Climate Change

Italy towards 1% drop in greenhouse gas emissions

27 December 2019 | Written by La redazione

According to data released by ENEA in 2019 the replacement of coal with gas in the production of electricity will lead to a drop in emissions

2019 closes with good news for Italy: thanks to the partial replacement of coal with gas in the production of electricity, in fact, our country is preparing to close the year with a 1% drop in emissions. A positive figure, which however may not be enough: in the absence of more sustained growth of renewable sources and energy efficiency, this drop is not enough to guarantee the achievement of the objectives of the National Energy and Climate Plan and the transition to a low carbon economy .

The study. The data were collected in the ENEA Italian Energy System Analysis which highlights for the first nine months of the year a 3.5% reduction in the CO2 emitted by the electricity sector due to the greater use – with the same production – of gas (+ 15%), the lower use of oil products (-10%) and, above all, of coal (-30%); in the same period, emissions in the transport and civil sector recorded a drop of 0.5%. Overall, emissions decreased by 0.8% in nine months, with the forecast of reaching more than -1% on an annual basis.

Renewables are not growing. The data, however, also show a substantial stability of production from renewables in the first three quarters of the year, despite a slight recovery in the third (+ 5%, compared to the same period of 2018) with wind and solar energy compensating for the drop in hydroelectric . In the first nine months of 2019, primary energy consumption decreased by about 1% while final consumption recorded a -0.5%.

“The positive thing is that in the thermoelectric sector, decarbonisation is working, especially thanks to the gradual abandonment of coal” – comments Francesco Gracceva, the ENEA researcher who coordinates the Analysis – “However, this is not sufficient to ensure the transition to a low carbon economy, taking into account the more modest drops in emissions in other sectors and the flat trend of renewable sources which, at the end of the year, will presumably remain stable at 18% of total consumption, against a target of 30% by 2030 indicated by the PNIEC “.

To date, in order to achieve the objectives of the PNIEC, in fact, Italy should reduce greenhouse gas emissions on average by 1.7% per year, 0.7% more than the projections of 2019.

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