The development of renewable sources for producing electrical energy constitutes one of the main objectives identified by the European Union for diversifying the sources of energy provision and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In particular, Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, established mandatory national targets for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy and for the share of energy from renewable sources in transport, in addition to sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids. The National Action Plan, stemming from Directive 2009/28/EC, is the policy document providing detailed indications on the actions to be implemented for attaining, by 2020, the binding target for Italy of covering 17% of the gross national consumption with energy produced from renewable sources. The target must be achieved through the use of energy produced from renewable sources in the following sectors: electricity, heating/cooling and transport.
All national legislative acts aimed at defining incentivising systems and permit schemes for promoting and encouraging the creation of renewable energy plants in Italy over the past few years point in this direction.
Thanks to this effective energy policy, renewable sources now play a leading role in the context of the national energy system. Indeed, they are widely employed for producing electrical energy (electrical sector), heat (thermal sector) and, lastly, as biofuels for vehicle transport (transport sector). After implementing the accounting criteria for renewable energy sources set forth in Directive 2009/28/EC, in 2013 overall consumption of energy from renewable sources in Italy amounted to 20.7 Mtep, up roughly 1.1 Mtep compared to 2012 (+5.7%).