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Working paper / Climate

Renewable Energy Incentives and CO2 Abatement in Italy

Author(s): MARCANTONINI Claudio, VALERO Vanessa

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ABSTRACT

In order to combat global warming, Italy has committed to clear environmental goals by reducing its CO2 emissions. To this purpose, it has notably encouraged renewable energy development through a variety of support schemes, ranging from green certificates to feed-in and premium tariffs. As a result, during the last years, the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, especially from wind and solar energy, has experienced a considerable surge. In this paper we estimate the cost of reducing CO2 emissions in the power sector by deploying wind and solar energy in Italy from 2008 to 2011. The results show that, for the period analyzed, the average costs for wind are in the order of 150 €/tCO2, while for solar are much higher, above 1000 €/tCO2. This is because solar energy generators receive much higher remunerations per MWh of generated electricity than wind energy generators. These costs are about twice as high as in Germany. This is due to the difference between the incentive schemes and the power system in the two countries.