Italy is one of the top touristic destinations of the world and it ranks third in Europe, after Spain and Germany, in terms of presences in hotels and similar accommodations. The hotel sector is of fundamental importance for the Italian economy, since tourism contributes to a substantial share of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 10.2% of the GDP in 2015, and it is relevant also at international level, because 16.5% of EU hotels is located in Italy.
Since hotels offer a large range of services to their clients, they are among the highest energy consumption building types, therefore it is central to evaluate the possible energy efficiency potential of this particular class of buildings.
Given the strategic importance and the consistence of the hotel sector in Italy, a model is developed, by using the LEAP platform, in order to determine energy consumption per class of hotels and to evaluate the possible potential energy saving. The Italian hotel sector is modelled (LEAP-IHS) by taking into account the different categories of the structures with the corresponding appliances available in different categories of hotels.
After a successful validation based on literature data, LEAP-IHS has been used to build three scenarios, namely BAU, BAT and REA.
The BAU scenario represents the “baseline” of the energy consumption in the hotel sector, which is not available from statistical data, therefore it represents a first important achievement of the present study. The BAU has shown that primary energy consumption will tend to decrease even though no efficiency measures will be implemented in the Italian hotel sector, because the penetration of renewables will increase in the power sector, which develops independently from the hotel one. BAT and REA scenarios included a set of measures to be possibly implemented the hotel sector and it is shown that relevant savings can be obtained, especially in the BAT scenario. On the other hand their financial sustainability is weak. In contrast, REA scenario allows achieving a lower level of energy savings and emissions reduction, but it has the relevant advantage of being sustainable from the financial point of view, even though externalities savings are not reinvested in the hotel sector.
According to the proposed analysis, it can be said that the implementation of the BAT scenario is a purely policy option, because at moment it cannot be justified on the basis of the economic return, but it can be pursued in accordance with other policy reasons, such as to enforce the security of supply by reducing primary energy consumption or by promoting environmental friendly policies.
Instead, the implementation of REA scenario can be substantially justified from the economic point of view, even without any state aid (e.g. reinvestment of externalities savings). For this reason, REA scenario could be directly promoted by private operators, such as hotel association or financial institutions, because it can guarantee energy savings and financial return at the same time.
The complete analysis is available here.