“The automotive industry is a fundamental and strategic sector for Emilia Romagna: it accounts for a significant share of exports and is a world-class region. Silk-Faw's decision to come here to produce its electric jewel, Hongqi S9, proves it. The Region will therefore do everything it can to promote the development of this heritage, also on the new sustainability and electric mobility frontier. Our aim is to make substantial investments, particularly in research and innovation, energy transition and the digitalisation of businesses and the components supply chain.” These were the words of Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, speaking at Rimini Expo Centre on the second day of IEG's Ecomondo - Key Energy shows during the "E-Valley, electrical transition in the Land of Motors" conference. The conference, organised by Vaielettrico and MOTUS-E with the contribution of Italian Exhibition Group, was opened by Professor Giorgio Prodi from the Department of Economics and Management at Ferrara University reporting on the state of the art of the Emilia-Romagna automotive supply chain in the transition from Motor Valley to E-Valley. “There are very positive and interesting signs," he said, "The transition is very fast and there is a need for new talent. The quality of skills is not a problem because there is no shortage of that.. But there is a need for quantity because many small companies, start-ups and large groups are now looking for more engineers, more technicians. And all very quickly.” Moderated by the co-founder of Vaielettrico, Mauro Tedeschini, and the secretary of MOTUS-E, Francesco Naso, the question was then discussed by Fabrizia Vigo, Head of Institutional Relations at ANFIA; Fabio Storchi, President of Unindustria Reggio Emilia; Roberto Fedeli, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Silk-Faw; Marco Righi, CEO and Founder of Flash Battery; Massimo Ponzio, founder of Atop and Honorary President of Atop-Ima; Giuseppe Corcione, CEO of Reinova; Gianfranco Pizzuto, founder of Estrema Fulminea and Paolo Ghinolfi, CEO of SIFÁ. In the afternoon Andrea Prandi, co-founder of Vaielettrico and founder of SmartItaly, presented the book "Volti e storie della E-Valley" (E-Valley Faces and Stories) compiled by Vaielettrico.it editorial staff with the contribution of BPER Banca and SIFA'. Paolo Cerruti, Head of BPER Banca's Regional Head Office for Romagna, then presented awards to the four "E-Valley Pioneers": Livia Cevolini, CEO and Founder of Energica Motor Company, Erik Tazzari, CEO and founder of Tazzari EV, Giuseppina Gualtieri, President of TPER and promoter of Corrente, the electric car sharing scheme, and Youtuber and influencer Matteo Valenza. In a second debate entitled "New talents for the E-Valley", organised in collaboration with Randstad HR Solutions, Vincenzo Colla, Regional Councillor for Development and Training, announced the Region’s plan to bring the best brains back home and prevent others from leaving. He then pointed out the excellent quality of Emilia-Romagna's universities and promised them maximum support in developing training plans in the field of electric mobility. But equally important, he added, is technical training, for which he pledged to boost teaching in higher technical institutes. In the debate that followed, moderated by Vaielettrico co-founder Massimo Degli Esposti, speakers included Francesco Leali, from Unimore’s Enzo Ferrari Engineering Department and lecturer at Muner (Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna); Professor Claudio Rossi, promoter of Unibo's Onda Solare project; Luca Di Silvio, sales area manager at Manz Italy; Sonia Bonfiglioli, President of Bonfiglioli Group and Vice-President of Confindustria Emilia Area Centro; Fabio Costantini, CEO at Randstad HR Solutions; Professor Claudio Cavallotto, promoter of the "E-mobility" network among schools for teaching sustainable mobility; Francesco Possati, member of the Board of Directors at Marposs Group. In a video message, the Minister for Education, Patrizio Bianchi, reiterated the analyses of Prodi and Colla: "The speed of change and depth of the transformation,” he said, “call for a paradigm shift in the education system. We need different skills across several sectors in order to keep pace with the ongoing innovation. Applying consolidated knowledge is not enough.” AFRICA'S RACE FOR RENEWABLES. MOROCCO AND SOUTH AFRICA AT THE FOREFRONT Electrification in sub-Saharan Africa is not keeping pace with population growth; 80% of businesses in subSaharan Africa suffer from frequent power outages ranging from 15 to more than 60 hours per month in many countries, leading to annual economic losses for many sub-Saharan African companies accounting for an average of 8% of total turnover. Hence the urgent need for all the continent to foster the development of renewable energies, which currently amount to only 2% of total renewable energy installations. The topic was the focus of the international meeting entitled "Africa Green Growth", held in the morning at Rimini Expo Centre and organised by Res4Africa in collaboration with Ecomondo and Key Energy’s technical-scientific committees. Participants included Beatrice Cyiza from the Rwandan Ministry for the Environment, Benattou Ziane from the Algerian Ministry for Energy, and Saïd Mouline from the Moroccan Energy Agency. Africa has abundant renewable energy resources: bioenergy, hydro-electric power, solar and wind energy account for most of the resources. This potential renewable electricity capacity could generate up to 24 000 TWh of electricity a year: this is almost 90% of the world's electricity production in 2018 and more than 26 times Africa's electricity generation. The most advanced areas include North and South Africa, which together account for half of the production total. Among the most promising countries - it was said - are South Africa and Morocco. But there are also successful case histories in Tunisia and Egypt. The latter, in particular, has taken a pioneering role in the transition to renewable energies, aiming to reach at least 52% of installed capacity from renewables by 2030. This year, the Moroccan Ministry of Energy signed an agreement with Res4Med to strengthen cooperation on key initiatives, including the promotion of Renewable Energy Certificates, identified by the parties as a priority action to be supported for full development. FIT FOR 55, ELETTRICITA’ FUTURA, THE EUROPEAN SITUATION "The European Commission intends to allocate 37% of Next Generation EU’s 750 billion euros to achieving the Green Deal target. Accordingly, it presented the Fit for 55 Package, creating the conditions for achieving the 55% CO2 reduction target by 2030". These were the words of Agostino Re Rebaudengo, President of Elettricità Futura, at the opening of The Fit for 55 Package and the European strategy for decarbonisation event organised by Elettricità Futura at Key Energy, during which various European organisations within the sector, such as EASE, Eurelectric, SolarPower Europe, WindEurope and Utilitalia, intervened. "At a time when rising fossil fuel prices are causing concern, it is extremely clear that the benefits of decarbonisation go far beyond the need to respond to climate change and extend to the stability and cost competitiveness of energy supply. The shift to renewables is the most effective structural solution to escape from the loop of rising electricity prices, as the European Commission has also highlighted," Agostino Re Rebaudengo added. With its decarbonisation strategy, Europe has launched a call to Italy: is our country ready to respond? At the event, Stefano Grassi, Head of Cabinet for Europe’s Energy Commissioner, and Roberta Valenziani, Head of General Affairs and Marketing at Elettricità Futura, discussed the opportunities and the barriers still to be overcome to achieve the 2030 energy and climate targets. The debate took a close look at the measures of the Fit for 55 Package that will be subject to negotiation between the Member States. Among the most relevant measures for energy transition are the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the revision of the ETS Directive, the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Directives and the Energy Products Taxation Directive. In terms of transport decarbonisation, the Package indicates that new cars should be zero-emission as of 2035. Thanks to the fruitful and constant collaboration between Elettricità Futura and the European energy sector Associations, it was possible to bring together EASE, Eurelectric, SolarPower Europe, WindEurope and Utilitalia at the event in a real confrontation between Italy and Europe on the Fit for 55 Package, twelve measures that will lead to a profound revision of the European Union's policies. ANEV: ITALY FINALLY SEIZES THE OPPORTUNITY OF OFFSHORE WIND POWER Offshore wind is an opportunity for our country that has finally been seized with the onset of initiatives. This is what emerged from the conference organised by ANEV as part of Key Wind at Rimini Expo Centre, where ANEV conferences, firstly on the theme of offshore wind, with a panel of experts and attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, Vannia Gava, were held, The afternoon then saw a conference on the theme of digitalisation as an ecological transition driver, followed by the ceremony for the ANEV "Wind Energy" Journalism Awards dedicated to Giuseppe Pasqualicchio. Five finalists for each of the competition’s five categories: Daniela Passeri (il manifesto); Thomas Rolfi (radio 24); Lamberto Rinaldi (ilnuovomagazine.com); Salvatore Pizzo (corrierediaversaegiugliano.it) and Pierluigi Melillo (ottochannel.tv). "After almost two years of pandemic and one year of entirely on-line exhibitions, it is finally possible to hold KeyWind activities in physical form," commented President Togni, stressing the importance of this historical phase for the green economy sector. "It is a sign of the country's recovery and of the fact that the renewable and wind energy sectors are ready to accept the ecological transition challenge. However, as we have said at other meetings, we need a clear regulatory framework and concrete simplification to overcome delays and conflicts between centres of power.” ALTHESYS: ITALY NEEDS TO TRIPLE ITS ENERGY TRANSITION EFFORTS The current surge in energy prices, mainly due to gas being three times more expensive than before the pandemic, will not put the brakes on the energy transition. On the contrary, it will help to accelerate it, despite the economic difficulties. The transformation of the energy system – that is, the spread of renewable energy sources, new technologies and policies to curb CO2 emissions - is not responsible for the increase in prices but it could help to mitigate them. This was explained by Alessandro Marangoni, CEO of Althesys, a consultancy and economic research company, and head of the Irex research team, at the conference entitled "Dealing with the energy transition", held this morning at IEG’s Key Energy show. "The push up in prices, which will translate into inflation, is already slowing the economic recovery down: industry could take the blow by halting some productions, while families are suffering from high increases in gas and electricity prices despite the Government's measures, which are effective in the short term but certainly not decisive if the crisis lasts longer." Every country is lagging behind in the transition to more sustainable energy production and consumption technologies. The EU has moved faster than the rest of the OECD countries but still needs to go 2.5 times than the past five years if it is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Italy is following the European trend although its pace has slowed recently so that it must now triple its efforts in order to reach the target, with investments estimated at € 145 billion by 2030 and a beneficial effect on GDP and employment. “The costs of the transition must be compared with those of inaction: it is important to emphasise this," Marangoni underlines. "Not facing up to the climate challenge means incurring social and economic damage that, while difficult to estimate, is certainly extremely substantial: up to 5% of GDP.” And in concluding, he added, "At the moment, the two things that need to be done with the highest priority are to increase the penetration of renewable sources in the energy mix, especially electricity, and to electrify final consumption such as mobility and heating.” Speakers at the event included Maurizio Delfanti from RSE, Matteo Forlani from Enel Green Power, Luca Bragoli from ERG, Andrea Ghiselli from EF Solare, Lorenzo Mottura from Edison, Xavier Rousseau from Snam, Carmine Scalone from Falck Renewables and Michele Zilla from Cobat. ECOHITECH AWARDS: 23RD EDITION WINNERS AWARDED Milan, Messina, Chiari, Saluzzo, Lido di Camaiore and the Emilia-Romagna Region are the "virtuous" public bodies awarded today at IEG’s Key Energy show during the 23rd edition of the Ecohitech Awards, which every year awards the most innovative and sustainable Smart City projects and intelligent solutions adopted by PAs to achieve results in environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. Promoted by LUMI, the aim of the awards is to recognise and enhance the value of those public bodies which, through innovative projects and technologies, have achieved significant results in terms of sustainability, energy savings, safety and improved services for citizens. The Ecohitech Award 2021 jury of experts elected the winners in the various categories, assessing both the innovative capacity and the social, environmental and energy benefits of the solutions and projects presented. In the energy efficiency category, the first prize was awarded to the Municipality of Chiari (BS) "for its significant investments (about 3 million euros) - thanks to the use of the Thermal Account - which led to transforming three school buildings into nZEB (near zero energy buildings), creating a new school complex with low environmental impact." Other special mentions went to the Municipality of Saluzzo, "for the broad extent of energy redevelopment work carried out"; to the Borgo Trento Hospital redevelopment project in Verona by Carbotermo, "for the energy efficiency results achieved and the trigeneration technologies adopted, which are perfectly suited to the needs of "energy-hungry" buildings such as hospitals"; to Lybra by 20energy, "for the innovative capacity of the solution, which aims to transform traffic into an energy resource"; and lastly, to P. A.S.O. by Acea, "for the value of a solution concerning the aspects of intelligent maintenance and monitoring of critical infrastructures to achieve energy efficiency." In the category dedicated to Public Administration digitalisation, a number of important prizes were awarded. First prize went to Messina Municipality’s MEsM@RT project "for creating a real 'digital ecosystem' aimed at improving the management and security of citizens and the territory." A special mention went to the Municipality of Milan and Redo for the Merezzate district “for designing a district whose cornerstones are clean energy, digitalisation, circular economy and sustainable mobility, and which has proved to have a strong social and environmental impact on the territory." Two other awards were given to the Taormina City Tech project by T.net, "for designing a smart system and network capable of enabling multiple applications, for example in mobility, but which is, above all, scalable and replicable", and to the Data Valley Bene Comune project by the Emilia-Romagna Region for "the extent of the territory's digitalisation strategy that leads towards creating a widespread regional smart land where the theme of social inclusion takes on particular importance." In the citizen services category, the first prize went to the Municipality of Milan for its Sharing Cities project with the following comment: "the prize goes to one of the best innovative urban regeneration workshops in Europe where everything takes into account environmental sustainability and citizen involvement". A special mention was also given to the Municipality of Camaiore "for the implementation of a monitoring and emergency management system that stimulates territorial resilience towards climate change." In the category for circular innovation promoted in collaboration with Torino City Lab, the first prize went to Junker, "a user-friendly solution that stimulates virtuous behaviour with a view to the circular economy and separate waste collection", while a special mention also went to Itinerant Market’s project "for the service’s local market digitalisation and sustainable delivery potential.” HYDROGEN, H2IT MEMBER COMPANIES BELIEVE IN THE SECTOR’S EXPONENTIAL GROWTH To mark its participation at Key Energy, H2IT, the Italian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, released a preview of the H2IT Observatory on the hydrogen sector in Italy. The analysis, carried out on the association’s more than 90 members that represent the entire hydrogen value chain, from production to final use, gives an optimistic picture, especially for the near future, with companies that are well aware of the obstacles but also have possible solutions. Companies have shown great resilience in a difficult moment: for 60% of the sample, turnover in 2020 from hydrogen activities alone compared to 2019 remained stable, and for about 1 in 3 (29%) it even increased. Moreover, 69% expect to end the year with a plus sign. Looking at the sector in general, for 1 in 3 companies (30%), aggregate turnover will double by 2023, generating a veritable employment revolution. However, there are still gaps to be filled: 92% of the sample believes that it is still difficult to find qualified personnel. What is needed, therefore, is more investment, more openness on the part of the financial system, more public awareness and more training. According to Alberto Dossi, President of H2IT, this optimism is "the result of signals that are, at long last, strong. However, these are not enough on their own to get a market off the ground. We need a well-defined strategy for the development of the sector that would enable investments, with a clear regulatory framework and reforms aimed at supporting the adoption of hydrogen technologies in Italy."