Terna, 10 billion in investments for the energy transition and development of the country

In line with the challenging objectives of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan and the targets of the Green Deal set at international level, which envisage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% by 2030.

Terna’s total investments in the period 2021-2025 are expected to be equal to 10 billion euros, of which 1.7 billion in 2022. Despite the further acceleration of investments to meet the needs of the system, Terna aims to preserve a solid and sustainable capital structure throughout the Plan period, with the aim of maintaining the current rating level, a net debt cost of 1.3% and a net debt / Rab ratio of approximately 60 % to 2025. This was announced by the group after the Board of Terna, which met today under the chairmanship of Valentina Bosetti, examined and approved the update of the 2021-2025 ‘Driving Energy’ Business Plan presented by the CEO Stefano Donnarumma.

With a total of € 10 billion in investments, Terna accelerates its commitment to serving the country for ecological transition, energy independence and decarbonisation, strengthening its role as director of the Italian electricity system, in line with the challenging objectives of the Plan National Integrated Energy and Climate and the Green Deal targets set internationally, which envisage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% by 2030.

The development of the 2021-25 Plan is guided by the sustainability of investments, an integral part of the process of creating value for the company and benefits for the system and the environment. Terna’s interventions, which according to the eligibility criterion introduced by the European Taxonomy are considered sustainable by their nature for 99%, are in fact aimed at the development of renewable sources, with energy transport backbones from the production points, which will be increasingly located in the regions of southern Italy, towards the centers of greatest consumption in the north. This will be possible thanks to the resolution of the current grid congestion and the further development of interconnections with foreign countries. In this regard, Terna has planned the creation of new connections with France, Austria, Tunisia and Greece, which are added to the 26 cross-border lines already active and which will allow our country, by virtue of its strategic geographical position, to strengthen its role of electrical hub of Europe and the Mediterranean area, becoming a protagonist at an international level.

The ambitious decarbonization targets set by the European Green Deal foresee the installation of around 60-70 GW of wind and photovoltaic power by 2030. This means that the share of gross electricity consumption covered by green sources will have to reach 65%. It will therefore be essential to accelerate the construction of renewable energy plants, including off-shore, by simplifying the authorization processes as much as possible. As foreseen by the Pniec, it will also be necessary to accelerate the development of storage systems, hydroelectric and electrochemical, for a capacity of approximately 10 GW by 2030.

The redefinition and rationalization of the technical perimeter will also be important, based on the transformation of generation and consumption models. This will also involve the use of technologies up to now typical of medium voltage systems (36 kV), which can be integrated into the high voltage transmission grid, to simplify and speed up the development process of renewable sources, increasing the overall efficiency of the system. energetic.

The regulated activities in Italy will continue to represent the Group’s core business. Terna plans to invest € 9.5 billion to develop, modernize and strengthen the national electricity transmission grid, confirming its role as director of the energy transition and enabler of an increasingly complex, sustainable and innovative electricity system. These investments, focused on increasing the country’s energy security, will generate important benefits for the entire system, with a significant multiplier effect. Thanks to the planned investments, the value of regulated assets (Rab) will reach € 22.7 billion in 2025, with a CAGR over the Plan period of 7%. At the end of 2022, the Rab will be equal to 17.9 billion euros, while at the end of 2021 the figure stood at 16.9 billion euros.

In the update of the 2021-25 Business Plan, Terna foresees an increase in investments for the development of the national transmission grid, which amount to a total of 5.6 billion, mainly linked to the construction of high voltage direct current lines – to solve network congestion, increase transport capacity between different market zones, fully integrate renewable sources and improve the quality of service – and the construction of submarine cable connections. The main project is the Tyrrhenian Link, the power line that will connect Sardinia, Sicily and Campania and which will contribute to the development of renewable sources and the phase-out of the most polluting coal and oil plants. Other projects include the Sa.Co.I.3, the Sardinia-Corsica-Tuscany interconnection, and the ‘Colunga-Calenzano’ line between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.

For the activities of renewal and efficiency of assets, which concern the rationalization of existing infrastructures, with the replacement – where technically possible – of overhead lines with the laying of underground cables, Terna will invest 2.6 billion. Terna will dedicate a total of 1.3 billion euros to the Safety Plan, aimed at strengthening and enhancing the technical and technological functions of the electricity system. Non-Regulated Activities will contribute to generating new business opportunities thanks to the development of innovative and digital technological solutions in line with Terna’s institutional role in supporting the energy transition. Terna expects that Non-Regulated Activities will make a contribution to the group’s EBITDA equal to over 450 million euros cumulated over the Plan period, against a limited commitment in terms of investments and risk.

With regard to international activities, downstream of the asset enhancement process in South America, Terna emphasizes, “strategic assessments will continue on opportunities that can also be developed in partnership and which will be selected through assessment processes that guarantee a low risk profile and limited capital absorption “. In particular, Terna expects to seize “new opportunities on markets with interesting growth potential and low risk, such as that of the United States, in which the company will be able to make its experience available and enhance the skills acquired in the design and management of infrastructures, in line with its corporate strategy “.

In the coming years, innovation, new technologies and digitalization will continue to play a key role, even more central, in enabling the energy transition for the benefit of the entire electricity system. To respond to the growing complexity of the system, Terna will dedicate approximately 1.2 billion euros of investments, of the 10 billion total of the 2021-25 Business Plan, to digitization and innovation, focusing its efforts on the most technological solutions for remote control power stations and transmission infrastructures.

This, Terna emphasizes, will mean continuing with the installation of sensors, monitoring and diagnostic systems, including predictive ones, in order to improve the safety, reliability and resilience of the electricity grids, also to the benefit of the local areas. There are 70 innovation projects active in 2021, 70% of which dedicated to the core business and, therefore, to the maintenance of the national network and dispatching activities, also through the use of robots, drones, virtual reality and augmented reality.