gas-flame. energy import costs set to double

Italy’s energy import costs set to double

Business News

Italy’s net energy import costs are set to more than double this year, the economy minister said. He added the warning, Rome cannot not spend indefinitely to cushion the blow on the economy.

Italy imports three-quarters of its power consumption, leaving it in a vulnerable position during Europe’s current energy crisis.

Italy’s Economy Minister Daniele Franco, addressing the annual Ambrosetti business forum on Saturday, said Italy’s high debt reduced its room for manoeuvre going forward. “To keep offsetting, at least in part, rising energy prices through public finances is very costly and we could never do enough,” he said.

Franco said it was key to address the functioning of Europe’s energy market. Currently,  soaring gas prices amid shrinking Russian exports have driven power prices higher.

“What matters is to bring the price of gas and energy back to sustainable levels,” Franco said.

However, measures to help firms and consumers cope with high energy bills will be approved next week, Franco said.

Speaking at the same conference on Saturday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said it was necessary to severe any links between the price of gas and that of electricity, moving to “a total decoupling” of gas and power prices.

Italy’s import costs in 2021

Italy’s net energy imports cost €43 billion in 2021. This was more or less in line with previous years excluding 2020 which the pandemic affected, Franco said.

The prediction is that, in 2022, energy import costs will rise to around €60 billion. This is approximately 3% of GDP. Franco warned it will wipe out any net surplus in exchanges with the rest of the world Italy recorded in recent years. “We are transferring abroad a significant part of our purchasing power,” he added.

Leave a Reply