Italy: New Q1 PV additions total 89 MW, Sicily introduces moratorium on large-scale solar

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Italy installed around 89.1 MW of new PV systems in the first three months of this year, 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.

In March alone, around 28.9 MW of new solar installations were connected to the country’s grid. This compares to 27.9 MW in February and 32.2 MW in January. If this growth trend continues for the rest of the year, Italy may reach around 350 MW of installed solar power, for 2018, a result which would be in line with the growth registered in 2015 and 2016.

Last year, newly installed PV capacity was larger at around 409.4 MW, a result that was made possible by the completion of several “grid-parity” solar parks in Central Italy by UK investor Octopus. So far this year, not a single large-scale PV plant has been connected to the Italian grid, although a few may see the light of the day in the course of the year.

Residential and commercial PV continue to drive demand in the Italian solar market. Residential solar power installations not exceeding 20 kW in size, in fact, accounted for around 58% of the installed capacity.

Overall, cumulative installed PV power in Italy has reached 19.7 GW as of the end of March 2018.

Meanwhile, the regional government of Sicily, Italy’s southernmost and sunniest region, has decided to introduce a moratorium on large-scale wind and solar projects until September 8. In a new decree, published on the region’s official journal, the island’s government has decided to suspend all new licenses granted to projects for solar parks and wind power plants in order to assess their potential impact on the landscape through a new regional spatial planning.