Residential, commercial PV drives solar demand in Italy

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Italy saw the addition of 27.4 MW of new solar power in April, 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.

Total newly installed PV capacity for the first four months of this year has reached 116.4 MW, which represents an increase of around 6.4% compared to the same period a year earlier, when new PV additions totaled around 109 MW.

This year’s average monthly growth of around 30 MW per month, driven mainly be residential and commercial PV, confirms the trend registered over the past three years – with the exception of March 2018, when newly installed capacity was around 90 MW, due to the completion of four solar parks totaling 60 MW in central Italy by U.K. investment firm, Octopus.

Despite the increased number of announcements for “unsubsidized” solar parks made across Italy by several developers over the past months, not a single large-scale PV project has been connected to the grid so far this year.

According to Anie’s numbers, residential installations not exceeding 20 kW in size still dominate the Italian solar energy landscape, with around 67.7 MW of newly installed capacity. Meanwhile, PV systems with a power range of 20 kW to 10 KW totaled 46.2 MW. Only 2.5 MW of PV projects over 1 MW were finalized between January and April.

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

Meanwhile, Terna has reported that solar was able to generate 2,428 GWh in April, thus covering 10% of total power demand in Italy in April. As for the first four months of this year, PV produced 89,430 GWh, which was enough to cover 5.8% of the country’s total demand.

Thermal power was still able to cover more than 50% of total demand both in April and the first four months of 2018, with 11,872 GWh and 60,689 GW, respectively.