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“Corporate Power Purchase Agreements are a promising market in Italy.”

Our highly diversified and flexible power plant portfolio in Italy has a capacity of around 770 MW. We contribute to Italy's security of supply and keep the grid stable while respecting the highest standards of working and environmental safety. But we are more. In addition to being an electricity producer, we are also an energy service provider. In this interview with Andrea Scarfò, Head of Sales Italy, we would like to introduce our activities.

Andrea Scarfò

Head of Sales Italy

What makes the Italian energy market so special and where is it heading?

The Italian energy market offers increasingly interesting opportunities related to electricity production from renewable energy sources, especially photovoltaics, and associated new technologies such as green hydrogen. Both are being pushed by the European energy regulation. With regard to gas, the TAP pipeline, which came into operation at the end of 2020, has made Italy a main hub for gas supply to European countries.

Moreover, the Italian power and gas supply market will be fully liberalised from the beginning of 2023, opening up a number of business opportunities for the near future.

For example?

As a smart trader and green power producer, Alpiq could offer customers a number of integrated tailor-made services, merging a standard full supply contract together with flexibility and decentralised self-production from different technologies.

In addition to our classic businesses – electricity and gas supply as well as energy trading – we also offer customised solutions in Italy, especially in the area of origination. What do these solutions consist of?

Our experience as a trader and asset optimiser allows us to maximise value and offer competitive contracts to renewable and conventional energy producers. Our market access and structured products provide flexibility in the trading hub as well as demand response management services and access to ancillary markets.

What is the PPA market like in Italy and what is Alpiq's profile?

Alpiq is playing an important role for the development of PPAs in Italy thanks to the know-how it has acquired and its track record in Europe, particularly in the Spanish and Nordic markets.

Corporate PPAs are a promising market in Italy and the regulations under development should push the start-up phase. Power generation from renewable sources, which can be optimally marketed with PPAs, already plays an important role in Italy's energy balance, but is still limited compared to local opportunities. The regulatory framework is due to be simplified, and, project permitting, streamlined as well.

Who are our clients?

In terms of our current activities in supply and demand area, our customers are mainly energy-intensive counterparties belonging to almost all business sectors of the manufacturing industry, large retailers, logistics centres and healthcare facilities. For the near future, we also want to offer electricity and gas as well as integrated energy services to Italian SMEs. In terms of generation, we work closely with plant operators and offer route-to-market and risk management tools for their generated electricity. With all our customers, we aim to build lasting relationships and partnerships by offering innovative solutions to ensure maximum efficiency and flexibility.

What advantages do customers have when they choose Alpiq?

Alpiq is a European energy boutique. In Italy, too, we draw on experience from across Europe to offer tailor-made solutions. Our knowledge of the European electricity markets enables us to minimise the uncertainties associated with the intermittent nature of power generation or price fluctuations.

We do our best to offer a market-driven approach and a high quality of service. This is offered via unambiguous and transparent quoting, a clear contractual framework and competitive pricing in terms of supply and hedging. All for our customers who are committed to sustainability and a better future.

What do we mean by risk management? How does it work for the customers?

Currently, risk management is closely linked to commodities themselves, as prices on the energy futures market are highly volatile. We are very proud of the fact that, since 2016, we have been offering products that allow customers to manage their commodity price risk.

A significant percentage of Italian customers used to set their fixed purchase price for the following year (fixed price strategy on an annual basis) and we have helped to develop an evolved model that allows our customers to manage their risk by splitting the pricing decision of their energy portfolio between time and volume.

How do our activities contribute to sustainability and what are our goals in this regard?

Alpiq wants to contribute to a more sustainable energy market. Our electricity generation portfolio already complies with a low-emission scheme and the commercial offering includes products that guide customers towards sustainability (from guarantees of origin to REN-PPA). Our goal is to increase sales of green energy year after year.

What has been the biggest success so far since you joined Alpiq?

The biggest success has been bringing Alpiq back to the Italian market following the discontinuation of all sales activities in 2014. Today, Alpiq is quite well placed, ranked near the top 20 in a market full of competitors (almost 500). Moreover, Alpiq is among the top 10 Italian market players in direct marketing, i.e. the marketing of third-party power plants.

 


About Alpiq Italia 

Alpiq has a long historical connection with Italy based on cross-border electricity transport. The current focus of Alpiq Italia, founded in 1999, is on electricity generation and cross-border trading. Today, Alpiq holds stakes in 14 power stations, divided into thermal, hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of around 770 MW. Altogether, 104 colleagues work in Milan and the power stations, not only in electricity production and trading, but also in the sale of electricity and gas, the management of energy portfolios for large consumers and the marketing of electricity produced by third-party plants.

www.alpiq.it​​​​​​​