Bologna held the second edition of the ALUMINIUM ENERGY SUMMIT

many ideas for strengthening the industry’s sustainability

Bologna March 2024 – The second edition of the Aluminium Energy Summit was held at Bologna Fiere as part of the MECSPE event: a lead-up to METEF, the international exhibition for the aluminium supply chain, scheduled for March 5-7, 2025, at Bologna Fiere.

Representatives from every stage of the supply chain gathered at the event to assess the technology advancements and tangible contributions that the sector may utilize to meet decarbonization and circular economy objectives.

Professor Umberto Monarca of Luiss University spoke at the opening of the Summit, which was moderated by Professor Annalisa Pola of the University of Brescia. Monarca, analysing the evolution of the Italian energy scenario, discussed the challenges in achieving the energy-related objectives of the “FIT for 55” package and the sizeable investments in renewable energy sources that Italy will require in the near future. Terna forecasts that, in 2030, the installed capacity of photovoltaics and wind power is expected to triple from 2019 levels to 75 GW and 27 GW, respectively, generating a resulting demand for storage of at least 95 GWh. The concentration of the supply chain for renewable energy technology in China, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries, is surely one of the unknowns associated with these investments. Therefore, our country’s challenge lies not only in meeting the “Fit for 55” targets but, more crucially, in being able to support green technology investment policies with suitable industrial policies that can eliminate the need for imports of goods and technologies required for the green transition.

This was followed by a speech by Christian Koulic of TotalEnergies, who presented the French Multi-Energy Company’s strategies on decarbonization in the aluminium production process and its goals, developed in Scope 1, 2, and 3. By 2030, TotalEnergies aims to offer renewable energy, with a 100 TWh net production, and develop a worldwide presence in biogas, reaching a 20 TWh production.

After the introductory speeches, a talk titled “The Energy of the Aluminium Supply Chain” was held, followed by a debate between companies in the supply chain. The debate showed how energy efficiency and decarbonization represent indispensable factors of competitiveness today in an increasingly complex market.

For Nicolò Farina of the Carcano Antonio company, a manufacturer of aluminium laminates, the path to decarbonization in the industry starts with a proper and timely assessment of emissions at all stages of the product life cycle. To attain its decarbonization objectives, the Carcano Group will primarily rely on the progressive electrification of consumption, energy efficiency, self-production and the acquisition of energy from renewable sources, as well as the purchase of raw materials with a reduced emission impact.

Mauro Cibaldi, of Deral (recycled aluminium producer) and Estral (extrusion producer) highlighted how decarbonization in the aluminium world is a great opportunity for Italian players whose productions are based on scrap recycling.
The characteristics of aluminium allow it to be 100 per cent recyclable, with low energy consumption compared to raw material from ore, and thus also limited carbon emissions.
Certain features of the product that were once overlooked can now be improved because of the user’s emphasis on energy and environmental preservation.

With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, Marco Pea of Alpress foundry pointed out that the current scenario prompts the company to identify and take actions to meet the demands of a changing market that includes consumers and customers but also credit institutions. These demands are an opportunity to steer toward a truly sustainable future as promulgated by the 2030 Agenda and the European Green Deal “Fit for 55,” ambitious goals that require concrete commitment from all parties.

For Roberto Pegurri of Aere, a consulting firm specializing in energy efficiency and decarbonization issues, calculating a company’s carbon footprint—which, depending on the sector, can be very complex—is only the first step in the decarbonization journey that will affect companies for decades to come.
Today, companies are beginning to ask their supply chain for the value of their greenhouse gas emissions, but tomorrow, as they need to decrease their emissions, they will ask the supply chain to plan for a gradual reduction. In fact, purchased raw materials, semi-finished, and finished products can make up a significant, often the largest, portion of the greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the company.

Tiziana Tronci of Gefond, a supplier of foundry technology, brought her input on the importance of working alongside aluminium foundries on an efficiency path to meet the challenges of decarbonization. This is possible through energy-saving and digitising technologies. Two concepts that today are the basis of the Transition 5.0 plan, which, according to Tronci, needs a cultural transformation even before a technological approach.

For Claudio Vivante of TOOLS for SMART MINDS, a provider of technology for Industry 5.0 and predictive maintenance, understanding how artificial intelligence and process digitisation enable the optimisation of manufacturing plant utilization will become increasingly important.

Eugenio Paroletti of A&L-Aluminum and Alloys magazine concluded the panel of speakers by documenting how the aluminium supply chain in Italy has developed with great continuity since the beginning of the last century and emphasizing its importance in industrial development in several strategic use sectors such as mechanical manufacturing, automotive, construction, transportation and packaging.
Additionally, he made the point that aluminium, thanks to its properties and, in particular, its natural recyclability, plays a key role in Italy and Europe in the transition to a carbon-neutral economy in a global context where estimations indicate there will be an increased need for the raw material

The Summit concluded with the presentation of the Metef Awards 2025, a competition aimed at companies that stand out for technologically advanced solutions in process management throughout the aluminium supply chain. This event served as a preview of the new “Closing the STEM Gap” category, an award designed to promote female entry into the aluminium supply chain.

The Aluminium Energy Summit was the first stage of the “On the Road to Metef 2025” program, the roadmap to the next edition of the Metef event. The second stage of the program will include the conference “Electric Mobility and the Aluminum Supply Chain: Results of the European Salema Project” taking place on May 8 in Bologna as part of E-TECH EUROPE, the international trade fair dedicated to solutions and technologies for electric vehicle manufacturing.

METEF, with the third edition of the Aluminium Energy Summit, will return to Bologna March 5-7, 2025, in conjunction with MECSPE, The international trade fair of reference for the manufacturing industry.

For further information, visit www.metef.com