Abstract for: Renewable energy in Italy: scenarios to 2030

The study represents an exploration of the Italian energy situation, which is characterised by huge energy imports, strong dependence on fossil fuels, and carbon emissions well above the Kyoto target. Certainly, in such a situation, given the nuclear energy ban of the Italian 1987 referendum, renewable energy could help the country. Nonetheless, its high costs could be an obstacle that strongly limits its expansion. One of the main results of the analysis performed with the IRED (Italy’s Renewable Energy Development) model is that an increase of the renewables’ share up to 20% in 2020 represents a striking change in the structure of the Italian electricity system, which, under certain conditions, is not feasible. Italy faces a sort of triangular challenge, involving fossil fuel prices, renewables production costs, and carbon prices. The trends in these variables will decide the destiny of renewables in the country. IRED is a model based on the system dynamics approach, which encompasses econometric forecasts, technical assessment, and cost estimation. IRED is able to generate a large number of scenarios and sensitivity analyses on a set of elements, such as primary energy demand, electricity demand, renewables mix, investment and operation costs, fossil fuel costs, and carbon prices.