The building sector is Italy’s third largest emitting sector, accounting for 19% of the country’s total emissions in 2019. Building sector energy intensity has decreased by 35% over the 1990-2019 period but emissions do not show a sustained decline (2019 levels are close to the 1990s’).
In 2019, energy supply to the building sector was mostly coming from gas (around 50%), followed by electricity (itself greatly relying on gas, see ‘Power’ section) and biomass. The most ambitious 1.5°C scenarios see rapidly decrease emissions and fossil gas consumption in buildings, leading to full decarbonisation by 2036, mainly through electrification and biomass substitution. Across all pathways, direct CO₂ emissions in the buildings sector are roughly halved from 2019 levels by 2030, with a reduction of 48-54% by 2030.
Full decarbonisation of the sector could be driven by a high degree of electrification, reaching a share of final energy of roughly 50% by 2030 (almost doubling the 2019 electrification rate of 28%).
A high level of energy efficiency is the prerequisite for an electrification of the building sector. Italy’s national policy on building renovation that aims to meet the minimum requirement set out by the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, a 3% annual renovation rate of total floor area, would take 30 years to renovate the current stock. It is therefore critical to accelerate the targeted renovation rate, and to make sure that construction and efficiency standards are consistent with the 2050 EU net zero goal.