Italian Market Environment
Italy offers much more ideal conditions for solar power generation, with solar irradiation averaging between 1,100 kWh/sqm in the north and 1,600 kWh/sqm in the south.
According to a report by SolarPower Europe, cumulative PV capacity in Italy reached 21.34 GW in 2020.
Italy closed 2022 with a 164% annual improvement in its solar PV installations reporting 2.48 GW as compared to around 940 MW in 2021, taking its cumulative installed PV capacity till the end of last year to 25.05 GW.
The residential segment leads aggregate numbers as 87% of 25 GW is made up of systems smaller than 12 kW. These sizes contributed 44% or 1.1 GW of all solar power connected in 2022.
Italy’s commercial and industrial (C&I) sector accounted for 28% or 678 MW with systems ranging between 20 kW and 1 MW, whereas utility-scale plants of over 1 MW brought in 23% or 571 MW representing a 467% annual jump. The latter came online in the form of 6×10 MW+ projects.
Installations need to increase if the country is to achieve its 2030 target to achieve a 55% share of renewables in its total electricity generation.
As committed under its old National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), Italy targeted to achieve 51 GW cumulative PV capacity by 2030 which means it would have had to double its 2022 capacity in 8 years. However, the country’s new updated target of 71.2 GW by 2030 requires it to nearly triple last year’s annual numbers.
SPE’s analysts believe the country needs to deal with its permit challenges, in particular for ground-mount systems, to speed up solar deployment along with identifying suitable land for the same and also undertake grid development simultaneously.