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In This work, the conditions and the degree of DG exploitation are investigated in a national energy planning. To this purpose, a bottom-up energy system optimization model is used to support policy planning for the sustainable use of energy. The national power system is modelled through the energy flow optimization model (EFOM) as a network of energy chains, starting from the primary energy supply and ending in the end use sectors. The study is carried out over a period of 15-20 years assuming feasible scenarios that take into account the characteristics and availability of different technologies and on policy measures such as energy taxes or constraints for the amounts of emissions and energy resources. The proposed methodology is applied to the case of the Italian energy system.