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Italy's Solar Market Snapshot

published: 2011-07-21 10:46

Italy is seeking further renewable energy development boost from construction of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. Yet, such effort does not help much to narrow the gap between the country’s development of CSP and that of other leading countries in the world.

The largest utility provider, Enel Green Power (EGP), who deploys a diversified portfolio of renewable energy sources announced recently its plans to construct two CSP plants in Italy. The combined electricity generated will total 55 MW.

In the mean time, Gehrlicher Solar, German company will start to install 20 MW of ground based solar power plants and rooftop systems in Italy in the next few months while three other solar parks will be finished to meet the September 1st deadline.
Currently, Italy, where alternative energy accounts for 15% of the total national consumption, is increasing its percentage of solar generated power. According to the announcement, the construction projects in Italy may need fund aids from the EU.

A senior management from EGP previously pointed out that with the right support solar energy generation will rapidly increase by fourfold to 30 GW. As the second largest single solar market after Germany, Italy has successfully attracted a large cluster of solar component suppliers accross supply chain to establish presence in the country since the commencement of a series of subsidy policies for solar energy.
The CEO of Enel Green Power, Fulvio Conti, indicated that the country has already reached previously set target of 8 GW by 2020. If the growth continues at the current pace, it is expected Italy will reach 30 GW by 2020 which is in line with the new policy plan's target.

Despite unstable national debt, the government approved more than 900 projects that qualified for a subsidy in May. The country’ newly revised version of subsidy program that will reward solar products that contain more than 60% of components made in Europe with an extra 10% subsidy. The new policy targets 23 GW by 2013 and the positive outcome is well expected. In addition, the residential solar energy is approaching grid parity which will certainly help the development of solar industry as manufacturing costs decrease and conversion efficiency improves.

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