WEC: Enel head urges Italy permit process revamp

Italy's permitting process for gas pipelines and regasification terminals must be radically revamped so combined cycle gas turbines and other projects can be built on time to meet demand, said the head of Enel Nov. 15 at the World Energy Congress in Rome.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

ROME, Nov. 19 -- Italy's permitting process for gas pipelines and regasification terminals must be radically revamped so combined cycle gas turbines and other projects can be built on time to meet demand, said the head of Enel Nov. 15 at the World Energy Congress in Rome.

Enel Cheif Executive Fulvio Conti criticized the lead waiting time to develop projects in Italy. "The authorization process should be reviewed in Italy to bring it at least to the level of neighboring countries," he urged.

Conti stressed that nuclear power is essential in the energy mix to ensure supply security, echoing sentiments made earlier in the week by Eni chief Paolo Scaroni (OGJ Online, Nov. 12, 2007). "In the Italian mix there is no nuclear, abandoned in 1987, very little coal, way too much gas, and a renewable production in line with the EU's average," Conti said, adding that Italy's approach was behind its European neighbors.

To boost security of supply, Enel's approach is to achieve vertical integration with gas production and long-term coal supplies.

Italy should emulate Germany, he suggested, because Germany has invested heavily in renewables and would increase coal production and keep its nuclear base.

Conti criticized Kyoto as "ineffective" because subscribers have failed to reach their reduction target. "Therefore, even a full achievement of Kyoto targets will produce a mere 1.5% reduction of global emissions. Much ado about nothing."

Investment in renewables, carbon capture, and technology to promote energy efficiency are necessary if European energy policy is to create a truly liberalized power market, Conti said.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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