A complex subject to speak about, usually influenced by ideological contrasts or poor information. We’re speaking about the topic of the next referendum of the 17th April. The referendum is going to decide if to abrogate the regulation for the extension of the licenses for the offshore production of hydrocarbons within the border of the 12 miles.

Two articles published by “La Stampa”, the first on the 4th and the second on the 11th of April, examined in depth the issue, trying to explain some unclear things.

Through graphs and maps a lot of information has been provided to the readers, useful to help them in creating their own opinion.

The first case debated concerned the licences for the production of the hydrocarbon, key point in the referendum. The information used came from the internal office of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The Italian territory, for what regards both mainland and surrounding waters, is engaged not only by the many licences that allow the extraction of hydrocarbons, but also by the ones for the research of new deposits.

The following map shows the distribution of licences and concessions in Italy. The areas of national soil related to concessions and research licences are immediately recognizable. In the see, the observer can see the boundary of 12 miles, the available areas for new activities, the distribution of platforms beside the shoreline.


Regarding the concessions on the mainland, the following graph shows the distribution of licences and permissions in Italian regions. Sixteen regions out of twenty are involved, led by Emilia-Romagna, and followed by Basilicata, Marche, Lombardia, Sicilia and Puglia.

For the offshore activities, instead, the waters that surround the peninsula are divided into seven portions, labelled with letters from A to G. The Adriatic one is the portion of see most involved in the production of the hydrocarbons, from which is possible to obtain three different products: oil, gasoline and gas. The underlying graph shows the production trend between 1994 and 2015 of each of these three types, discerning between sea and ground production.

The development of renewable energy sources is essential to nurture the ambiental sustainability of the national economy and it is connected to the topic of the use of fossil energy sources.

The referendum, even if does not explicitly touch the question, extends the discussion also to this themes and to how many renewable energy sources Italy uses. Some information provided by the company ‘Terna’, which runs the transmission network of electric energy in our country, help us to understand the level of the Italian production of renewable energy. In the underlying graph, the production of five different energy types is considered: hydroelectric, photovoltaic, caused by biomasses, aeolian, and geothermic.

The considered period of time embraces the years between 1991 and 2014. It is clear that the best renewable energy production source in Italy is the hydroelectric and that the others, even if less spread than this one, have registered a growth in production. But there is still a long way to go. The graph shows the distribution of the production of energy on the Italian soil divided by region, and accompanied by the information regarding their requirements.

It is clear that in the country the requirement of energy is bigger than its production, mostly in some regions.

Even if in some areas there is more production than consumptions, other regions are in deficit; therefore the ratio production/requirements of our country remains negative.

In Italy the usage of traditional energy sources is still very high, even if the renewable sources have gained a lot of space in the last years. According the Terna’s datas exposed in the underlying graph, regarding the 1991-2014 period, the use of renewable sources is still a minority but in constant growth.

In the 2014 the energy produced via renewable sources reached the threshold of 37 percent. In Europe the situation is in some cases a lot better, in some worse.

The map shows, for each European country, the ratio between renewable energy use and total energy use.

Among the ‘virtuous’ countries Norway, Austria and Iceland must be mentioned. In Italy the percentage is around 33 percent, while in a lot of other countries the percentages are considerably smaller.

To have an idea of how citizens and voters have approached these contents, there is a poll about the Twitter users’ conversations in the day of 31st March and in the week between 1 and 8 of April 2016. The poll shows that, in both surveys, the most used hashtag is #referendum17aprile, followed by #trivelle: