Italy plans ambitious renewables target

Following in the footsteps of other countries including Australia and Germany recently, Italy has said that it intends to generate nearly two thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade.

The revised target, announced by the energy ministry said on Friday, shows a significant increase in ambition.

In a revision of the country’s energy and climate plan, the ministry said Italy aimed to get 65% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, up from a previous target of 55%.

Renewables are expected to cover 40% of gross energy consumption in all the sectors – including power production, housing and transportation – by the end of the decade versus 30% in the old plan.

For heating and air conditioning, renewable sources should provide 37% of consumption and 31% in the transport sector, the ministry said.

Its ambition is that hydrogen produced without carbon emissions will cover 42% of industrial needs by 2030.

The European Commission has asked each member state to submit a revised strategy for 2030 to align with its REPowerEU energy package, announced in the last two years, which include binding goals on the energy transition to tackle climate change.

Italy has sent its revised strategy to the European Commission, which has until June 2024 to review and approve it.

Italy’s revised target comes as part of an expected significant global transition to renewables. A recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that global renewable power capacity growth is set to double over the next five years, driven by continuing energy security concerns in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In its annual report on the outlook for renewables, the IEA said capacity worldwide is expected to grow by 2,400 gigawatts (GW) – equal to the entire power capacity of China today – to 5,640 GW by 2027.