Italy on track to knock Germany off top PV spot

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According to data released, there are over 270,000 photovoltaic systems currently in operation.

Specifically, under the fourth Conto Energia, 26,134 photovoltaic systems have come into operation, worth 1.7 GW. Meanwhile, under the third Conto Energia, 38,122 systems totaling 1.59 GW were installed. The second Conto Energia, on the other hand, saw 200,963 systems worth 6.56 GW installed, and the first Conto Energia saw 5,734 systems installed amounting to 163 megawatts (MW).

Goetz Fischbeck from Germany’s BHF Bank, who states that over seven GWp of photovoltaic systems have been grid connected and registered with GSE this year, adds that 3.7 GWp comprise new systems installed in 2011, while 3.3 GWp are attributable to systems constructed in 2010, yet grid connected in 2011.

Puglia is said to be the region with the highest level of installed capacity: currently, there are 1.68 GW worth of photovoltaics installed there, spread across 17,812 systems. The Lombardy region, however, takes the crown for the most number of installed systems (38,810 systems worth 993 MW). This is followed by Veneto, with 36,066 systems and 894 MW.

GSE adds that, in the first half of this year, an estimated 6.5 GW of photovoltaics has been installed. It says that by the end of the year, 12 GW, or 350,000 systems could be reached. If this is achieved, Italy would overtake Germany to become the leading country in terms of installed photovoltaic capacity.

Due to the reported high volumes of photovoltaics being installed in Italy, Fischbeck cautions that there could be risk of further regulatory interventions by the government. "Italian PV market size in 2012 could be significantly limited as a result of further regulatory adjustments," said a statement issued.

In November, Bank Sarasin predicted that just over two GW would be installed in the country in 2011. If GSE’s estimates are right, the analysts projections are way off mark.