Through the use of funds from the EU’s REPowerEU initiative, Italy seeks to establish itself as an energy hub for the bloc.
What are REpowerEU, Next GenerationEU, and ETS?
REPowerEU aims to end the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and addresses the growing climate crisis through its budget of about €300 billion ($321.36 billion). Additionally, NextGenerationEU provides €225 billion in loans, with the EU Commission proposing an additional €20 billion in grants from the sale of EU Emission Trading System allowances (ETS). ETS was launched in 2005 with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; it compels power companies and manufacturers to buy permits covering each tonne of carbon dioxide that they emit.
Italy Seeks to Strengthen Relations with Africa
PM Meloni has also held various meetings with relevant ministers and energy company CEOs from Eni, Enel, Snam, and Terna, to discuss the need for cooperation with Africa to secure energy supplies. The CEO of Snam has already told the media that he would be seeking €2.5 billion in EU funding to boost the capacity of the company’s domestic network. There are also plans to use REPower EU funds to build the SoutH2 Corridor, a link that would transport hydrogen from North Africa to Northern Europe. During a visit to Algeria in January, a delegation led by Meloni signed agreements, including an increase in energy transportation to Italy and the construction of a new gas pipeline that would facilitate hydrogen transportation.
Italy’s government aims to complete negotiations with Brussels regarding its proposed EU spending by the end of April.