If you look at the economic convenience over the entire useful life (ie on the basis of the average cost of the kWh saved or produced), almost all solutions and technologies forenergy efficiency (except for glass closures and opaque surfaces) appear to be economically sustainable in all areas of application even in the absence of incentives.
If, on the other hand, we look at the pay-back time of investments in energy efficiency, which represents the indicator most taken into consideration, it is on average well above the threshold values considered acceptable by the investors themselves (1-2 years in the industrial sector; 2-3, 5 years in the tertiary sector; 4-6 years in the residential sector ).
This is what the results of the third Energy Efficiency Report show, the report on the prospects ofenergy efficiency in Italy, created by the Energy Group of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano. The report analyzes the technological maturity of the main families of solutions forenergy efficiency adoptable in different areas (residential, industrial and services), estimating the economic convenience of adoption and the relative market potential in 2020 ..
Only a limited number of technologies forenergy efficiency achieves economic convenience in pay-back time in the absence of incentives: lighting, compressed air, inverters, UPS and energy management systems in the industrial sector; lighting, inverters, building automation systems and UPS in the residential and tertiary sector.
The impact of the incentive schemes on the return on investments is also, in most cases, not sufficient to make those technologies for theenergy efficiency which in themselves are not, with the exception of cogeneration in the industrial sector and electric motors in the other sectors.
For the calculation of the economic convenience of the solutions forenergy efficiency the average cost necessary over the entire useful life of each technology to save or produce (through an efficient technology) a single electrical or thermal kWh was considered, to be compared with the avoided cost of procurement from the electricity or gas grid and the time pay-back, to be compared with a variable threshold value depending on the area of application considered (residential, industrial, tertiary)
Moving on from solutions forenergy efficiency to the achievable savings, the report of the Politecnico di Milano shows that the potential reduction in energy consumption between now and 2020 in Italy is equal to 297 TWh / year. However, the goal that is believed to be achieved in Italy between now and 2020 is in the order of 96TWh, or one third of what is theoretically available.
The sector associated with the greatest savings achievable through the application of technologies forenergy efficiency is the residential one (54% of the global potential), while the technologies associated with the greatest expected energy saving potential are cogeneration and lighting in the industrial sector, heat pumps and opaque surfaces in the residential sector, cogeneration and heat pumps in the other sectors.