The amount of energy consumed by Italy changes yearly. The energy market in Italy stands 4th in the European energy market. Electricity usage grew by 2% year over year in 2015, owing primarily to the hot summer. In 2016, power demand fell to the same level as in 2014. (minimum level since 2001).
Except for the industrial sector, every sector saw a year-over-year gain in consumption in 2015. Following the crisis that began in 2008, GDP increased by 0.8 percent in 2015 (the only years in which GDP was positive were 2010 and 2011). Despite the increase, energy consumption in 2015 was 7% lower than in 2008.
Italy’s overall energy use from 2000 to 2020
In 2014, renewable power accounted for 38.2 per cent of national electric energy consumption (up from 15.4 per cent in 2005), accounting for 16.2 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption (5.3 per cent in 2005). In the same year, solar energy alone generated about 9% of the country’s total electricity production, making Italy the country with the largest contribution from solar energy in the world.
Additional key sources of electricity in the country include wind, hydropower, and geothermal power. Following a referendum in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Italy discontinued nuclear power, and nuclear power has never accounted for more than a tiny per cent of overall power generation in the country.
Italy’s overall power consumption climbed from 279,319.6 gigawatt-hours in 2000 to 303,443-gigawatt-hours in 2018, although the increase was not consistent. In reality, from 2000 to 2008, when it peaked at 319,037.2 gigawatt-hours, the volume of power steadily rose. Following that, consumption fluctuated, never returning to the peak level or the lowest level observed in 2000. In 2020, Italy’s total power usage was 302.75 terawatt-hour (TWh), with 270.55 TWh (89.3%) produced domestically and the remaining 10.7% purchased.
Generation and distribution of energy
The industry field had the largest amount of power consumption in 2017, with 125,524.6 gigawatt-hours, followed by the tertiary sector. Household power consumption reached 65,490.7 gigawatt-hours in the same year. In terms of power generation, natural gas accounted for 42.34 per cent of all electricity generated in 2017, an increase from previous years. Renewable energy, on the contrary, fell from 38.85% in 2016 to 36.6 per cent in 2017.
Italy’s energy use per capita is about 20% lower than the EU average (2.3 toes in 2020). Electricity consumption per capita is approximately 5000 kWh (4750 kWh in 2020), which is 10% less than the EU average. Total energy usage fell by 8% to 137 Mtoe in 2020, after falling somewhat between 2017 and 2019 (-1.9 per cent each year). Between 2005 and 2014, it fell fast (at a rate of 2.6 per cent each year).
Homeowners’ energy efficiency
People have become more conscious of environmental challenges in recent years. This understanding is expected to affect power usage as well. In reality, a significant proportion of Italian homeowners made energy efficiency improvements to their homes. For example, 24% of homeowners installed highly insulated window fittings, and 21% installed low-energy boilers in their homes.
Apart from generating energy from fossil fuel, wind, hydro, solar, and other sources, Italy imports power from other countries. The Italian national grid is connected to Europe by various lines: four with France, twelve with Switzerland, one with Austria, two with Slovenia, one with Greece, and one with Corsica. In addition, between Sicily and Malta, a new undersea HCDC power connection was built in 2015. In 2008, electricity imports were over 40 TWh.
On a final note, the overall consumption of 293.50 billion kWh of electric energy each year is the most important metric in Italy’s energy balance. This equates to 4,928 kWh per capita. Italy is capable of producing some of its electricity. All-electric energy-producing plants produce 275 billion kWh in total. This equates to 94 per cent of the country’s consumption. The remaining energy is obtained through imports from other countries. Production, imports, and exports, in addition to pure consumption, have a major influence. Other energy sources are also utilized, such as natural gas or crude oil.