Chapter 7: The fuzzy Europeanization of the Italian renewable energy policy: the paradox of meeting targets without strategic capacity
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The Europeanization of Italian energy policy, especially concerning renewable energy policy, is a rather unexplored field. The stream of literature addressing the Italian case concerning renewable energy sources (RES) focused on the efficiency of supporting instruments, but barely on the European Union (EU) impact on national energy politics and policies. This chapter attempts to fill this gap. It focuses on the policy and regulatory framework and incentives in the fields of RES for electricity (RES-E) and RES for transport (RES-T) in Italy, and analyses the changes in national policy induced by Europeanization processes (both top-down and horizontal). The authors claim that the ‘goodness of fit’ hypothesis is only in parts suitable to comprehend the developments in the RES-E and RES-T policy, and that the causes for absence of change (as in the case of biofuels) result from actors’ preferences rather than from the incapability of structures to adjust. The case of Italy seems to underline that EU renewable energy policy can provide a model around which to redesign a domestic policy, but that for this to take place, major actors able to exploit adaptational pressures or willing to learn from best cases are necessary. The EU target for Italy sets the objective of covering 17 per cent of total energy demand from RES by 2020. This target was met in 2014 in spite of a discontinuous, incoherent energy, technology and industrial policy. Does such an achievement demonstrate that it is possible to attain European agreed targets even without attempting to upload policies linked to national policy preferences or by transposing EU legislation in a timely way? The authors try to get to the bottom of these questions and analyse how and why this result was attainable. Keywords: biofuels policy, Europeanization, Italy, renewable electricity policy, renewable energy policy, regulation

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