Italy pushes to exploit green energy opportunities to help economies recover from COVID-19

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UAE, Dubai: Representing 1/3 of foreign participation at WETEX, Italy officially opens its pavilion, organized by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE.  A total of 31 companies showcases the latest Italian advancements in sustainable and renewable technology, which made massive contributions to the country’s carbon emission reduction goal. Situated in the Water and Sustainability halls of the first ever carbon neutral 3D exhibition, senior representatives of Italian institutions in the UAE and the exhibitors welcomed guests virtually.

Through private meetings conducted via live chat facility, the exhibitors were able to present internationally-recognized products and services aimed at protecting the environment. These include but not limited to: water treatment, recycling, solar energy generation and renewables, air control and environmental protection systems, and green building systems.

According to the Renewable Energy Market Outlook 2025 published in April 2020 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), global renewable energy market will reach 2,152.9 billion USD by 2025, marking an increase of 4.9% compared to 2017. The study also suggests that economic growth will be mainly influenced by three driver factors: the steady increase in government funding in the sector, the continued technological advances and the gradual freeing from fossil fuel exploitation. 

During the event, His Excellency Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: “The renewable energy sector in Italy remains to be strong. In fact, we have met the 2020 EU environmental target of 17% share of renewables in the energy mix two years before the deadline and we are now at 18.3%.  At the same time, we have committed to increasing the country’s share of renewables to 32% by 2030. In addition to emitting less CO2, Italy’s national efforts toward sustainability have had positive impact economically, including significant cost reductions of photovoltaic, on-shore wind plants and energy production, while fostering job creation. Our focus now is to expand the current policies with the objective to reduce fossil-fuel sources up to 7.5% of the total family consumption by 2030.”

Effects of Covid-19 to the renewable energy sector 

International Energy Agency’s new Global Energy Review 2020 suggests that Covid-19 brings bad news to the environment although the greenhouse gas emissions dropped due to the decline in business, consumer and industrial activity. The pandemic caused an estimate of 6% decline in energy demand, with every month of global lockdown causing decrease in demand by around 1.5%. Some projects in the procurement phase will face a huge increase in capital costs, and therefore have to pause, as currencies take a hit from the health emergency.

In Italy, analysts showed that Italians consume less but greener at the time of the coronavirus. The slowdown in production activities, following the lockdown measures, has sharply cut electricity consumption all over the country, with estimated decrease of more than 20%. As the demand declines, renewable energy grew by 2% compared to the pre-coronavirus period. Clean energy was able to meet 42% of the national needs. 

Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, said: “In line with recent performance in Italy, I can confidently say that investing in the renewable energy sector is not currently at risk. In fact, we’re seeing a growing interest in investing in the Italian sources of renewable energy from non-European countries. Not only from an ethical standpoint but economically as well, as it proves to provide long term benefits to both humans and the environment. Exploiting green energy can help the economy recover from the pandemic. Now more than ever, it is every nation’s responsibility to work towards sustainability, strengthening resilience and improving people’s health and welfare. Each of us has a role to play in working towards sustainability, and ours here at WETEX is to share what we can contribute to augment the green initiatives developed by or in partnership with the UAE, being the renewable hub in the region.”

Now on its 14th year of participation, the ITA pavilion is situated in the virtual WATER and SUSTAINABILITY halls at the 22nd WETEX, which runs until October 28.

About Italian Trade Agency – ITA:

The Italian Trade Agency is the Government agency which promotes the globalization of Italian firms, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ITA helps to develop, facilitate and promote Italian economic and trade relations with foreign countries, focusing on the needs of SMEs, their associations and partnerships. ITA sustains Italian firms in their internationalization process, promoting the marketing of Italian goods and services as well as the image of “Made in Italy” products around the world, while facilitating outward Italian investments and encouraging FDI attraction into Italy. ITA provides information, support and consultancy services to Italian companies on foreign markets, in order to foster exports and economic cooperation in all sectors, with the objective of increasing the effectiveness of their presence on international markets. ITA works closely with the Italian Regions, the network of Italian Chambers of Commerce, business organizations and other public and private entities. ITA’s headquarters are based in Rome and it works through a large network of offices around the world which are acknowledged as “Trade Promotion Offices” of  the Embassies or Consulates of Italy