An important share of electricity comes from import, mainly from France. The share of primary energy dedicated to electricity production is above 35%, and grew steadily since the 1970s.
Electricity is produced mainly from natural gas, which accounts for the source of more than half of the total final electric energy produced. Another important source is hydroelectric power, which was practically the only source of electricity until 1960. Wind and solar power are growing rapidly in recent years thanks to high incentives. PV solar alone grew more than 300% per year in the past 3 years.
Italy has few energy resources, and most of supplies are imported.
In 2008 Italy consumed 6,054 kWh/person in electricity. EU15 average was 7,409 kWh/person. In 2009 consumption was divided by power source: 13.5% import, 65.8% fossil electricity and 20.7% renewable electricity. Import of electricity was high in 2008: 40 TWh. Italy has no nuclear power. Geothermal energy is used. Italy has significantly higher solar and wind power potential than utilized in 2010.
According to Energy Information Administration, the 2009 Italian CO2 emissions from energy consumption were 408 Mt, slightly below Indonesia 413 mt. worldwide, Italy was ranked 17th in 2009 according to this list. The Italian emissions decline of 9% in 2008–2009 was rather influenced by the European economic recession 2008–2009 than large sustainable changes in energy consumption. From 2008 to 2009 change was at a 6.9% decline in Europe and at a 7.5 increase in Asia & Oceania.
Some people argue[who?] that the emissions of consumption rather than production is more relevant. Many European companies have moved production from Europe to Asia the last ten years, which does not necessarily change the overall emissions of the world or the company. According to the Guardian, the most widely cited international dataset for consumption emissions is from year 2001 including the consumption emissions per capita of all greenhouse gases. Italy’s footprint in 2001 was 12 ton CO2 per person (rank no 21) Italy’s domestic share of greenhouse gas emissions was 62%.