The National Energy Strategy issued in 2013 recognizes that the energy sector has a fundamental role to play in the growth of the economy. Developing a more competitive and sustainable energy is therefore one of the most significant challenges for Italy’s future. Accordingly, the NES aims being to pave the way for wider and more effective participation of industry and the country’s public and private research centers in future R&D programmes. Smarter investment in energy-related research activities will contribute to further improving the energy and resource efficiency of the economy and to creating new sources of growth.
In adjunction, it is important to point out that the Central Government has in pipeline a huge renovation of the governance of the public research system through the National Research Plan (PNR) 2015-2020, that of course includes also the activities of R&D related to energy and clean technologies. In fact, the high level of fragmentation of actors and areas of research in conjunction with a lack of a single coordination actor/”control room” can be repaired by the new PNR. The PNR has been recently approved by CIPE (Comitato Interministeriale per la Programmazione Economica) for an overall amount of public funding of EUR 2.5 billion.
Accordingly, one of the aims of the NES is to pave the way for wider and more effective participation of industry and the country’s public and private research centers in future R&D programmes. On this basis, the NES proposes a series of new measures:
Italy’s technological innovation activities are closely co-ordinated with the European Union Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET) in the perspective of the full implementation of the Energy Union at European level. In coming years in fact, EU R&D resources will increasingly be allocated to the priority projects identified under the SET Plan, as already happened for the Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation.
Within this context, Italy considers the launch of Mission Innovation a strong commitment and opportunity to accelerate public and private efforts on clean energy research and innovation. The Italian participation can offer a significant contribution in facing problems such as the low private sector participation in R&D investment in the energy sector and the high degree of fragmentation among the parties.
Research and development investments in low carbon technologies are implemented through a number of mechanisms including cost-shared projects with the private sector, research and development activities at the R&D National Agencies, grants to universities and Cohesion Funds at regional level.
The main contribution to Mission Innovation investments will come from public institutions both at national and regional level. Following a period of decline in the first half of the 2000s, public funding for energy-related R&D increased, reflecting the renewed priority attached to this sector. Funding declined again at the end of the decade, however, as a result of an overall cut in public spending. The government energy R&D budget allocated to energy efficiency and renewable technologies grew steadily during the decade, with the exception of the last few years. In 2011, public energy RD&D funding amounted to around EUR 400 million. The budget structure has changed in recent years, with a marked shift towards energy efficiency and renewable (24% and 17% of the total budget respectively), while nuclear R&D has lost ground (23% in 2011 compared to 40% in 2000). Transport research is also funded through the general research framework and through programmes dedicated to transport.
Baseline is composed of the Mission Innovation related parts of enacted appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 (base year), as identified among selected lineitems of clean energy RD&D, across the Ministry of Economic Development, and likebudget tables of other Governmental Agencies and public R&D Institutions.
The Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) has been appointed by the Italian Prime Minister’s Office, as lead Administration of the Italian participation in Mission Innovation. Other ministries involved are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea.
The public R&D institutions which carry out energy-related research are the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), the National Research Council (CNR) and Research on Energy Systems (RSE) which are committed in the context of Programme Agreements with MISE. An important role will be also played by the regional governments and the scientific community (universities, R&D labs).
Under approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, and subject to budget law approval
Baseline is composed of the Mission Innovation related parts of enacted appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013 (base year), as identified among selected line items of clean energy RD&D, across the Ministry of Economic Development, and like budget tables of other Governmental Agencies and public R&D Institutions. In the Fiscal Year 2013 Italy has also carried out significant RD&D activities in the fossils and nuclear sectors but it has been decided not to consider these items in the baseline in order to focus the effort on energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grids and smart cities integrated technologies as stated in the Country definition.
Research and development in low carbon technologies, including end use energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric grid technologies, carbon capture, storage and utilization, and smart cities integrated technologies. Investments are implemented through a number of mechanisms including cost-shared projects with the private sector, research and development activities at the R&D National Agencies, grants to universities and Cohesion Funds at regional level.
|Industry & buildings||
|Vehicles & other transportation|
|Bio-based fuels & energy||
|Solar, wind & other renewables||
|Hydrogen & fuel cells|
|Cleaner fossil energy|
|CO2 capture, utilization & storage|
|Basic energy research||
Indicators are for key areas of Mission Innovation R&D investment but do not imply a comprehensive representation of a country’s full R&D portfolio.
“In this challenge, Italy is well prepared. We are at the forefront of many sectors of the ‘green economy’: we are leaders in geothermal energy, we take 43% of our electric power production out of renewable sources, we rank first at the global level in terms of the share of solar power within our energy mix, which totals 7.9%.
In Government duties, it is a privilege to be called to set the scene in which our daughters and sons will live their lives. To be up to this difficult task, it will be essential to undertake long-term commitments and to change our mindsets.
If we are able to do so, I am sure this hard challenge will be turned into an exciting opportunity for all.”