In Italy, for some years now, gas has overtaken oil as the leading national energy source.

Accounting for 39% of our energy mix, surpassing oil for some years now (35%), gas is our primary source of energy.

The good news is that renewables have also grown to 19% (about 1/5 of national energy demand).

Italy’s energy dependence is among the highest in Europe

Unlike renewables and a residual part of gas and oil extracted in Italy, most of our energy needs are met with the contribution of other countries from which we import oil, gas and coal. We depend on foreign countries for 77% of the energy we consume, which is not good news.

Compared to fossil fuels, only about 5% come from our subsoil, the remaining 95% from Russia (25%), Algeria (15%), Azerbaijan (13%), Libya (9%) and Iraq/Quatar/Saudi Arabia/United States/Nigeria (33%).

Can we reduce our energy dependency?

On 31 December 2019, the Ministry of Economic Development updated the latest estimate of Italy’s fossil fuel reserves; Italy’s proven gas reserves are 46 billion cubic metres and oil reserves are 73 million tonnes.

According to this data, if, to date, we were to reduce fossil fuel imports for energy use to zero, Italy could meet its needs for:

  • Proven gas reserves: 7 months
  • Proven reserves of crude oil: 16 months

Renewables reduce energy dependency

Over the last 30 years, Italy’s energy dependence on foreign sources has been reduced by less than 10 percentage points. This reduction occurred entirely between 2008 and 2014, during the period of maximum growth of renewable sources.

Today, Italy is dependent on foreign countries for 77% of the energy it consumes. By meeting the European target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, thanks to energy efficiency and renewable sources, Italy would be able to meet most of its energy needs from domestic resources in less than ten years.