Energy efficiency and the environment
Aware of the impact that our activities have on the territory, we carry out our work with the utmost respect for the environment and natural resources.
We have adopted a responsible and transparent business approach with the aim of growing the company and the territory together, efficiently managing energy and natural resources, containing the environmental impact of our infrastructure and taking care of our people and, more generally, our stakeholders.
To this end, we have formalized our commitments and objectives in the HSEQE Policy of Italgas Reti, and we have equipped ourselves with the most advanced management systems, certified according to international standards, for health, safety, environmental and energy efficiency aspects.
In addition, to further reduce the socio-environmental impacts of the business, we conduct constant research and technological innovation and promote actions and projects for the energy efficiency of processes, the improvement of plant safety conditions and the environmental recovery of the former production sites of the manufactured gas.
In recent years we have also invested in energy efficiency projects which, thanks to the acquisition of Seaside, one of the largest Italian Energy Service Companies , have allowed us to find technologically advanced solutions for the increasingly efficient management of infrastructures, processes and services.
One of the most significant environmental impacts for us are the emissions into the atmosphere deriving from combustion processes, from releases from natural gas networks and from the use of the company fleet: we have worked hard to ensure that in the last year a strong impulse was given to the project to convert the car fleet to methane in its entirety.
Atmospheric emissions and energy efficiency
Among the various objectives of respect and promotion of environmental protection, the containment of energy consumption and the reduction of the carbon footprint represent two of the most important targets together with the improvement of energy efficiency. That is why over the next few years we will install efficient systems that will reduce energy consumption in the gas preheating phase and we will evaluate the opportunity to install low energy consumption luminaires (LED) in buildings and cabins.
A further 38 preheating consumption optimisation systems were installed during 2019. These systems allow significant reductions in preheating consumption compared to a standard configuration, allowing real-time control of the right amount of energy transferred, in the unit of time, to natural gas, with a decrease in total gas consumption for preheating of about 3 % compared to 2018, considering only the perimeter of Italgas Reti.
In addition, also during 2019, a first phase of experimentation was completed, on 100 PODs, of data-loggers that, exploiting the repetition of the light pulse (led) present on electricity meters, record consumption data and transmit them to a platform for further processing.
At the same time we will be replacing the cast iron pipes with leaded hemp joints, which in addition to increasing safety levels also helps to reduce gas releases into the atmosphere.
In general, on the ground, for the next two years, we will be engaged in the gas advocacy project to increase the number of redelivery points in areas that still use LPG or other fuels. And thus also sign important partnerships to develop new uses of gas.
During 2019, work began on the conversion to natural gas of 30 distribution networks currently operated in LPG, 13 of which have already been completed. For the same energy used, the carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of natural gas is 15% less than LPG. In addition, we replaced 18.2 km of net with lead hemp joints.
Our main energy consumption - mainly natural gas, followed by electricity and diesel oil - is related to industrial processes, while a smaller part is related to the use of the company car fleet by employees and the procured.Energy consumption was 572.13 TJ in 2019. The figure shows a slight increase compared to 2018, mainly due to a widening of the company perimeter. In particular, Medea's consumption increased as in 2019 the Company acquired the networks of 26 other municipalities including Cagliari, Nuoro and Oristano. Of note is the reduction in direct electricity consumption, partly due to the complete migration of our infrastructure and application map to the Cloud.
New methodology for calculating the natural gas emissions
Italgas has defined a new methodology for calculating the natural gas emissions from the distribution systems, on the basis of data collected from the gas leakage surveys performed by using the Picarro “Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy” technology (CRDS), which represents a more solid and robust evolution approach compared to the parametric estimate of the emissions - previously used - both from an application and calculation point of view. For the first time an instrumental method has been used by the company.
The emergence of the Coronavirus pandemia and the subsequent lockdown did not allow the company to complete the calculations on time for the publication of the Non Financial Declaration, therefore the subsequent update.
The method is based on the assessment of the flow rate associated to each “fugitive” gas leak, as a result of thorough analysis of big data collected from the gas leakage surveys performed on the networks by applying the technology of laser spectography (CRDS).
The accuracy and solidity the above-mentioned method are guaranteed by the ability of:
- classifying and accurately locating both the most significant and representative gas emission sources on the networks (super emitters) and the residual ones;
- quantifying the expected benefits/improvements, following well defined network maintenance initiatives;
- prioritizing the most effective network replacement programs, aimed at reducing the emissions of natural gas and achieving the most appropriate cost/benefit balance.
The data obtained with the CRDS method relative to methane (CH4) is reparametrized to natural gas in order to calculate emissions increasing by 9% as the natural gas distributed in Italy contains on average 91% of methane (CH4).
To obtain a value as much as complete as possible, gas leaks reported by third parties were also considered, considering the average daily volume of emissions as defined by the CRDS method, and the maximum time occurred for the breakdown maintenance of 48 hours.
By extrapolating the results obtained on the km under investigation by Picarro, considering the actual repair dates, the overall emissions of the Italgas Group in 2019 amounted to 8 million Sm3, bringing the gas leakage rate (defined as the total natural gas emission divided by the gas delivered to customers) at 0.09%.
 For the LPG networks of Medea S.p.A. it is not possible to use the CRDS method as this method, so far, is suitable only for the CH4. Therefore, the parametric method for natural gas was applied, based on a study commissioned by Italgas Reti to an external company.
In line with the development and implementation of the main programmes for curbing energy consumption and emissions, past year we have launched two major plans:
a plan to convert the distribution networks currently based on LPG to natural gas, involving the conversion of a total 76 km of network by the end of 2020;
the plan, today completely realized, to totally renew by early 2019 the company fleet with methane-powered vehicles and install charger columns at company offices.
Energy efficiency: what the regulations demand
By Decree dated 11 January 2017, the Ministry for Economic Development reiterated that all electricity and natural gas distributors with at least 50,000 end customers connected to their distribution network are obliged to achieve certain energy saving targets for the years 2017-2020.
Through subsidiaries or companies operating in the energy services sector, the distributors can then directly implement projects to the benefit of end users that improve the energy efficiency of installed technologies or related usage practices, or to purchase Energy Efficiency Certificates (EECs) - also known as white certificates - from third parties, confirming the achievement of energy savings and issued by the Energy Market Operator (GME) to companies operating in the energy services sector, based on savings achieved and reported to the GME by the Energy Services Operator (GSE).
The most important impact in terms of waste is related to the remediation, environmental restoration and monitoring of disused sites, and in the next two years, also to the virtuous disposal of the mechanical meters replaced by smart meters.
In the long term, over the next five years we will develop the most useful and sustainable approach to managing the end of life of smart meters themselves.
In 2019 waste generated from production activities amounted to 674 tonnes, of which about 647 tonnes was disposed of during the year, 99% of which was non-hazardous. This type of waste is composed partly of mechanical meters, subject to a massive replacement campaign, and partly of material resulting from the excavation activities carried out by the recently incorporated companies (Acam Gas, SGS) before their merger and the verification of the correct laying of the nets.
ultimo aggiornamento 25 August 2020 03:51 UTC