Stati Uniti)
di Ed Hirs (Energy Fellow, Houston University)
The campaign between the presumptive nominees Trump and Biden
is devolving to a referendum on the federal government’s response to
the pandemic and the consequent economic recession. Against this
backdrop, their environmental and energy policies are footnotes. One
way or another, due to the profoundly negative economic impact of
the COVID-19 recession, no one should expect a significant change
in U.S. energy policy following the November 2020 election.
How to make reneables socially convenient (pp. 50-56)
(Rendere le rinnovabili socialmente convenienti)
di GB Zorzoli (AIEE e rivista ENERGIA)
The slow pace of authorization procedures stands as the major obstacle to achieve the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan goals. To move on from this impasse a sistematic semplification of current procedures is needed. Nonetheless, since 73.33% of power plants whose construction has been contested is based on renewable energy sources, this article suggests several proposals which can make the investment concretely convenient for the social players involved: individual investment plans, such as crowdfunding, already implemented with success in Italy, or collective investment plans, through long term power purchase agreement and guaranteed prices to energy communities (Corporate PPA), from subjects willing to realize a renewable energy power plant.
From PPAs to ETS: an environmental benefit approach (pp. 58-64)
(Dai PPA all’ETS: un approccio orientato al beneficio ambientale)
di Carlo Stagnaro (Istituto Bruno Leoni)
European green energy and decarbonization targets require to undertake large investments in new renewable energy sources. This paper proposes a policy tool to support this effort, without relying on technology-specific and over-generous subsidies. It leverages on Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). By shifting the price-risk onto the purchaser (e.g. an energy-intensive firm, a demand aggregator, an utility or a trader), PPAs ease the financing of new investments. In order to encourage PPAs, we propose to award the off-taker an amount of CO2 allowances proportional to the avoided emissions. The paper reviews the most critical aspects underlying the proposal and identifies the key areas where more research is needed.
NECPs among European and national governance (pp. 66-71)
(Il PNIEC nella governance europea e nazionale)
di Andrea Prontera (Università di Macerata)
National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are an important component of the emerging EU’s climate and energy governance. Their limits and potentials must be analysed both in the wider context of the EU 2030 Framework and at the national level. In the former case, NECPs contribute to the development of the EU experimentalist governance. Also, they increase the influence of the European Commission on Member States’ policy choices. However, as illustrated by the analysis of the Italian case, at national level their impact is limited. This is particularly true with regard to two key issues: the promotion of investments and (vertical and horizontal) policy integration.
Circular economy and waste: teamwork is needed
(Economia circolare e rifiuti: serve gioco di squadra) (pp. 72-81)
di Claudia D. Di Felice (Accenture) e Stefania Migliavacca (Eni Corporate University)
This article offers a quantitative analysis of Italian waste sector with reference to the 2018 EU’s package about circular economy. In particular, the study focuses on municipal and packaging waste chain, presenting two different scenarios up to 2035. A concrete package policy should aim at rebalancing the regional framework, reducing the economic burden on families (in terms of tax for waste management) and the externalities linked to the national and international transport of waste.
LETTER FROM BRUSSELS
L’agenda del Green Deal europeo (pp. 82-85)
di Valeria Palmisano Chiarelli (European Institutional Affairs expert)
The institutional cycle 2019-2024 – with a new Parliament and a new Commission – has just started and is already grappling with a difficult and unexpected test bench, while the coronavirus is still raging. Investments as an “Ulysses into the open sea” is the image adopted by Valeria Palmisano Chiarelli in her first “Letter from Brussels”, a column with which she accompanies ENERGIA’s readers to keep up with the European agenda.
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