Italy set to reach 400 MW of new PV capacity in 2017

Italy could see over 400 MW of new PV capacity installed this year, thus achieving its best result in terms of PV growth for the past four years, during which time new PV additions ranged between 300 MW and 350 MW.

According to provisional numbers released by the Italian renewable energy association Anie Rinnovabili, which are based on data provided by the country’s grid operator Terna, Italy added another 29 MW of new PV systems in October, slightly down from 32 MW in September and down 3% from October 2016.

In the first ten months of this year, however, newly installed PV capacity was 352 MW, a result that represented 12% growth from the same period in 2016 and a 28% increase from the first 10 months of 2015.

If the current monthly pace of growth could be maintained over the next two months, crossing the 400 MW threshold would be achieved.

October’s result still gives the category for PV plants over 1 MW the largest share in this year’s ranking, with around 66.9 MW of newly installed power; the same amount it had at the end of September. This capacity, in fact, comes from several PV plants installed in Montalto di Castro, in Italy’s central region of Lazio, which is selling power to a local power distributor under a PPA, a rare exception so far in the Italian renewable energy landscape.

The second largest category, which includes PV systems with a capacity between 4.5 kW and 6 kW, reached 53 MW at the end of October, followed by PV systems ranging in size from 20 kW to 100 kW (50.1 MW), solar installations with a power of 10 kW to 20 KW (46.2 MW), and solar power generators with a capacity between 6 kW and 20 kW (36.3 MW).

The region with the largest share so far this year is Lazio with 83.8 MW, followed by Lombardia (47.5 MW), Veneto (41.7 MW) and Emilia Romagna (33 MW).

Meanwhile, Italian grid regulator Terna has reported that all the PV systems connected to the grid in Italy were able to generate 1,921 GWh in October, up 36.2% from the same month in 2016. This represented 7.2% of the month’s total power demand.

In the first ten months of this year, PV achieved a production of 22,816 GW, up 14.6% from 19,914 Gwh a year earlier. This was enough to cover 8.7% of total power demand. Thermoelectric power plants, however, were still able to cover around 61.8% of total power demand with approximately 161,780 GW.

According to the latest official statistic released by the energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), Italy had approximately 19.28 GW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2016. This means that the country should have reached approximately 19.6 GW of installed solar capacity at the end of October.