Annual statistical report on electricity in Italy

L’annuario statistico di Terna è uno strumento utile per rispondere ad alcune domande sull’energia elettrica in Italia: da quali fonti è prodotta, chi la consuma, come cambia la domanda?

Terna’s Statistics Office has issued its most important official publication: the Annual Statistical Report for 2018 containing data on electricity in Italy.

What sources are used to produce electricity and who consumes it? How has the demand for electricity grown over the year? Which months had the highest energy requirements? These are just some of the questions whose answers can be found in the annual report’s more than two hundred pages, crammed full of numbers and data.

The document is particularly important in the context of the European Statistical System, in which Terna’s Statistics Office plays a key role in satisfying statistical information needs, both in Europe and internationally. In fact, these are the data used by the most important databases and statistical institutions in Europe (Eurostat) and in Italy (ISTAT) to compile official statistics and compare consumption and production between different countries.

The process of drawing up the annual report, which includes the intermediate milestone of publishing provisional operational data, has now reached completion after careful verification and processing of the data.

From a macroeconomic perspective, electricity consumption has been affected by the 2018 global slowdown in trade (in terms of trade volumes, there was an increase of 3.3% compared to 4.7% in 2017), as well as the resulting stagnation of growth in Italy (gross domestic product grew by 0.9% compared to 1.7% in 2017).

Percentage change in global trade volume and Italian GDP

Electricity requirements remained largely unchanged: in 2018 they represented 321.4 billion kWh, an increase of only 0.3% over 2017. An ever-growing share of this need (13.7%, or 43.9 billion kWh) was met by net imports from other countries, which increased by 16.3% this year. Nor did energy consumption in 2018 vary significantly: growing by just 0.5% for an overall total of 303.4 billion kWh.

During the year, July was the month in which the highest energy requirements were recorded, although the maximum electricity demand on the electricity system occurred on 1 August at 3.00 p.m., at 57,769 MW.

Monthly energy requirement trends (processing of Terna data)

However, the most interesting data are those broken down in relation to energy generation, which back up the provisional data and confirm the ever-decreasing reliance of the Italian system on non-renewable energy sources. In fact, the importance of production from thermal sources to net national production decreased to 65.9% (from 70.2% in 2017), along with a consistent increase in hydroelectric production (+32.9%).

Hence, generation from renewable sources (bioenergy, hydroelectric, wind, photovoltaic and geothermal) increased in the amount of 10.1%, for a total of 114.4 billion kWh and a 3.2% increase in its share of domestic consumption.

However, while hydroelectric sources are growing, the others are in slight decline: photovoltaic sources are down 7.1%, geothermal sources down 1.5% and bioenergy sources down 1.2% compared to 2017, while wind sources remain stable at +0.1%.

Changes in energy generation from various renewable and non-renewable sources (processing of Terna data)