July 14, 2024
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Italy to End Coal Use for Electricity by 2025, Embraces Natural Gas in Energy Transition

Italy is set to cease the use of coal for electricity generation by 2025, with plans to increase reliance on gas-fired power plants, announced the Italian Energy Ministry.

Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin confirmed the decision while speaking to parliament on Wednesday, as reported by Reuters.

The updated National Climate and Energy Plan is expected to formalize this commitment

“The intermediate target of abandoning coal in the electricity generation mix as of Dec. 31, 2025 … is very close. The updated (National Climate and Energy) Plan will certainly confirm it,” he said.

However, the island of Sardinia will have a phased approach, aiming to phase out coal for electricity generation between 2026 and 2028.

While the European Union pursues the phase-out of fossil fuels, it has recognized natural gas as a necessary “bridge” fuel in the energy transition.

Recent EU legislative actions included classifying natural gas and nuclear energy as sustainable activities, aligning with climate goals and the ambition of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Italy’s embrace of natural gas is evidenced by its approval of four new gas-fired plants in recent years, with an expected capacity of around 3,400 megawatts, along with plans to upgrade existing power plants to gain an additional 700 MW by 2026.

Additionally, Italy has significantly reduced its reliance on Russian gas, replacing it primarily with Algerian gas and imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar and the United States.

Despite this transition, concerns remain about winter gas storage levels, which are currently at 64% but are projected to decrease to around 45% by the end of the month.

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