Gas, for Cingolani Italia safe for the winter but rationing and record prices remain

What the expert says

For Italy it will be a quiet winter on the gas front, according to the outgoing Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani. The country has been “made safe”, Cingolani assured, referring to full storage. But is it enough to ensure a peaceful winter for Italy?

In reality, the situation is much more complex for at least two reasons: on the one hand because Italy cannot afford to use all stocks, affecting national reserves; on the other hand it seems inevitable that prices will remain long for the whole of next winter.

The point, as Ispi analyst Matteo Villa points out to, is that the main problem concerns the availability of gas and not just prices. Ensuring that Italy will not have problems, explains the expert, does not encourage the reduction of consumption which is instead fundamental at the moment. Both because only gas rationing can then guarantee to have sufficient stocks to face what will probably be the most difficult winter (the next one, between 2023 and 2024), and because the reduction in consumption also results in a reduction in prices.

The approach adopted by the government – and not only by the Italian one – is considered by Villa to be wrong because, by reassuring citizens and ensuring that there will be no difficulties, in fact, the problem is only postponed for a few months. The ideal solution, therefore, would be to continue explaining to citizens that the problem exists, that consumption must be reduced and that the only way to be ready for the winter of 2023/2024 is to face sacrifices now, however, immediately helping those who have difficulty paying their bills.