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A comprehensive ex-post assessment of res deployment in italy: jobs, value added and import leakages

Cai, Mattia, Cusumano, Niccolò, Lorenzoni, Arturo, Pontoni, Federico
Energy Policy 2017
employment, imports, manufacturing, models, renewable energy sources, trade statistics, value added, Italy
Taking a retrospective look at Italy's experience over the period 2006-2014, this paper investigates to what extent the deployment of renewable energy sources (RES) contributed to value added and employment in the economy. From the methodological point of view, our study combines an input-output approach with a comprehensive bottom-up analytical model in which detailed product information from external trade statistics is used to account for imports.Although during the period under consideration Italy experienced an expansion in RES capacity that went beyond the rosiest expectations, it appears that the resulting demand for plant components was met to a very significant extent by imports. We find that the contribution to sectoral value added and employment was not as large as envisioned by ex-ante analyses. In net terms, the resources absorbed by RES plants in the construction, installation and manufacturing phase seem to have made a smaller contribution to the domestic economy than they would have in several counterfactual scenarios. The opposite is true for the resources used in the subsequent operation and management phase. Finally, our results suggest that variation in domestic content of manufactured products may limit the portability of RES employment and value added factor estimates across countries.