- The project is included in the United Nations Multi-Stakeholders Energy Compact
- Sardinia is a globally exportable model for electrification and energy transition
Cagliari, January 27th, 2022 - The exit from fossil fuels for energy production in Sardinia, with the switch to a generation mix based exclusively on renewable sources, combined with the widespread electrification of end uses; a path that will allow Sardinia to take a leap towards complete decarbonization with a view to environmental sustainability, savings and energy efficiency. This is the aim of ‘Green Electrification of Sardinia’, the Project included in the United Nations Multi-Stakeholders Energy Compact and considered as a model for the spread of electrification and energy transition at global level.
UN Energy Compacts are voluntary commitments with specific targets to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy systems for all, and therefore meet climate change commitments in line with the Paris Agreement. The UN platform brings together the main commitments of states, companies, NGOs and other actors that will be monitored and receive technical support and access to partnerships through the UN Energy Compact Action Network.
The ‘Green Electrification of Sardinia’ project was presented at an online event organized by Enel, Roma Tre University - Centre of Economic and Social Research Manlio Rossi-Doria, with the support of the Alleanza Sardegna Rinnovabile (which brings together WWF, Kyoto Club, Greenpeace and Legambiente). The event, introduced by the Mayor of Cagliari, Paolo Truzzu, and Enel Italia Director Nicola Lanzetta, was attended by Professor Nigel Tapper, member of the IPCC Commission and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2007 with the IPCC group, Valeria Termini, Professor of Political Economy at Roma Tre University and member of the UN experts; WWF Italia’s Head of Climate and Energy for the Alleanza Sardegna Rinnovabile, Mariagrazia Midulla; and Professor of Electrical Systems for Energy and Pro-Rector for Territory and Innovation at the University of Cagliari, Fabrizio Pilo. The event was also attended by representatives of the business world such as Marco Boglione, Founder and Chairman of the BasicNet Group and Libero Muntoni, General Manager, Delphina Hotels & Resorts.
Given the marginal penetration of methane and the local relevance of services such as trade, tourism, agriculture and public administration, which account for 60% of added value, Sardinia offers a unique context for electrification. Most electricity is produced using coal and residues from oil refining processes. In addition, Sardinia has the highest per capita consumption of electricity in the domestic sector in Italy, at around 1.38 MWh per year, but self-production still accounts for less than 1% of the total and is almost exclusively from fossil fuels.
The ‘Green Electrification of Sardinia’ project envisages achieving a number of objectives by 2030, in particular overcoming the production of energy from fossil fuels by replacing it with renewable plants, mainly photovoltaic and wind power, and at the same time disseminating end-use electrification technologies (SDG 7, targets 7.1 and 7.2) such as electric mobility, space heating and cooling systems, energy efficiency and induction hobs. The island’s demographic characteristics and low population density (around 68 inhabitants per km2) will also allow extensive use of distributed generation.
“The electrification of consumption and the replacement of fossil fuels with renewables are two strategic levers of the current energy transition,” commented Nicola Lanzetta, Director of Enel Italia. “Thanks to its special characteristics, Sardinia can accelerate along this development path and achieve a more sustainable energy production and consumption model in advance, generating positive effects for the environment, economy, employment and territory and setting an example at global level. It is a result that we can achieve by building a strategic alliance between the public, private sector, academia, associations and citizens, and by sharing the value generated in the area.”
"The Mediterranean region is a climate change hot-spot and this project led by Enel is a unique opportunity for Sardinia to be an example to the world of how to reduce emissions to address climate change,” comments Professor Nigel Tapper, lead author of the IPCC. “The value of this project is to propose for the first time on a regional scale a series of technical solutions to reduce the contributions of everyone, whether they be companies or individual citizens, to atmospheric emissions, while at the same time improving quality of life and respect for the territory."
"The green electrification of Sardinia project in the next 10 years has been included by experts of the High Level Dialogue on Energy of the United Nations (of which I am honored to be part of) among the ‘multistakeholder energy compact’," said Valeria Termini, Professor of Political Economy at the Roma Tre University. "We have chosen and proposed it as an example of local growth to promote access to clean energy (goal 7 of sustainable development). It is an opportunity for Sardinia and Italy to contribute to the global decarbonization goal with a concrete example, which uses natural sources of energy available locally, and to offer a reference model for the independent development of the most vulnerable countries where 759 million people still live dramatically without electricity.”
“It was with particular attention and interest that I took part in this important meeting,” said the Mayor of Cagliari, Paolo Truzzu. “The UN-awarded ‘Green Electrification of Sardinia’ project deals with topics that are wholly current and close to our administration, such as energy transition, environmental sustainability and electric mobility in public transport. These days we are busy defining very important projects for the whole metropolitan area of Cagliari.”
The measures and activities envisaged by the ‘Green Electrification of Sardinia’ project will provide useful ideas for the energy transition of other areas, both in Italy and in other countries, and will contribute to the dissemination of concrete solutions that can also be applied in developing countries. The electrification process in Sardinia will be monitored for the United Nations by Roma Tre University - Rossi-Doria Centre.