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Italy: EIRO CAR on the Changing Business Landscape in the Electricity sector and Industrial Relations in Europe

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The electricity sector in Italy has undergone considerable changes in the latest decade. Generation was liberalised in the late 1990s and the business landscape has been transformed by the emergence of large operators alongside Enel, which has maintained a dominant position. The progressive liberalisation of the consumer market in the second half of the 2000s has increased competition in the final end of the market and completed the transformation of the sector, under the supervision of the Italian regulatory authority for electricity and gas (AEEG). Industrial relations are well-established with a single industry-wide agreement which covers all market segments (generation, transmission, distribution, trade). Social partners participate to the discussion of energy policies on an ad hoc basis.

1. General background information on the energy policy in your country and employment trends

1.1. Please explain briefly the main governmental strategies/action in relation to the electricity production and energy source mix. In your answer, please include information on the following aspects, where possible:

  • Is there an outspoken policy or plan in your country for any kind of change towards an increase or decrease of electricity production with any of the different sources (coal, oil, gas, hydro, eolic, sun, etc.)?
  • Which is the targeted energy mix for the future (see material provided)? How, in which subsequent steps, such targets are expected to be met?
  • Are investments in networks (new connections, upgrade) envisaged? To what extent? With which specific goals?
  • What is the Government stance and what are the ongoing/envisaged action towards generation of electricity from the different broad groups of sources: nuclear /fossile /renewable energy?
  • What are the recent employment trends in the different subsectors of power generation according to the different broad groups of sources: nuclear/fossile/renewable energy? Please indicate development since 2005 with reference to generation, distribution, and sale separately.

The issue of a national energy strategy has been discussed and debated for a long time in Italy. However, the main policy document on these aspects is probably so far the Italian Renewable Energy Action Plan presented by the Italian government in June 2010. The Plan was meant to outline how Italy is going to meet the targets identified in the Directive 2009/28/EC for the contribution of RES in gross final consumption of energy in 2020. Italy has to meet a target of 17% overall contribution with 17.1% in heating and cooling, 26.4% in electricity production and 10.1% in transport.

In particular, the projection regarding the different contribution of the various energy sources to electricity capacity generation are illustrated in Table 1 and 2.

Table 1. Estimated contribution to total installed capacity for electricity by different renewable energy sources (MW)
 

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Hydro

15466

16580

16702

16824

16946

17068

17190

17312

17434

17556

17678

17800

Geothermal

711

754

770

787

804

820

837

853

870

887

903

920

Solar

34

2505

3511

4014

4526

5038

5562

6096

6655

7243

7888

8600

Tidal, wave and ocean energy

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

2

3

Wind power

1639

5800

6420

7040

7760

8409

9068

9740

10430

11145

11892

12680

Biomass

937

1918

2108

2298

2488

2679

2869

3059

3249

3440

3630

3820

Total

18787

27556

29511

30963

32524

34013

35526

37061

38640

40271

41993

43823

Table 2. Estimated contribution to gross electricity generation by different renewable energy sources (GWh)
 

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Hydro

43768

42141

42127

42113

42099

42085

42070

42056

42042

42028

42014

42000

Geothermal

5325

5632

5744

5856

5967

6079

6191

6303

6415

6526

6638

6750

Solar

31

1976

3327

4048

4779

5524

6292

7097

7960

8916

10017

11350

Tidal, wave and ocean energy

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

2

3

5

Wind power

2558

8398

9358

10318

11529

12575

13652

14769

15940

17184

18526

20000

Biomass

4675

8645

9658

10672

11685

12699

13712

14726

15739

16753

17766

18780

Total

56356

66791

70214

73007

76059

78962

81918

84952

88098

91409

94965

98885

No data is available about employment according to the different energy source.

1.2. Government policy for increase of the share of renewable resources according to the RES directive

  • Are any subsidies being granted for different types of RES for electricity providers? If yes, please provide briefly the details
  • Have subsidies for RES been cut recently? Was this a result of the crisis, of budget constraints, or the result of a policy revision (following a policy assessment, due to a disporportionate use of subsidies, etc.)? Please provide brief details.
  • Are there any other forms of support foreseen for promoting electricity generation of RES?
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding the state of play and the future prospects of RES in your country.

In order to increase the share of RES in electricity production a number of measures are envisaged, including:

  • Financial measures:
  1. Solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff
  2. Solar thermal feed-in tariff
  3. All-inclusive tariff
  4. Incentives for creation of renewable energy plants (Interregional Operational Plan on Energy, Kyoto Fund)
  • Regulatory measures:
  1. Minimum quota for electrical capacity installed using renewable resources
  2. Green certificates
  3. Simplification of authorisation procedures
  4. Support for the development of the electricity network

In April 2012, there has been a recent redefinition of all incentives in the field of renewable resources. The stated objectives are to establish a new incentive regime which is “aligned with European levels and market costs (which have decreased considerably in recent years”. Priority is given to technologies with a stronger positive impact on the Italian production system, in term of potential demand, and highly innovative, in order to avoid distortions at territorial level and negative consequences for other sectors, notably the agro-food business. Besides, regulatory controls are introduced on the capacity installed, through the use of competitive tenders for large plants (over 5 MW) and forms of registration for smaller-sized plants (micro plants remain exempt). According to the government, the new system will guarantee a more balanced growth of the use of RES and at the same time it will to surpass the 2020 targets, with a contribution to electricity generation of 35% instead of 26%, as well to decrease the cost paid by consumers through feed-in tariffs.

1.3. Are there any studies and documents assessing the employment impact of energy policies and of prospective changes in the energy mix within the electricity sector? This could include, for instance,

  • Employment effects resulting from the unbundling of activities (production from distribution)
  • Employment effects (on quantity and quality of work) resulting from the possible shifts within the electricity production sector from traditional sources to RES
  • Employment effects from investments in infrastructure (renewal of grids, introduction of smart meter technology, district heating)
  • The need for retraining of workers or provision of new qualifications linked to the sector transformations
  • Possible spatial mobility of workers as a result of more decentralised production (linked both to new activities and to restructuring of existing ones)
  • Please include any other aspects you consider to be worth mentioning regarding prospective impacts on employment and industrial relations

In 2010, the National Council for Economy and Labour (Consiglio nazionale dell’economia e del lavoro, Cnel) has published a study of the Fondazione per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (Foundation for Sustainable Development), which analysed the economic and employment impacts of the changes in electricity production up to 2020. According to the study, depending on different policy options in terms of support of renewable resources, the employment creation effect can vary from around 50,000 (business as usual scenario) to some 110,000 (competitiveness scenario) new jobs. In all cases, temporary jobs linked to construction and installation prevail with about 65% of the overall employment impact. In this study, there are no indications on the specific impact in the electricity sector.

1.4 To what extent are the social partners involved or consulted concerning the governmental energy policy, notably in relation to employment impacts? Has this happened on an ad-hoc basis or on a structural, permanent basis? Is there a special tripartite social dialogue body for such consultations? Did consultation take place at national level, at sector level, or at the initiative of individual companies? Please briefly provide details.

There are no special bipartite or tripartite bodies. Social partners are consulted on an ad hoc basis.

Consultations took place at national level. However, trade unions consider that consultations were not systematic and the effects of the trade unions’ positions were not very significant.

Trade unions and employer organisations participate to the debate on energy policies also through hearings at the relevant parliamentary commissions, which new legislation is being considered. Moreover, they are among the parties heard by the Authority for electricity and gas (Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas, AEEG), the regulator of the electricity market. In that case, social partners provide their views of all the issues which are covered by the authoriry, including the quality of services.

2. Composition, structure and employment trends for the different resources used for electricity production

2.1 Please give an overview of the current sectoral composition of electricity production in your country, by giving for each of these seven groups of energy sources, the NAME of the three largest producing, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

For all companies listed, as a summary, please indicate:

  1. Total production and its distribution across different energy sources
  2. Total employment and its distribution across different energy sources
  3. Production plants and their respective energy source(s)

Before the liberalisation of the late 1990s, the Italian electricity sector was characterised by the presence of a large national monopolist, Enel, and a number of public local operators, that is municipal companies. Such operators had been public entities until the early 1990s and were transformed into private companies as a consequence of the reforms that affected all public utilities and local public services that started in the 1990s. The sector employed some 116,000 workers in 2000 and less than 60,000 in 2009, with a decrease of 34.5% (Source: Eurostat, Annual detailed enterprise statistics on electricity, gas and water supply, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/). In 2009, 25,017 workers were employed in production, 3,533 in transmission, 24,642 in distribution, and 6.451 in trade (Source: Eurostat, Annual detailed enterprise statistics on electricity, gas and water supply, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/).

The three main companies in terms of contribution to the national gross electricity production in 2010 have been Enel, Edison and Eni.

Table 1. Main electricity producers (% contribution to the national gross electricity production)

Groups

Share %

Enel Group

27,8

Edison Group

10,7

Eni Group

9,8

E.ON

5,5

Edipower

5,5

A2A

3,8

Tirreno Power

3,6

ERG

2,5

Axpo Group

2,2

Iren

1,9

Other producers

26,9

Source: Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas, http://www.autorita.energia.it/it/dati/elenco_dati.htm

The Enel Group is the successor of the only Italian electricity producer and distributor before the market liberalisation in the second half of the 1990s. It still retains a predominant position in the domestic market and it is now a global player in the energy market, with subsidiaries in many foreign countries. Enel was privatised through an Initial Public Offering in October 1999. At present the Italian state holds a 34% controlling stake.

Edison in an historical electricity company, founded at the end on the XIX century, which closed its electricity business division in the 1960s, following the nationalisation of the electricity industry in Italy with the creation of Enel. With the liberalisation of the electricity market, it started again its operations in the market. It is now a multinational energy company and is part of the EDF group.

Eni is the major Italian energy company, one of the large global multinational companies in the business of exploration and extraction of hydrocarbon. Formerly a state-owned company, it is now a listed company with a relative majority stake of around 10% held by the Italian state. It has a gas and power division and it operates in the Italian market as producer and retailer.

At present the Italian electricity market is characterised by the presence of a number of large producers which essentially include the former national monopolist Enel, the companies which were created through the sale of part of its production capacity in the early 2000s, the successors of the former municipal electricity companies, and a limited number of large private operators which were set up after the sector liberalisation, like Edison. All these actors have been affected during the 2000s by a series of mergers and acquisitions, which has changed and it is still changing the market. The latest major development in this field has been the acquisition by EDF of Edison. Moreover, other important developments in recent years have been the growth of generation through renewable resources, promoted by the presence of significant incentives, and the diversification and internationalisation of the operators. Most of them now could be correctly characterised as energy multinational companies.

Table 2. Gross generation capacity of major electricity groups in 2010 (MW)

Group

Thermo

Hydro

Renewables

Total

Enel

26.483

13.802

1.299

41.585

Edipower

7.711

780

1

8.492

Edison

6.486

767

428

7.682

E.ON

4.784

649

352

5.786

Eni

6.563

0

0

6.563

Tirreno Power

3.313

71

0

3.384

A2A

3.184

1.277

188

4.648

Source: Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas, http://www.autorita.energia.it/

Besides the large operators, there are at present many small operators, which are essentially active in the RES sector, especially in wind and photovoltaic. In fact, if we turn to RES, Enel remains the market leader in the two of such resources: hydroelectric with 40.4% of total production in 2011 and geothermic, as the sole producer in Italy. It is also the first of the large operators for wind, but with a far lower contribution to total production: only 8.6%. Even lower is its contribution to total sola production: 2.6%, but still the largest of the main groups. In fact, these two market segments appear to be much more fragmented as 78.7% of wind power is generated by ‘other producers’ and as much as 94.9% of solar energy is not produced by the main electricity groups. The picture is similar in the case of biomass, but with two large producers above 10%: A2A (the merger of the municipal companies of Milan and Brescia) with 14.3% and Ital Green Energy Holding (a new private entrant in the early 2000s) with 11.8%. The share of the other small producers is, in this case, 68.4% (Source: Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas, Relazione annuale 2012).

Electricity production (capacity)

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

FOSSIL FUELS

Enel

36.842

2011

Private

Edison

3.764

2011

Private

Eni

-

 

Private

NUCLEAR

Non existent

   

Private

     

Private

     

Private

HYDRO

Enel

36.842

2011

Private

A2A

11.886

2011

Private

Edison

3.764

2011

Private

OTHER RENEWABLES

Enel

36.842

2011

Private

Edison

3.764

2011

Private

E.ON

-

 

Private

2.2 Please provide an overview of the current organisation of electricity distribution in your country. Is there a single distributing company/body? Are there multiple companies? At national or territorial level?

The electricity distribution system is organised with a single entity which is responsible of transmission, Terna Spa, and more than 100 distributing companies. The main producers are usually also distributors. The main distribution operators in 2011 were Enel, with more than 30 million users served and 246.521 GWh distributed, A2A, with some 1.2 million users reached and 11,086 GWh, and ACEA, the Rome formr municipal company, with 1.6 million users and 9.253 GWh (Source: Source: Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas, Relazione annual 2012).

2.3 Please indicate the NAME of the three largest distributing companies, the NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES of these companies, and the public or private STATUS of the EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with their employees.

Distribution companies
 

TOP 3

DISTRIBUTING COMPANIES

(the largest 3 in market share)

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

Reference year for the number of employees

Private/Public STATUS of WORKERS

Distribution GRID

Enel

36.842

2011

Private

A2A

11.886

2011

Private

ACEA

7.050

2011

Private

2.4. Where there any significant developments/changes since 2008 for a specific company or source of electricity production in numbers of employees or in their public/private status? Was this due to the current economic crisis? Were there any instances of unbundling or mergers? With what consequences in terms of employment and industrial relations?

No.

3. Industrial relations in the electricity sector: Actors

3.1 Please provide details on the membership in the electricity sector and membership of the top 3 producing and distributing companies in employer’s organisation (see questions 2.1-2.3 above). Please provide information on the name of the trade unions organising in this subsector and the level of their membership, or otherwise provide overall data but please include indications on differences in membership densities across subsectors.

It is not posible to provide data on trade union membership in the whole electricity sector because trade union federations cover in the case of Filctem-Cgil and Uilcem much broader sectors. In any case, it is possible to say that membership has decreased as sectoral employment diminished since the liberalisation. For instance, in the case of Flaei-Cisl which kept its representational domain unchanged and focused on the electricity sector, members decreased from some 26,500 worker in 2000 to about 18,200 in 2011. The crisis may have had a specific impact as membership further decreased from about 19,500 in 2007 to 17,500 in 2010, but it slightly increased to more than 18,200 in 2011 (+4.1%). (Source: Cisl, Gli iscritti, http://www.cisl.it/). However, it can be difficult to separate the effect of the crisis form the the impact of the trasformations affecting the sector.

Trade union representation and Membership to employers’ organisation

Electricity production with

TOP 3

PRODUCING COMPANIES

(largest 3 in market share)

Membership to employers organisation

(indicate the name of the relevant employers organisation)

Trade union presence per sub-sector

(indicate the name of trade union(s) and the level of their membership in this subsector companies)

FOSSIL FUELS

Enel

Assoelettrica

Filctem-Cgil

Flaei-Cisl

Uilcem-Uil

Edipower

Assoelettrica

Edison

Assoelettrica

NUCLEAR

Not active

   
   
   
HYDRO

Enel

Assoelettrica

Filctem-Cgil

Flaei-Cisl

Uilcem-Uil

A2A

Assoelettrica/Federutility

Edison

Assoelettrica

OTHER RENEWABLES

Enel

Assoelettrica

Filctem-Cgil

Flaei-Cisl

Uilcem-Uil

Edison

Assoelettrica

E.ON

Assoelettrica

And in the distributing companies

Distribution GRID

companies

Enel

Assoelettrica

Filctem-Cgil

Flaei-Cisl

Uilcem-Uil

A2A

Assoelettrica/Federutility

ACEA

Assoelettrica/Federutility

3.2 To what extent are employees in the different subsectors (fossil/nuclear/RES) covered by trade union representation? Has there been any impact of the crisis on trade union representation?

There are no precise data, but there are indications that small operators in RES are less covered by union representation. There was no significant impact of the crises on union membership.

3.3 Have there been major reorganisations/splits/mergers of trade unions or employers organisations in the sector during the last five years?

The only significant change took place within the Cgil confederation in 2010 with the merger between the energy federation Filcem with the textiles federation

3.4. Have new actors (trade unions or employers organisations) been founded in recent years, especially in the newly evolving RES industries? Or is the industry covered by established actors?

A number of associations have been founded in the RES sector in recent years, byt the act as trade associations. The only employer organisations in the electricity sector are Assoelettrica, which is part of the Confindustria system and Federutility, which is part of Federservizi, the confederation of former municipal utility operators.

No new trade unions have been founded in recent years.

In this sense, the industry is covered by established actors in terms of industrial relations and collective bargaining.

3.5. Have the established sectoral actors (both trade unions and employer organisations) started any initiative to extend their representation to the new emerging parts of the sector? Please describe such initiatives and their results so far.

These efforts are part of the ordinary activities of the established sectoral actors. There have been no special initiatives or campaings to extend membership in the electricity sectors to the new small operators.

4. Role of collective bargaining and social dialogue

4.1 Please provide information on the structure of collective bargaining in the electricity sector. Please, briefly mention the main characteristics of collective bargaining:

  • At what level are collective agreements within the subsectors of the electricity sector (traditional providers, newly emerging providers) concluded (company, sectoral level and/or inter-sectoral level)? Is there a difference between the producers and the distributors?
  • Estimate the coverage rate of collective bargaining in terms of companies and employees: are there any differences in coverage across different subsectors of electricity production?

In the pre-reform period, industrial relations and collective bargaining in the electricity sector were separated between Enel, which had a company industrial relations system and collective agreement, and the electricity municipal companies, which had a multi-employer agreement. Moreover, there was another multi-employer collective agreement which covered so-called ‘self-producers’, that is industrial companies which had they own electricity generation facilities for their own use and could ‘sell’ extra production or ‘buy’ electricity from the monopolist operator as needed.

With the sector liberalisation, also the industrial relations system entered a period of reorganisation. Eventually, in 2001, a single industry-wide collective agreement was signed which covered all operators. At present, the bargaining structure in the electricity sector follows the national pattern of two-tier bargaining: a sectoral agreement and supplementary company-agreements. The latest renewal of the industry-wide agreement was signed in 2010 and will expire at the end of 2012. Signatories to the agreement were

  • On the employer side: Assoelettrica, Federutility, Enel (only for its subsidiaries which are not affiliated to Assoelettrica), Terna, So.G.I.N. (the company which operates the ‘closed’ Italian nuclear sites), and GSE (a ministerial agency which is responsible for providing services to the electricity market);
  • On the trade union side: Filctem-Cgil, Flaei-Cisl, Uilcem-Uil.

The industry-wide collective agreements covers all electricity operations, including generation, transmission, distribution and trade. The collective bargaining coverage is certainly very high, likely well above 90%, given the structure of the sector. Small RES operators are certainly less covered by both representation (both employer associations and trade unions) and the application of the sectoral agreement cannot be granted, as there is no ‘erga omnes’ validity of collective agreement in Italy.

4.2 Please comment on the most recent collective agreements reached at sector level and at company level. Please address the following topics:

  • Pay and working time: level and trends relative to the national average and significant differences across subsectors of the electricity industry.

At the end on 2010 the index of collectively agreed pay was 113,2 (base: 2005), which was substantially in line with the overall average of the collective agreements surveyed by Istat (Indici mensili delle Retribuzioni Orarie Contrattuali del complesso dei dipendenti per settore di attività economica e contratto). If we turn to the level of contractually agreed wages in the electricity sector, we find out that pay is well above the average level: with EUR 32.631 the average wage rate is 34% higher than the national level of EUR 24,349 and above manufacturing and gas (EUR 23,383 and EUR 28,202 respectively). The energy and oil sector is instead significantly above with EUR 38,222 (Source: Istat, Retribuzione contrattuale di competenza per dipendente per contratto – dati annuali, http://dati.istat.it/, Lavoro). Net collectively-agree annual working time was in 2010 equal to 1,653 hours, which compared with 1,643 in the national economy and 1,716 in manufacturing (Source: Istat, Orario contrattuale lordo netto, http://dati.istat.it/, Lavoro).

4.3. Cooperation between the social partners and government

  • Have the government started any social dialogue or social concentration in the electricity sector since 2008? Please illustrate the features and results of any such initiatives.
  • Have bipartite and/or tripartite bodies dealing with specific issues of the electricity industry been created since 2008?
  • Have there been since 2008 any joint initiatives of cooperation between social partners to influence or steer the energy policy developed by the government in your country? Or have such initiatives been taken separately by certain social partner organisations?
  • Have the social partners been involved in the making of the national action plan to reach the 2020 target, or in issues aiming to secure the supply of enough electricity?

There are no bipartite or tripartite bodies where energy policies are discussed with the trade unions and the employer associations. Social partners are consulted in a regular, but essentially ad hoc basis.

In December 2011, Confindustria and the three major trade union confederations Cgil, Cisl and Uil signed a joint statement on Energy efficiency , a growth opportunity for the country. The joint statement addressed the consequences of the 20-20-20 strategy for the Italian productive systems and asked the government to start a dialogue on “an efficient programme to achieve the objectives of efficiency and energy saving, with a stable and sustainable incentive system”. The document focuses on the potential for growth and employment of energy efficiency through technological innovation. According to the social partners, the incentive system should focus on the strength of the Italian manufacturing system, since “the Italian green economy industry together with energy efficiency amounts to over 400,000 companies and more than 3 million workers (including indirect activities)”. It is therefore important to “turn the EU sustainability objectives (which will entail relevant costs) into structural investments for the growth of important segments of the industrial system”. The confirmation of present level of incentives until 2020 and with a regulatory framework oriented towards the promotion of the most efficient technologies, it is possible to “produce in the decade a cumulative direct and indirect production growth of almost EUR 240 billion at national level, the creation of 1.6 million jobs, with an average GDP growth of 0.6 per year” and “a total collective gain of over EUR 15 billion”.

The social partners also indicate a number of joint initiatives:

  • The diffusion of the concept of energy efficiency through training and information campaigns which must necessarily involve the public opinion at all levels: firms, workers, local and national public entities and citizens.
  • The joint Confindustria-trade union initiatives in the field of training and information will be detailed by a special joint working committee and may include, the establishment of specific committees at sectoral level, the development of training programmes for professions in energy efficiency, the creation of territorial lists of certified specialists in order to enhance the reliability and thereby promote the demand of energy efficiency and saving.
  • The inclusion in second-level bargaining of incentive systems to reward improvements in terms of energy and environmental efficiency.
  • The commitment to request at EU-level that the 2020 efficiency targets are mandatory.

4.4. Please provide information about the views of the trade unions and employer organisations on the main changes regarding employment and working conditions affecting the sector since 2008 and especially on the impact of the current crisis (for instance on employment trends, quality of jobs, working hours, wages, fixed-term employment, part-time, temporary agency work, participation in training, outsourcing, subcontracting etc.).

The impact of the current crises is particularly relevant, according to the social partners, especially because it affects the demand level and creates extra-capacity in certain areas of the system.

One of the issues underlined is also the extent and level of support for RES which risk to make traditional forms of power generation less convenient and therefore reduce the utilisation of large traditional power stations. Here, there are two implications. On one side, levels and rules for supporting RES should be considered carefully in terms of the extra costs of such resources: as the cost difference is reduced, the incentives should be lowered too, with a view to avoid to create an artificial advantage of RES. On the other, it is important to develop an energetic strategy to steer future developments, by clearly identifying the objective which shall be met.

5. Commentary

After more than a decade of considerable transformations following the liberalisation of the market and the reorganisation of the various operators, the Italian electricity sector is now characterised by the presence of a number of large operators, which have often developed into multinational companies and have diversified their business beyond the traditional energy sources to include RES. Also multi-utilities companies are present, especially because of the tradition of municipal companies operating in many local public services, like gas, water and waste management for instance, but also due to the presence of a leading multinational energy company like Eni, or thanks to the broadening of operations in the broader energy market. Moreover, there are now a large number of new operators which are entering the merging RES segment also benefiting from the incentive schemes in place. As it has been shown, the production of wind and solar power in particular is not concentrated in the major electricity companies, but rather spread among many different and smaller size firms.

Industrial relations in the sector are well-established, with a single industry-wide agreement in place since 2001, which has been renewed in 2010 until 2012. Thanks to the market structure and the prevalence of large companies, collective bargaining coverage is high both for the sectoral agreement and second-level bargaining. The new RES operators are less covered by both representation and collective bargaining.

The changing structure of the sector as well as the transformations linked both to energy efficiency and RES represent a challenge for the sectoral social partners. The social partners stress in particular the need to have effective consultations with the government on the energy policy and its consequences for businesses and workers.

Roberto Pedersini, Università degli Studi di Milano

Page last updated: 15 November, 2012
About this document
  • ID: IT1202029Q
  • Author: Roberto Pedersini
  • Institution: Università degli Studi di Milano
  • Country: Italy
  • Language: EN
  • Publication date: 15-11-2012