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Physical energy flows (Pefa) - Years 2008-2019

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On January 21st 2022, Istat releases the time series 2008-2019 on Physical Energy Flow Accounts (Pefa) of Italian economy, expressed in terajoule (tj), on I.Stat data warehouse, in “National Accounts” theme, “Environmental Accounts” sub-theme, “Physical Energy Flow Accounts (PEFA)” section.

Pefa allows analyzing in detail the energy metabolism of the socio-economic system and the interactions between natural system and anthropic system regarding supply, transformation and use of energy. It provides a complete representation (consistent with the system of national economic accounts) of energy flowing from environment to economy, within the economy and from economy to environment.

Compared to the previous edition, data for the years 2017 and 2018 have been updated and 2019 energy flows have been added.

In 2019 the energy flowing into the national economy amounted to 8.4 million terajoules (0.6% less than in 2018), of which 16.0% is made up of energy withdrawals from the Italian natural environment (1.4% less than the previous year) and 84.0% from imports of energy products (0.4% less than in 2018). On the other hand, the energy flowing out the national economic system is 8.1 million terajoules (1.0% less than in 2018) of which 17.5% is made up of exports of energy products (4.9% less than in 2018) and 82.5% from returns to the natural environment in the form of degraded and no longer usable energy (-0.2%). The difference between the flows of energy into and out of the national economy represents the net accumulation of energy in the economic system.

The total energy consumption of the resident units (Net domestic energy use – NDEU) in 2019 was 7.0 million terajoules (0.6% less than in 2018):

  • 31.2% is attributable to households (for own account transport, heating and cooling, hot water and kitchen use, lighting and household appliances) and the remaining part to production activities;
  • 4.2% derives from non-energy uses (Net domestic energy use for non-energy purposes – NDEU_non energy); it is energy used to produce non-energy products (e.g plastic, bitumen) or to lubricate gears;
  • 16.4% comes from renewable energy sources, but only 12.6% can be considered “modern” renewable consumption (considering only consumption for energy purposes – NDEU_energy – these percentages rise to 17.1% and 13.2% respectively);
  • 85.2% depends on combustion processes (air emission-relevant use of energy flows).

Pefa data are – by construction – comparable with economic data of National Accounts, resulting particularly suitable to using in integrated environmental and economic analysis. In 2019, the “Energy intensity of GDP” indicator (calculated as ratio between NDEU_energy and GDP) decreased by 0.6% compared to 2018, reaching 3.9 terajoules per million euro of GDP (in chain linked values with reference year 2015).

For information:

Giusy Vetrella
Ph. +39 06 4673 3236

Silvia Zannoni
Ph. +39. 06 4673 3109

Reference period: Years 2008-2019

Date of Issue: 21 January 2022


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