Regional Energy Reports highlights_FVG

Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy)

In Friuli Venezia Giulia there is a high dependence on fossil fuels import but 16% is covered by renewables, in large part local - PROSPECT2030 will help lead public authorities in the low-carbon path

Friuli Venezia Giulia in the north-east of Italy includes a little yet diversified area stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the Alps.

Only three cities have more than 50.000 inhabitants, with Trieste – the biggest – reaching more than 100.000 inhabitants. The main characteristic of the settlements is the small-village-type: almost half of the municipalities are inhabited by 1.000 to 5.000 inhabitants. The population has remained fairly stable during the last 20 years due to positive net migration flows, even if there has been a slow decline in the last few years. The most marginal areas are recording a continuous migratory flow towards the more urbanized areas. Considering economic indicators, the regional contribution to national GDP is 2.2%.


In the transport sector there is a very high dependence on fossil fuels. The transport infrastructure is very developed concerning road transport, while some territorial areas, especially in more marginal sites, suffer from reduced access to rail transport services. Three harbours serve the region, with Trieste first in Italy for freight traffic. The sector still finds difficulties to perform a transition to less impacting sources and electrification, except for rail transport, it is not so exploited for passenger transport even for long-established commuting routes. Energy infrastructures are highly developed considering electricity, while the infrastructure for transporting natural gas, which serves the great part of the region, does not reach all the municipalities yet, mainly excluding few areas with low population density especially in the mountains.

The analysis of the regional energy demand highlights a high dependence on fossil fuels import with high share of natural gas in all sectors and petrol products in the transport sectors. RES presents a share in final energy consumption of 12% mainly due to hydropower production and thermal contribution of biomasses and derived heat.

Concerning electricity production, the region has a highly developed electricity generation park, and cover all its electricity demand. The greatest contribution is given by natural gas thermoelectric plants operating in cogeneration, while the other sources used, in order of importance, are liquid fossil fuels, hydropower, solar, biogas and liquid biomasses. Renewables account for about 25% of the total electricity production.

Electricity generation from RES is developed thanks to the historical hydroelectric sector, while in recent years from 2008 onwards there has been an increasing percentage of generation from photovoltaic, biogas and biomass.

Thermal energy demand of the residential sector is mainly covered by natural gas. However, wood biomasses  - a traditional energy source in the alpine areas for domestic heating - are widely used and there is an increasing number of small district heating networks in rural areas supplied with local woodchips. Supply in the flatland comes from the by-products of the strong furniture industry, aggregated in two industrial districts, which is among the most developed in Italy and, only in second place, by local woods. There is only one big district heating network based on CCHP (Combined Cooling, Heat and Power) in the urban area of Udine supplied with natural gas and liquid biomasses.

The regional emission of CO2 is estimated in 8.4 Mt/year mainly due to the industrial sector (39%) followed by transport and residential sectors (22%), service sector (16%) and agriculture sector (1%). The regional industrial sector is among the most energy intensive in Italy and it is largely responsible for CO2 emissions. Intervention in this sector is not easy, since activities are well spread in all fields and require specific evaluations. The residential sector requires energy retrofit actions due to the reduced energy performance of the regional building stock: there’s a large potential for renovation and energy efficiency opportunities to exploit.

In addition to the growing demand for reduction of CO2 global emissions, climate change scenarios represent a major challenge for the future of wide areas of the region. Consequently, beside climate mitigation, climate adaptation will be the other major driver in setting sustainable development policies