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Progetto Technical, Environmental and Socio-Economic study of power-to-fuel solutions for a sustainable path towards a green future achieving 80% renewable electric energy and 40% renewable primary energy supply within the next two decades

CUP - I53C22000290001

The significant introduction of renewable energy systems (RES) in the electric grids of many EU countries has produced relevant challenges in terms of power balancing creating operational disruptions of existing 

fossil-fired power plants and in the investments by power generation companies. 

Such a big change in the power supply mix, with an unchanged demand, requires a well-designed and optimized energy storage mix. In fact, the RES power generation mix is strongly affected by the availability of 

intermittent (wind and solar power) and programmable (biomass, geothermal, and hydropower) energy sources on a specific geographical area and by the local demand profiles. RES power plants, characterized by small 

and medium size (often smaller than 1 MW), generate low or medium voltage power and are not suited for long-distance transmission. For a given demand of energy, it is no longer possible to apply the same power 

generation mix everywhere, but it is necessary to develop a methodology to define optimal RES power generation and energy storage mix. 

This proposal aims at gaining an improved understanding of the technical and socio-economic feasibility of alternative power generation mixes targeted at increasing, by 2040, up to 80% the share of RES power utilization 

and up to 40% the share of renewable primary energy consumption, including transportation and industrial and residential thermal energy consumption. Those goals mean a 100% increase of the electric and primary 

renewable energy with respect to the national expectations for 2040. This can only be achieved by combining technical, economic, environmental and social sound methodologies. 

The research units involved in this project will develop models for assessing different scenarios of development of the RES power generation and energy storage at the national level based on previous research activities 

and specific experimental measurements. This will allow, for different power generation mixes, to study the need of both electrochemical storage for short term (minutes to one hour) energy storage and power to gas and 

power to fuel technologies for medium (daily and weekly) and long term (seasonal) energy storage. The proposal will be specifically dedicated to studying green hydrogen generation with a focus on both the control and 

management of electrolyzers and hydrogen storage systems and utilizations (compressed, mixed with natural gas, used as a fuel) and some of the most attractive power-to-fuel processes such as methanol, ammonia and 

renewable natural gas. All processes will be studied considering the possibility to minimize water consumption and use oxygen from electrolysis. 

The personnel of the units are active in research in renewable power generation and utilization, energy and chemical processes for the conversion of hydrogen into other fuels and economic and social aspects assessment 

of the energy markets and technologies thus providing a broad point of view on the problem. 


Durata: 24 mesi 

24 Aprile 2022 

23 Aprile 2025 


Coordinatore: Università di Pisa 

Partner coinvolti: 

  • Università degli Studi di Genova 

  • Politecnico di Milano 

  • Università di Perugia 

  • Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna 

  • Università degli Studi di Salerno 


Professore ordinario