Italy registers uptick in new PV installations in May

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Italy deployed 46.9 MW of solar capacity in May, according to provisional numbers released by Italian renewable energy association Anie Rinnovabili and based on data provided by grid operator Terna.

The result marks the best return in two years which have seen an average monthly growth rate of little more than 30 MW.

Anie Rinnovabili said more growth will be possible this year due to the recent re-introduction of the ‘superammortamento’ – super-amortization of investment goods, launched by the Italian government under the Industria 4.0 policy package in late 2016. The regulation facilitates business investment by permitting extra amortization – staggered, long-term payments – on the purchase of specified tangible assets.

The association also cited the entry into force of a new auction and incentive scheme for renewable energy as an equally important factor driving PV deployment.

Recent highs

Italy added 187 MW of new solar capacity in the first five months of the year, up from 153 MW in the same period a year earlier but down from the 204 MW added in January-May 2017. In March of 2017, several large scale solar parks with a total capacity of around 45 MW were connected to the grid – a unique occurrence since the closure of the Conto Energia incentive scheme in July 2013. If developers make good on numerous promises to get projects financed by bilateral power purchase agreements up and running this year, 2019 could mark a five-year high point for Italian PV.

The market continues to be dominated by rooftop solar. According to the latest statistics, PV projects with a maximum capacity of 1 MW represent almost all the new additions – around 182 MW. Larger solar parks supplied only 5.5 MW of the total.

Residential PV systems up to 20 kW in size supplied around 105.5 MW of capacity in the five-month period; 20-100 kW systems made up 35.1 MW; and 100 kW-1 MW commercial and industrial arrays accounted for 40.5 MW.

The regions with the highest deployment volumes were, as usual, in the industrialized north. Lombardy brought 34.5 MW of new solar online while the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions finished the period with 27.7 MW and 19.5 MW, respectively.

Italy’s National Integrated Plan for Climate and Energy aims for cumulative PV installations of 50 GW by 2030.