White certificates: the effects of the 2021 guidelines

The paper presented at the 2022 ECEEE summer study international conference on white certificates. It follows previous works available on this website and aims to summarising the effects of the 2021 guidelines on the scheme. Why am I publishing it on my blog after one year? Well, I was too busy to do it last June and then I forgot… Better late than never, and in any case not much has changed in the meantime. 2022 has not been a good year for white certificates. 2023 will perhaps get some better, judging by the first six months. But this will be… in a future paper! 😉

The Italian White Certificates scheme (WhC) was introduced in 2001 and has been effectively working since 2005. It has been characterised by the coverage of all sectors and energy efficiency solutions, and many flexibility options in place (e.g. non-obliged – a.k.a eligible – parties, tradable market for white certificates, bankability, flexibility on obliged parties targets, etc.).

With more than 29 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) of energy savings cumulated by the end of 2021, it has considerably contributed to the national energy efficiency targets.

The scheme has undergone important changes first in 2012, then in 2017, both for the targets and the operating guidelines. These modifications, combined with energy market developments, resulted in a reduced capability of producing the expected certificates and in an increasingly shorter WhC market that resulted in rising prices, thus putting at risk both the compliance with the targets and the operation of the scheme itself.

For this reason, a deep revision of the scheme was introduced in 2021, trying to solve and overcome the risk of collapse and to relaunch the scheme in accordance with the National Energy and Climate Plan.

The paper will illustrate the main changes of the scheme guidelines, the reason why they were adopted, and the first results of their application over one year from their introduction.

So, what do you think? What have been the effects of the 2021 guidelines on the scheme? Will it come back to its former glory?