Reduction in consumption, coal-fired power plants at the highest levels and Russian gas at 18%: this is the Cingolani plan

Reduction in consumption, coal-fired power plants at the highest levels and Russian gas at 18%: this is the Cingolani plan
Reduction in consumption, coal-fired power plants at the highest levels and Russian gas at 18%: this is the Cingolani plan
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No drastic measures even if the darkest scenario materializes with the complete closure of the Russian gas taps. Also because dependence on Moscow dropped in 6 months from 40% (the 29 billion cubic meters that we still imported in 2021) to the current 18%. And it could fall further, up to 10%, with the two floating regasifiers purchased by Snam and destined for Piombino and Ravenna. Translated: there will therefore be no large-scale rationing for businesses as feared across the border (read France). Nor will the hands be sent back with public employees sent back to smart working or with the reactivation of distance learning (the famous Dad) or short weeks in schools to cut energy consumption. Also because the government’s position is clear. “No return to the past.”

The Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, confirms the line of prudence and yesterday, in the Council of Ministers, presented the package of interventions at the center of the gas saving plan for the civil, housing, residential, both public and private sectors, which follows the study presented in July by Enea and in which a minimum reduction in heating temperatures is envisaged (from 20 to 19 degrees in offices and homes with the radiators turned off an hour earlier and with greater effort in climatic areas less rigid), to be conveyed through an ad hoc communication campaign and which should start in October with a ministerial decree ready soon.

Particularly soft measures, therefore, whose effectiveness, especially in homes, will depend, and not a little, on the common sense of each. The same one that should ensure “optimized use of energy”, to put it in the words used yesterday by Cingolani in the Council, on which, as mentioned, the information campaign that the ministry is ready to launch soon will have to act. But a good part of those 3-6 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which the minister aims to save, will also come from the use of alternative fuels for limited periods. Which, in other words, means pumping the coal-fired power plants to the maximum, as already announced, for a limited time (maximum 2 years).

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So far the cuts to reach those 4 billion cubic meters less of gas until the end of March that are needed by Italy to hit the target requested by Brussels. Where, by mid-October, the individual plans are expected with which the States will have to voluntarily reduce energy consumption to allow Europe to give up 45 billion cubic meters of gas in the next seven months. But it is clear that the main thrust, to ensure that the system holds up without particular jolts even in the event of a total Russian blackout, will have to be ensured by alternative supplies, which Cingolani will put back in line in the plan, as well as by the sprint on storage (which now they are 82.3%) and on the two new floating regasifiers for which the minister imagines an ultra-fast roadmap that does not include hesitation. The reference is above all to the Piombino plant, without which, according to the alert reiterated yesterday by Cingolani, “there is a real risk of going into an emergency in March 2023”.

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A risk that the minister – who is also finalizing the two decrees to ensure gas (about 2 billion cubic meters) and electricity (about 18 terawatt hours) at controlled prices for energy and gas eaters – does not want to hear about. Like him, he doesn’t want to hear about business rationing. If anything, the road, only if necessary, will be that of interruptibility already foreseen for emergencies. While other options – limited interruptions or postponements of production, as well as remodeling of maintenance -, in any case all on a voluntary basis and against a fee, are subject to comparison.

The article is in Italian

Tags: Reduction consumption coalfired power plants highest levels Russian gas Cingolani plan

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