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An historical change. The energy sector plays a pivotal role in fighting global warming. Even though we do not produce energy, our strategic guidelines are in line with international standards, especially from the perspective of decarbonisation and the transition to renewable sources.

The international context is defined in particular by:

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed at the end of 2015 at COP21 (21st Conference held by stakeholders), consolidated the focus on renewable energy sources with the target of limiting global warning to below 2 degrees. In November 2016, COP22 reviewed the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  Set in 2015, one of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals refers to clean and accessible energy (Goal 7), industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9), climate action (Goal 13) and the ability to create partnerships between the public and business (Goal 19) to reach these objectives. The aim is to meet these goals by 2030.

The strategic guidelines formulated by the European Union as the Clean Energy Package, which aims to guide the international transition to a cleaner and more efficient energy system and the integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), which was presented to the European Commission at the beginning of 2019 and which provides fundamental guidelines on the development policies for the Italian national energy system..


The european energy guidelines

In 2015, the European Union set guidelines for an “Energy Union”, which aims to ensure that Europe and its citizens have secure, sustainable and affordable energy. The main measures regard decarbonising the economy, energy efficiency, and procurement security.

European energy challenges
1. Decarbonisation
2. Energy efficiency
3. Procurement security

The portion of energy from renewable sources for final consumption should reach 17% in 2020 and 30% in 2030. This objective was already reached in Italy in 2012, and has been constantly maintained and improved on since then.

Did you know
In November 2018 the European Parliament, Commission and Council updated the objectives for renewables, giving the go ahead for one of the eight legislative proposals of the Clean Energy Package. By 2030, the European Union’s renewable energy must cover 32% of energy consumption, compared to the previous target of 27%, with an upwards revision clause by 2023. 


The challenge of renewable energies

Working in the direction envisaged by international bodies and the community requires a significant effort on our part, to develop a grid in a context that is continually evolving, while at the same time ensuring standards in terms of adequacy, quality and security.

During 2017, renewable sources accounted for approximately 32% of total Italian energy demand, mostly thanks to hydroelectric.


Growth in the production of renewable sources is set to increase thanks to greater efficiency in the system. This will decrease the contribution of thermal production.

The strengthening of energy from renewable sources presents Terna with different operating and technology challenges, and requires significant transformation in the national transmission grid:

  • Renewable sources are concentrated in the South, whereas most demand comes from the North. This requires solutions to congestion problems, better integration of renewable sources into the grid, and consolidating the South-North backbone.
  • Renewable sources are non-programmable: the intermittent nature of wind production in particular makes dispatching more difficult.



Terna hub for the Mediterranean

Its geographical position makes Italy a natural hub in the Mediterranean area. It can count on an electricity border made up of 25 interconnectors*, in addition to new power lines under construction. This development work aims to increase interconnection capacity (Net Transfer Capacity - NTC) on the electricity borders with foreign countries, enabling a reduction in energy procurement costs and the integration of markets, with the possibility of having more resources for use in managing the Italian and European electricity system.


*These include 3 merchant lines, or lines not owned by Terna, and the Italy-Malta connection owned by Enemalta

In Rome, Terna hosts the administrative headquarters of the Med-TSO Association (Mediterranean Transmission System Operators, representing 18 countries) and appoints its Secretary General, as well as chairing Technical Committee 1, which deals with planning the Mediterranean electricity grid.

The european transmission grid

Europe has a sophisticated electricity transmission grid. It is a “network of interconnected grids” integrating tens of thousands of localised sources throughout the continent as well as the large national energy operators.

Terna is part of ENTSO-E, the body bringing together the 43 Transmission System Operators (TSO) in 36 European countries, which at EU level, is responsible for adopting the European Network Codes on cross-border issues, the ten-year European network development plan, and the common tools for coordinating management of the grids.

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