Italy: study predicts deployment of additional 2.3 GW of PV capacity by 2020

The Italian solar market is expected to grow by another 2.3 GW over the next four years, according to the Renewable Energy Report published by the Energy and Strategy Group of Polytechnic University of Milan.

If achieved, this result would provide much more installed solar power than predicted by the Italian energy agency GSE in early April, when it said that a further 1.5 GW of new PV installations will see the light in Italy by 2020.

Furthermore, the new forecasts predict that the country would see the installation of more than 560 MW of new PV systems per year over the next four years. This compares to an annual growth rate ranging from around 300 MW to 350 MW registered over the past three years.

Overall, the experts from the Polytechnic University of Milan expect that an additional 4.4 GW of renewable energy generation capacity will be installed through 2020, and that wind will also have a significant share with approximately 1.6 GW of new power generators.

According to the most optimistic scenario provided by the report, expected investments in solar in Italy in the 2017-2020 period will reach €369 million, while the most pessimistic scenario envisages €194 million.

The report stresses that the “crisis” of the Italian renewable energy sector has now come to an end, and that a phase of moderate growth is underway. The revamping and repowering business, for which the GSE has recently published new and clear rules, is expected to be one of the main drivers of the above-mentioned growth, the authors of the report highlighted.

GSE’s new rules, in fact, allow a 5% capacity increase for PV installations up to 20 kW and of 1% for PV systems with a capacity over 20 kW, with the additional capacity having access to the FIT scheme. For repowering interventions that will exceed these limits, a kind of intervention which was also allowed and encouraged by the GSE in the new regulation, there will be no access to the FIT program, but there will be the chance to take advantage of the “Ritiro dedicato”, a regulatory system that enables the sale of a PV system’s power output on the free market by the GSE.

According to the latest official statistic released by Terna, Italy had about 19.2 GW of installed PV capacity at the end of March 2017.