“It will take years, even decades, to produce more gas in Italy. And the experience of the last 20-30 years proves it to us”. The president of the energy consulting firm Nomisma Energia, Davide Tabarelli, spoke about the debate around gas extraction in Italy, which exploded in these hours after the publication of Pitesai by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. The map, blocked for about 3 years, identifies the points of the national territory where it will be possible to start the research and the cultivation of hydrocarbons. The possibility of gas energy independence has stirred the spirits of certain political parties, which see in the multiplication of drilling a solution to the crisis of recent months. Tabarelli, however, pointed out that in 2021 national gas production reached its lowest level since 1954. 3 billion cubic meters. Italy, he explains, reached its peak of production in 1991 with 21 billion cubic metersi, and now we could reach the figure of 6maximum 10 billion cubic meters per year. The expected increase in production would not serve, for Tabarelli, to achieve the objective of collapsing prices, which are currently determined at European level. While defining Pitesai as “a monster against energy policy”, he recognizes potentially positive sides: “it is a crime to leave billions of euros of unexploited gas underground which could make our GDP”, he says. “Certainly, this crisis, once over, will leave scars and different negotiations will also be necessary with Russia. And it wouldn’t be bad to also have an all-Italian spot market”.
The real solution? “Consume less”
Overall, for Tabarelli the only solution to stem the crisis is only one: “Consume less”. Also because the bet of renewable energies is still far from being won: “40 years have passed, but even today hydraulics, photovoltaics and wind power cover the 5% of national energy demand, the 16% per cent of production”. Despite a stronger political will than before, “the times will still be long”.