Italy calls for coal plant phase-out by 2025, gas to keep key role

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy called on Friday for coal power plants across the country to be phased out by 2025 and for renewable energy to play a greater role as it moves to reduce its carbon footprint.

In a framework energy document, Rome said the aim was for green energy sources to account for 28 percent of overall energy consumption by 2030 from 17.5 percent in 2015.

In particular it said it wanted renewables to make up 21 percent of energy consumption in the transportation sector compared to 6.4 percent in 2015.

But gas would continue to have a key role in Italy's energy strategy, the document said. Italy, which imports about 90 percent of its gas needs, generates about 43 percent of its power from gas.

In slides on its new strategy, the government said it wanted to promote new gas import pipelines to diversify supply while liquefied natural gas capacity would be awarded by auction and not on a fixed tariff basis.

On Thursday the head of Italy's biggest utility Enel said the strategy needed to give a greater role to green energy to wean the country off reliance on gas.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Isla Binnie)

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