Comprehensive overview of the production of electricity in Italy: system charges, costs, dependencies

According to data reported to January 2007, the Italian electricity for domestic use is the average cost, net of taxation, higher than any of the European Union (€ 165.8 / MWh), the cost is around the European average stands to 117-120 € / MWh with a minimum in Bulgaria amounted to 54.7. Including taxation, Italy passes - again on average - in second place, behind only Denmark and followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

The real cost to the final consumers of electricity is however a value that can not be quantified in a single number: in fact, it depends strongly on the annual consumption by contract, for example, for consumption of up to 1800 KWh Italy is one of the cheapest countries , while the highest rates are found for consumption above 3540 kWh, in order to discourage high consumption.

The reasons for this cost is due to many factors, partly productive and partly related to market mechanisms and distribution: it must be pointed out that in fact the pure "cost of production" (already included gains of the manufacturer) accounts for slightly more than half of the final cost to the user (~ 56% in the 3rd quarter of 2008, a time when oil and gas were at historic highs, and 51% in the 1st quarter of 2009).

As regards the cost of production it is determined by several aspects; between these should be taken into account the "energy mix" (ie the type of source used by the central - natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, etc..), But also the age and efficiency of power plants, the rate of capacity utilization, have significant impacts.

Cost of kWh of electricity for different sources of production, in 2002 and 2007 (in U.S. cents), according to a study at MIT in 2009.

With regard to the sources, it is known that HP is one of the cheapest methods of production. Conversely, the gas is often considered one of the most expensive sources, while coal and nuclear power would be cheaper: but there is no unanimity in technology and such assessments can be refuted by several studies. For example, regarding the advisability of nuclear power generation, it is noted that even countries with no nuclear power plants have lower electricity costs to Italy (25-45%), therefore, the presence or absence of nuclear facilities would not affect in substantially on the final price to the public.

In this regard, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that gas and coal costs have pretty similar and lower than those of nuclear power, unless the latter source is not favored with loans and taxing gas and coal, the situation in where the costs of the three modes of production approach. This applies to new installations, in line with the needs of today's safety and environmental protection: the use of coal in old plants is cheaper than natural gas, however, in the face of increased pollution. In Europe, in fact, the percentage of use of coal is significantly higher than the Italian, having many European countries (especially Germany and Poland) significant reserves of coal, which explains in part the higher cost of production (but also lower production of CO2 ) Italian.

The rate of use of nuclear surely have an impact on the cost of production: as explained, the Italian central park is used only for about two-thirds: the remaining power stations, are in fact a cost in terms of capital invested but unproductive, which is then "spread" on the production costs of new power plants.

Falls in the formation of the cost the inefficiency of the transmission system, designed in the sixties as unidirectional and "passive": this means that it is not able to manage production flows from many small plants or to dynamically manage the loads (thus reducing the difference between peak load and base). It is also very insufficient and congested especially in the south.


Final costs of electricity in Europe for several echelons of annual consumption for the domestic sector.

As for the wholesale price, it is also influenced by market mechanisms of the power exchange, where the encounter between supply and demand leads to align the final price to the maximum rather than the minimum levels (see the "Stock Exchange Supply "for details).

The final cost to the user is ultimately influenced by other components of the energy bill: among these high taxation (in Italy, second only to that on matters oil) and general system charges.

There are a tax consumption tax and an additional province: for the productive sector, according to research by Confartigianato, taxation would be particularly high: a company that consumes 160 MWh per year pay 25.4% tax on its electricity consumption , against a European average of 9.5%, but above a certain threshold of consumption for productive use, state representative is the fee that the additional tax is zero, paradoxically creating situations where the higher consumption enjoy lower taxation.


General charges of the electricity system

The general system charges, determined by the Authority for Electricity and Gas, formed in the second quarter of 2010, 8, 9% of electricity costs the average consumer. In detail, the components of the general system charges are:

 promoting the production of energy from renewable and assimilated sources (component A3);

 funding special tariff schemes (A4 component);

 funding of research and development (component A5).

 cover the costs already borne by firms and non-recoverable following the liberalization of the electricity market (part A6);

 coverage of tariff subsidies to smaller electricity companies (UC4 component);

 nuclear decommissioning and compensation measures territorial (components A2 and MCT).

In particular:

 Approximately 7% of the bills is made CIP6 levies (which are part of the component A3), formally introduced to finance renewable energy, but in practice mostly used - in violation of European regulations - to finance the incineration of waste urban or the combustion of waste refinery.

 In 2008, the estimated costs for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants Italian (almost completely devolved to SOGIN) and for the "territorial compensation" that is, the economic incentives to be paid to the municipalities where will be built the planned national repository for nuclear waste (provided in particular to avoid the recurrence of popular uprisings like those of Scanzano Jonico) were respectively 500 and 500 million euro.

 The costs incurred for the promotion of photovoltaic energy with the energy bill in 2009 were 292 million euro.



Considering both fuels and electricity imported from abroad depends on Italy for about 81% of its electricity by the year 2008. This value is given by the share of thermal generation (except contributions for domestic fuel, the combustion of biomass and waste), more energy exchanges with foreign countries.

However, it should be noted that, even by changing the energy mix, all bets are substantial variations in this percentage: we are talking about coal, oil, natural gas or uranium, the Italian reserves are still much lower than the real requirements, so the supply would be though mostly from abroad. In practice, the only mode of energy generation that could actually be considered "internal" is one that relies on renewable sources.

This situation is common to most European countries, however, employees from non-European countries for the import of oil or uranium.

Overall, the Italian energy bill (ie, the total cost to the country for net imports of energy products) in 2005 amounted to 38.5 billion euro. By way of comparison, during the same period the French net energy bill was € 37.5 billion, but with a dependence on foreign approximately 52% excluding, however, from which imports of uranium, which is considered as "raw material" and not mining as "primary energy" and thus excluded from the calculation of foreign dependence. Including imports of uranium, the French foreign dependency rises to levels comparable to that of the remaining EU countries.



Translated via software



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