ROME (UrduPoint News/Sputnik – July 12, 2022) The Italian cabinet plans to mitigate the consequences of a potential Russian gas supply shutdown by reinvigorating coal-fired power plants and limiting the use of public lighting , Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported on Monday.
According to the newspaper, Italy remains at the first of three levels of gas emergency. In late June, Italy’s Environmental Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said there was no need for the country to raise its level of preparedness from “danger alert”.
Meanwhile, the emergency plan of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet foresees that the coal-fired power plants still in operation, which were due to be closed by 2025, will increase electricity production. In particular, six power plants have already been put into operation in recent weeks, covering 8% of the country’s electricity demand, double the average of recent days, La Repubblica said.
Since the potential shutdown of Russian gas supplies would threaten to disrupt electricity supplies to energy-intensive industries, such as cement and steel plants, glass and ceramics factories, and to tap into strategic fuel reserves, the plan calls for introducing electricity savings by reducing the use of street lighting.
The firm’s plan includes the cut-off of public lighting and the duration of illumination for historic buildings and monuments. In addition, Italian authorities are ready to extend the temperature regime already in place for the public to residential areas and private offices, the newspaper added.
Since May 1, civil servants, civil servants, students and staff of educational institutions are not allowed to use the air conditioner when the temperature inside the building is above 27 degrees Celsius. In winter, the heater will only be turned on if the temperature is below 19 degrees Celsius.
After the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the Italian government pledged to eliminate the country’s dependence on imports of Russian natural gas. Addressing the national parliament in May, Draghi confirmed his intention to gain independence from Russian gas supplies in the second half of 2024.