Global capacity to produce energy from renewable sources is increasing, boosted in part by the war-related crisis in Ukraine. However, also increasing at the same time is the risk of blackouts due to the lack of investment to adapt and modernize electricity grids 

The supply from green energy sources has increased to unprecedented levels in the past two years: wind farms, solar panels, heat pumps, and electric cars are now part of our production system no longer exceptionally, but as solid staples. The electricity grid as a whole, however, particularly in Europe, has remained without the investment needed to make the infrastructure adequate to absorb more intense volumes.

The European scenario

The Netherlands, Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland are among the first countries to report this mismatch between the positive figure of renewable energy production and the negative one related to infrastructural unpreparedness at the basis of possible electricity supply disruptions.

Underlying this mismatch is the dearth of investments and actions aimed at upgrading both transmission and distribution electricity grids, which, according to data compiled by the association of European electricity companies Eurelectric, are expected to amount to 375-425 billion euros

The consequences of the lack of upgrades are extremely critical for households and businesses: daily inconveniences, interruptions in industrial production, serious economic damage, waste of resources, slowdown of investments in renewable energy, and likely new price increases in bills.

The infrastructure endowment in Italy

But what is the current scenario in Italy in the face of the critical issues experienced by other European countries?

In our country, too, the infrastructure reveals substantial inadequacy, which is at the root of the increase in additional system costs and the low propensity to incentivize new investments in renewable energy.

The delay in building modern and functional connections is contributing to discourage higher volumes of investment, already grappling with a very complex bureaucratic horizon. In other words, in Italy, the start-up to the uptake of new renewable energy production appears particularly difficult. Suffice it to say that in 2020, 4 percent of production from wind power could not be fed into the grid. 

Inadequate infrastructure contributes to the generation of new costs. A scenario that discourages investment projects in renewables, which appear less and less feasible and affordable.

In recent years, there has been no shortage of efforts to develop long-term plans with the upgrading of the transmission grid at the center. 

There are 18 billion euros that Terna will invest, according to the latest plan, to adapt the grid to the new volumes related to renewables. However with the increased green power to be installed by 2030 – 70 GW following Fit for 55, 85 GW according to REPowerEU – investments could rise to 30 billion euros.

Elcon Megarad, a specialist in electrical cable accessories, is a unique made in Italy company: we have been successfully in business since 1981 and know every single component of joints and terminals for low, medium and high voltage networks because we have manufactured them individually and in any material, from resin to silicone to EPDM.

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