Alberto Clô introduces ENERGIA 2.21 (pp. 2-6)
Alberto Clô introduces the contents of the new issue of ENERGIA: “Fairy tales and fantasies”; “The forgotten unbundling”; “Gone With the Wind?”; “The unheard voice”
For a Scientific Technical Committee on Ecological Transition (pp. 8-10)
(Per un Comitato Tecnico Scientifico sulla Transizione Ecologica)
Alberto Clô (Direttore responsabile «Energia»)
Romano Prodi (Presidente Fondazione per la Collaborazione tra i Popoli)
Even if every final decision at the end can only be up to politics, a Technical Scientific Committee like the one that is guiding us in this difficult pandemic would also be of crucial support in guiding our country in the epochal challenge of the ecological transition. Who will indicate to politics the short-medium-term solutions and the long-term technological innovations that are able to maximize the reduction of emissions while minimizing the cost? An independent TSC made up of representatives of national scientific bodies (Enea, Cnr, Rse), well-known experts in different disciplines (perhaps indicated by the Accademia dei Lincei or the Conferenza dei Rettori), by exponents of international organizations particularly familiar with technological dynamics (such as IEA). A Committee capable of identifying points of synthesis between divergent issues of different nature: economic, energy, environmental, social. A recognition of the value of knowledge.
Energy transition, between political impositions and lack of perspective (pp. 12-17)
(Transizione energetica, tra imposizioni politiche e mancanza di prospettiva)
Olivier Appert (Conseil Français de l’Énergie)
The measures implemented to achieve the energy transition objectives must be approached in a systemic way, with a long-term vision capable of integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Costly solutions whose effectiveness is uncertain should be avoided. The forecasting exercise is essential to determine the desirable developments. The challenges to be faced are complex. Policymakers who develop energy transition policies need to undertake paths based on a rigorous analysis of the technical, economic, social and geopolitical barriers.
The ineluctability of fossil fuels for the world economy development (pp. 18-25)
(Ineluttabilità delle fonti fossili per lo sviluppo dell’economia mondiale)
Oliviero Bernardini («Energia» scientific committee)
The article looks into differences and similarities in the role played by energy in the creation of value in different countries over the past fifty years. Despite enormous differences among countries in the production and consumption of fossil fuels and other energy sources, the aggregate of all countries behaves as a single global system that in the long term is largely indifferent to localized impulses. The inertia to abrupt changes shown by the world energy system over the last half century ensures fossil fuels a dominant role well into the next half century.
Economic highlights and structural shadows of energy in Italy in 2020 (pp. 26-33)
(Luci congiunturali e ombre strutturali dell’energia in Italia nel 2020)
Francesco Gracceva, Bruno Baldissara (ENEA)
Ettore F. Bompard, Eleonora Desogus, Daniele Grosso e Stefano Lo Russo (EST@energycenter, Politecnico di Torino)
The Covid-19 pandemic may hide a unique opportunity to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy system. The global economic system has undergone significant transformations. Above all, the record worldwide drops of both energy needs and CO2 emissions. How much of this condition has a cyclical or structural character is the object of this article, focused on the Italian case. An investigation based on an in-depth analysis of the economic and energy data of the current trend and the comparison with the previous 2009 crisis, followed by an assessment of possible long-term developments.
REGULATION & DEREGULATION
Lessons from the Texan crisis (pp. 36-42)
(Lezioni dalla crisi texana)
Giovanni Goldoni («Energia» scientific committee)
The polar vortex that hit Texas last February highlighted many failures in the electricity markets regulation: scarce security of gas supplies; huge errors in the risk scenario forecasting; complicated intertwining of wholesale pricing rules which caused a very expensive mess with unavoidable negative consequences on many operators in the wholesale and retail markets, as well as on their customers. Failures that this article puts under the lens to draw five lessons and raise some questions that remain unresolved. Lawmakers and regulators are now studying measures to mitigate these negative consequences to adjust the system before the next critical event.
The offshore wind impact on power grids (pp. 44-51)
(Impatto dell’eolico offshore sulle reti elettriche)
Carlo Degli Esposti, Pierre Bornard e Graeme Steele (BSDE Associates)
Although currently discussed and studied for the seas of Northern Europe, the impact of offshore electricity grids on technology, flows and above all on the structure and prices of the Italian market could be significant from many points of view. The article frames the technical issues and then examines those relating to grid businesses – investment, dispatching, market access and regulation – to understand how many gaps must be filled between now and 2050. The last considerations are dedicated to the possible development of a submarine network in the Mediterranean Sea and the effects this would have on Italy.
Unbundling of the natural gas transport network in Italy (pp. 52-57)
(Unbundling della rete di trasporto del gas naturale in Italia)
Fabio Polettini (Lawyer)
The marked industrial and institutional reorganization of the natural gas transport network is based on the assumption that it is an «essential facility». The infrastructure is recognized as indispensable and becomes open under non-discriminatory conditions to all competitors who makes the request to enter the market. To do this, a regulatory effort at both European and national level has been necessary to separate the ownership of vertically integrated companies – in the Italian case, Snam – and to prevent the abuse of a dominant position. This article intends to reconstruct the unbundling legislative framework as well as to analyze both the spin-off of Snam and the compatibility of its entry into the biogas sector with antitrust obligations.
Water and energy infrastructures: priorities for economic recovery (pp. 58-65)
(Infrastrutture idriche ed energetiche: priorità per il rilancio economico)
Domenico Borello, Alessandro Corsini, Riccardo Gallo, Francesco Napolitano, Giuseppe Parise (Osservatorio sulle Imprese, Facoltà di Ingegneria Civile e Industriale, Sapienza, Università di Roma)
The backwardness of Italian strategic infrastructures is a strong constraint to the national economic recovery. The resources allocated for their modernization are not sufficient to guarantee the competitiveness of Italy, especially in view of the enormous challenges imposed by the energy transition. Focusing on water and energy networks, this article presents some results of a wider study on basic infrastructures. By analyzing the framework in which the European recovery resources will be inserted, the study identifies the priorities for progress for each infrastructure.
SPEAKERS’ CORNER: DISTRIBUTION GRID
Governance of electricity distribution: for a “German” model (pp. 66-69)
(Governance della distribuzione elettrica: per un modello «tedesco»)
Luigi De Francisci and Alberto Mariani (Acea)
The role of Distribution System Operators (DSOs) has been central to ensure an efficient path of transition as well as to bring environmental and service quality benefits to consumers. This role will be even more important in the coming years. At this point, it is worth to ask whether, whithin the current framework and with the tools available, DSOs can guarantee the right support to these challenges for the energy sector. The debate on the future of the governance of electricity distribution started in the previous issue of «Energia» is enriched by a further contribution. This article outlines the operational context and the regulatory governance within which DSOs perform their activities. The starting point for a greater efficiency and proactivity of operators.
ENERGY TRANSITION AND SOCIETY
Environmental policies and individual action (pp. 70-75)
(Politiche ambientali e azione individuale)
Luigi Pellizzoni (Università di Pisa)
Sustainability policies require a renewed assumption of individual responsibility to achieve fully satisfactory results. Any person through his consumer choice can act as a driving force for companies. At the same time, companies can exert a boost on consumption. This article focuses on how to stimulate these boost or nudges functions in order to think about what kind of intervention on individual behaviors is preferable. Among many models – that focus on the imposition of certain choices, that look exclusively at the economic leverage while neglecting other motivations, that believe any person is capable of achieving social optimum if correctly educated – there is perhaps a different path which tries to intervene with a series of «nudges» on several fronts. What is certain is that there is no single solution and that there is a limit beyond which responsibility must be sought somewhere other than the single individual.
Energy communities and renewable sources (pp. 76-83)
(Comunità energetiche e fonti rinnovabili)
Nicolò Rossetto (Florence School of Regulation)
Energy communities dealing with renewable sources currently play a limited role in the European energy system. However, there is an increasing acknowledgment that they will represent an essential tool to involve citizens and foster the energy transition. The recent reform of European energy law recognizes such prominence and introduces new legal concepts with related rights and duties. Member States shall transpose and implement such regulation at the national level. The significant leeway that Member States benefit from suggests that the development of energy communities will be rather heterogeneous in the coming years and differ from country to country.
Michael Grubb, Paul Drummond, Nick Hughes, The shape and pace of change in the electricity transition (pp. 84-85)
Pippo Ranci Ortigosa («Energia» scientific committee)
Tabs (pp. 86-96)
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