Moscow ups the ante and threatens to shut off the oil taps to countries that will set a ceiling on the price of crude oil. The escalation comes on the day when the hypothesis circulates in Brussels to set a ceiling on the price of electricity produced from sources other than gas. While the Draghi government makes it known that the time has come for savings also for Italy. But the plan presented yesterday in the CDM by the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, is a phased plan, for now without tears. Phase one of the strategy of “administrative actions” on which the Mite has been working since July, as anticipated by the Messenger, will start with one degree less for the radiators: in homes and offices the thermostat will have to stop at 19 degrees, establishes the ministerial decree expected in days together with the new government decree with support for families and businesses. But there will also be an hour less per day to program and a 15-day cut for the power-up period. So much so that the heating calendar could be postponed to November. And a differentiation by geographical area is not excluded, with more sacrifices in the south. But let’s be clear, no further tightening and accelerations are expected at the moment, the minister stressed, “the situation does not require it”. Also excluded is the hypothesis of sending public employees into smart working or returning to school to distance learning against expensive energy. “Let’s not joke,” Cingolani told ministers. The multi-stage plan will save at least 3 billion cubic meters of gas. But you can reach 6 billion by focusing on the virtuous behavior of families. This does not mean that phase two is not already foreseen, with more important sacrifices, in the event of a gas stop from Russia. The “hard” plan is there and foresees a two-degree cut in temperatures and two hours cut per day. In extreme cases, up to 40% of public lighting can be cut, and a sort of “curfew” with early closure of shops, offices and premises.
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A separate, very delicate chapter is that of businesses. If Russia completely suspends the delivery of gas, “we would have a hole of 4 billion cubic meters”, which would also remain 90% uncovered by national storage, denounced the president of Confindustria, Carlo Bonomi. And again: “If those 4 billion were missing and they all weighed on industry, it would mean turning off almost a fifth of Italian companies”, the president reiterated to RTL 102.5. Therefore, “we have to think, in the worst scenario, of a rationing strategy”.
In reality, the risks of businesses and the possible cascading impacts on the economy are very clear to the government which has already been working since July, in constant contact with Confindustria, on a plan for the rationing of business consumption that aims to minimize the impact on production continuity. From the information survey launched for weeks on the various sectors, a precise picture of the elements on which to leverage to cut consumption is emerging, including anticipated maintenance and “stop and go” production, where possible. All on a voluntary basis. The other leg of the plan that will be presented next week by the government provides for an enhancement of the so-called “interruptibility service”..
Energy emergency, Assosistema meets the councilor for economic development of the Veneto RegionCopyAMP code
Much more substantial auctions are needed, capable of inducing certain companies to voluntarily detach themselves from the network for a few days in the face of state compensation to be reviewed. However, there will be entire sectors, from steel to food, to pharmaceuticals, which are unlikely to be able to turn off their engines. However, unsustainable gas prices remain the crucial issue for companies, especially for energy-intensive and gas-hungry companies, which next week await the decrees implemented by two measures launched by the government: the sale at controlled prices of nationally produced gas (2 billion of cubic meters) and the sale by the GSE of 18 terwatt hours of renewable energy at discounted prices. The escalation of rationing will depend on Moscow’s moves. And this will be discussed on 7 September in Brussels and on 9 at the extraordinary meeting of the EU Council of energy ministers. Also on the table is the knot of the European roof at the price of gas.
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