For Italy “it is vital to meet the challenge of energy security” as a result of our “scarce resources”, and diplomacy must “maintain stable and predictable” relations with supply and transit countries, Minister Terzi indicated in his opening speech to the Italian energy and foreign policy conference organized at the foreign ministry in Rome by ISPI and the Farefuturo Foundation.
Supply: reduced premiums on families and business
Terzi pointed out that 80% of our energy need consists of imports, and that the goal of our diplomacy was to “reduce the premiums that businesses and families pay to ensure supply continuity”. One way to do that could be, for example, by “placing Italy’s production excellence at the service of supplier countries and of the diversification of their economies”.
Preventing risk and anticipating change
Energy diplomacy, he added, must aim to “prevent risks and anticipate changes” such as rising fuel costs and the “boom in alternate sources” like shale gas. Moreover, it must be a “forerunner” by creating enduring relations with the countries from which we purchase our methane. Gas is going to be a major source of diversification – “the South Stream and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline are being developed with that in mind” – and, while Central Asian deposits “will satisfy European needs”, it is “essential that Europe take a unified stand and agree” on strategies for managing those flows.
Finally, energy security can also be ensured through the growing promotion of alternative sources, which can become “a growth factor for our businesses, which have an exceptional capacity for innovation and for proposing avant-garde solutions”. The 2015 Milan EXPO is dedicated precisely to the theme of nourishing the planet, and “will be a unique showcase” for Italian excellence, Terzi concluded.