“System transformations require an increasingly intelligent network in which speed and execution become a key element. Hence the decision to invest in this field an amount of 700 million out of the 6.2 billion provided for by the plan, which, not by chance, also provides for the creation and opening of 8 innovation hubs in the sites where we are already present.
“These are the words of Luigi Ferraris, who has been Terna‘s CEO and General Manager since 2017. In a recent interview with “Il Sole 24 Ore”, Mr. Ferraris commented on the ambitious project of his company: a plan involving over 6 billion that, in the next five years, aims to further strengthen the electricity grid of the peninsula, which wants to reach the target of covering almost 60% of electricity production with renewable energy by 2030. Italy is hoping to become Europe’s “electrical hub”.
“Our role will be even more crucial. There is a strong focus on the network and this considerable amount of investments, with an annual commitment of 1.2 billion, which also results in 15 thousand new direct and indirect jobs for the national economy, is driven by the current transformation.”
The change that has taken place in recent years is clear: the increasingly sharp growth of renewables and the decline in thermoelectric capacity have inevitably led to problematic issues in terms of dependence on imports and need to manage the capacity of renewable energy in excess, which must be stored to be used at a later time. In this sense, Terna has already identified five lines of action based on “capacity market”, long-term purchase agreements (Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs), development of storage capacity and digitization, in order to pass “from the logic of watts to that of bytes“. Another fundamental element is represented by interconnections with foreign countries: Luigi Ferraris confirmed that the cable with Montenegro will be operational by the end of 2019, while that with France will be launched at the middle of next year. There is also the cable with Tunisia, a real “bridge” to North Africa.
“We carefully monitor all opportunities that may arise and that involve low risk profiles and low disbursements“, Terna’s CEO and General Manager said. “Our plan provides for 300 million investments for further cross-border initiatives that are essentially focused on Latin America, but we are ready to consider any opportunities for development elsewhere, starting with Africa, perhaps in partnership with other players.“