Italy registered new PV systems with a combined capacity of 42.3 MW in September, 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. This represents the largest solar growth of any month so far this year.
So far in 2018 around 300.9 MW of newly installed PV capacity was registered in the country. This compares to 323 MW in the first nine months of 2017, and 286 MW in the same period of 2016.
Taking into account that cumulative installed PV capacity at the end of 2017 was 19,682 MW, Italy has now almost reached the 20 GW milestone with approximately 19,983 MW of installed PV systems.
Residential PV not exceeding 20 kW in size still accounts for the largest share, with a capacity of around 159 MW. PV systems with a power range of 20 to 100 kW totaled 55 MW. Meanwhile, commercial and industrial projects with a capacity between 100 kW and 1 MW reached 68.6 MW. Large-scale projects exceeding 1 MW topped a total of 16.8 MW at the end of September.
Italian grid operator Terna has reported that all of the PV systems connected to the grid in the country generated 19,451 GWh in the first nine months of 2018, down 4.5% from 20,361 GW in the same period of 2017. This power production was able to cover 8.0% of Italy’s power demand so far this year. Thermal power, however, still remains the largest source of power at more than 50% of total demand in the first three quarter of this year with 146,067 GWh.
Italy’s energy strategy for the period 2020-2030 (Strategia Energetica Nazionale – SEN), aims at increasing the share of renewables from around 17.5% currently – the 2020 EU target of 17% was already achieved by the country – to 27% in 2030. As per the new energy strategy, solar is set to play a key role, and account for around 50% of newly installed capacity.
The Italian government is currently defining a new package of measures, which is expected to spur further growth and relaunch the large-scale sector. The first mixed auction for big solar parks and wind farms could be launched in late January.