This section deals with Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici, Acea Distribuzione, Acea Produzione and the A.R.I.A. waste-to-energy plants. The waste-to-energy activities are described in detail in the section Environment Area.
The Acea Group is vertically integrated through the entire electrical energy business chain. The following activities are carried out by independent companies that: i) meet obligations of neutrality in infrastructure management, essential for the development of a free energy market, ii) prevent discrimination in access to commercially sensitive information, and iii) avoid crossed subsidies between the various sections of the production chain. These companies carry out the following activities:
- production of electricity and heat;
- distribution of electricity in the areas of Rome and Formello, including management of street lighting;92
- sales of electricity, heat and gas.
In 1999, Italy began a process of transforming the electricity market, with the introduction of some mechanisms imported from English-language countries, which had developed and applied them with success over the preceding decade. The current electricity chain descends from this transformation, and provides that consumers receive electricity through the participation of four distinct segments, managed by different actors, which operate in separate but integrated manner in the value production chain (see Chart 35).
CHART 35 – THE ELECTRICITY CHAIN
The system is complex, and after the passage of 16 years suffers from critical problems, due in part to the nature of the goods produced. Electricity represents the most sustainable energy vector at society’s disposal, yet has strong impacts at the socio-economic level, requires heavy infrastructure investment, and requires support for research and development activities. For success, the sector is one that requires both market forces and the entrepreneurial capacity of the individual actors, and regulatory action by a public agency that ensures the correct behaviour of the many actors.
Acea operates in almost all segments of the chain, as electrical energy producer, distributor for Rome and Formello, and seller throughout the Italian territory
92 Since 2013, the development and management of public lighting plants and services are headed by Acea Illuminazione pubblica SpA.