Alberto Clô introduces Energia 4.20 (pp. 2-5)
di Alberto Clô
Alberto Clô introduces the contents of the new issue of ENERGIA: «Nothing will be the same»; «Joe Biden and climate issue: what else?»; «The Devil and the Holy Water»; «A climate agenda in the stakeholders interest»
US AND GLOBAL ORDER
Cooperation and clashes in the Covid Era (pp. 6-9)
(Cooperazione e confronto ai tempi della pandemia)
di Romano Prodi (Fondazione per la Collaborazione dei Popoli)
East and West, but also Public and Private. The pandemic implications go well beyond the health sphere into politics and economics. The forced reshoring of value chains are only the latest shock to an old multilateral equilibrium. The post-Trump United States have to face an unsplendid isolation. China leads the creation of the largest free trade area in the world, potentially able to influence future American and European policies. Europe is moving towards an unexpected strengthening thanks to the unusual unity between Italy, France and Spain, and the absence of Great Britain. Meanwhile, greater intervention by the State is evoked from many sides as well as greater distributive justice to govern the changes that new technologies have triggered in the labor market.
Geopolitics of climate change, an interview with Enrico Letta (pp. 10-11)
(Questione climatica tra cooperazione e geopolitica)
intervista a Enrico Letta (Sciences Po e Institut Jacques Delors)
Cooperation against climate change and competition in the energy transition are two sides of the same coin. If a tribal opposition prevailed with Donald Trump, how Biden would approach the climate change issue? What margins exist for extending and strengthening cooperation with the EU and China? Can geopolitics undermine cooperative efforts? Even if the multilateral framework will improve, geopolitics will not disappear, and Europe can carve out its own role.
Biden Administration: present and future of US energy (pp. 12-16)
(Presidenza Biden tra presente e futuro dell’energia)
di Gaetano Di Tommaso (Science Po)
Biden’s arrival in the White House carries great expectations for change in climate and energy policy. For the new president, however, it will not be easy to reverse his predecessor’s actions and turn into practice the ambitious decarbonization plan presented during the electoral campaign. A combination of internal and international factors, related to the political and institutional context as well as the challenging post-pandemic economic prospects, risks hindering – if not stalling – the Democratic agenda, especially in the short-term. The next four years will be crucial to understand whether Washington will revamp its leadership on environment and energy, prodded also by a public opinion more and more sensitive to climate concerns.
The decarbonization technological challenges (pp. 18-24)
(Sfide tecnologiche per la decarbonizzazione)
di Chiara Delmastro, Leonardo Paoli, Jacopo Tattini (International Energy Agency)
The 2020 drop in CO2 emissions is due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions on the economy, not to a structural change in energy production and consumption. Hoping that 2019 has seen emissions peak, as the economy recovers we need to put emissions on a structural downward way. This pathway requires fundamental changes in all energy sectors that hinges on investments in technology and innovation. Technology is not the only solution to climate change mitigation, but there is no path toward a net-zero emissions target that does not rely on rapid adoption of clean energy technologies. Considerations taken from the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 report.
The natural gas role in the energy transition (pp. 26-31)
(Il decisivo ruolo del gas naturale nella decarbonizzazione)
di Ennio Macchi (Professore Emerito del Politecnico di Milano)
The evolution of the recent past data certainly does not lead to optimism about the timing of the energy transition. Efforts to contain the effects of global warming within acceptable limits should be aimed at reducing the total amount of emissions into the atmosphere as soon as possible. To this end, natural gas plays a crucial role in bringing the trajectory of emissions along the desired pathway especially in the coming years. And if accompanied by carbon capture technologies, applicable both to power sector and to the so-called «blue hydrogen» production, it could maintain an important role also in the medium-long term.
Agriculture’s uniqueness in fighting climate change (pp. 32-39)
(Unicità dell’agricoltura nel contrasto ai cambiamenti climatici)
di Lorella Rossi, Guido Bezzi, Paolo Mantovi, Laura Valli, Stefano Bozzetto, David Chiaramonti
Agriculture can and must play a key role in tackling climate change. Through photosynthesis it is able to capture CO2 transforming it into a wide range of products. By increasing and optimizing this capability, agriculture can not only increase its productivity, reduce its emissions and safeguard soil fertility by counteracting the effects of climate change, but also and above all capture and sequester additional CO2 until it becomes «carbon negative». The article frames the uniqueness of agriculture as an area of intervention, the importance of organic carbon in soils and the storage potential. It analyzes the Italian situation and illustrates the principles of agroecology and sustainable agricultural practices starting from Biogasdoneright® and the 10 actions of the «Farming for Future» project.
The unbearable lightness of hydrogen (pp. 40-44)
(L’irresistibile leggerezza dell’idrogeno)
di Giuseppe Zollino (Università di Padova)
Back in the news, the debate on hydrogen needs clarification in terms of technologies, costs and timing. Each color of hydrogen has its «ifs» and «buts», especially in the long term. After an historical overview and the point on the state of the art of production and technologies, the article provides estimates on the present and future production costs of the different methods of hydrogen extraction. If the dynamics concerning gray and blue hydrogen are clear, the calculation concerning green hydrogen is more complex. Several industrial policy conclusions can be drawn for our country, especially on the use of incentives, in order to avoid repeating expensive mistakes which Italy is not new to.
Reckon without Countries’ host (pp. 46-51)
(Fare i conti senza l’oste)
di G.B. Zorzoli (Comitato Scientifico «Energia»)
The assessment of the feasibility of the energy and climate Plan, proposed by the European Commission, firstly accounts for the impact of non-scientific factors on the perception of the environmental sustainability, which is systematically ignored by the European planners. This inattention can influence the achievement of the 2030 targets, still the most worldwide appropriate response to the climate crisis, despite of being shaped according to the German goals. Based on these premises, the paper makes a survey of the hurdles which could prevent Italy achieving targets definitely more challenging than those stated in the NECP, especially in transport. In this sector, if a timely recovery plan is lacking, all the stakeholders hit by the crisis will oppose any change.
Integrating intermittent renewables sources into electricity markets (pp. 52-63)
(Transizione e intermittenza: integrare le rinnovabili nei mercati elettrici)
di Giovanni Goldoni (Comitato Scientifico «Energia»)
After a long season of subsidies, renewable and intermittent energy sources (RES, mainly solar PV and wind) have finally reached grid parity. Their integration into electricity systems has grown in Europe and around the world thanks to targeted actions to improve market mechanisms and to safeguard the reliability of supplies. However, energy transition is still a long path with very demanding challenges to overcome. After analyzing some adaptation measures in US energy and capacity markets, this article presents some economics concerning the integration of RES into European markets and anticipates the challenges for demand involvement in a future with intermittent renewables. It is now very urgent to define a new market design and a new price system that are able to attract the necessary investments mainly in RES, but not only in RES.
LETTER FROM BRUSSELS
Historic agreement on the EU recovery package (pp. 64-68)
(Accordo storico sul Recovery)
di Valeria Palmisano Chiarelli (Esperta di Affari Istituzionali europei)
After neverending discussions, on July 2020 Europe has finally decided to underwrite a common debt. What does this mean for the EU? How it is composed? How is it divided among the countries and issues? More important, what expect next?
Daniel Yergin, The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations (pp. 70-71)
di Raffaele Perfetto (Manager e analista del settore energetico)
Bibliographic reports (pp. 71-74)
Tabs (pp. 76-91)
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