• In Q1/2020, Italy added 115 MW of new solar PV capacity to a total quarterly renewable energy addition of 178 MW
  • Maximum additions of 63% came from up to 10 kW or more system sizes while 45% was due to system sizes of less than 20 kW
  • Anie Rinnovabili says the quarterly additions of 178 MW aren’t enough to reach the 2030 targets; the country needs an average of 330 MW a month instead

Solar PV installations in Italy grew by over 9% annually in Q1/2020 to reach 115.4 MW, compared to 105.3 MW in Q1/2019, as per Italian renewable energy association Anie Rinnovabili. Calculated basis statistics shared by the national grid operator Terna, Anie Rinnovabili’s Q1/2020 numbers show renewable energy capacity additions of 178 MW, a growth of 23% from last year.

Distributed over the first 3 months – 33 MW in January 2020, 46.6 MW in February 2020 and 35.8 MW in March 2020, PV numbers for the quarter show again a decline in March numbers sequentially, which the association attributes to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic related lockdown in the country. Additions comprise large scale project commissioning for a 13.3 MW facility in Sicily’s Agrigento province and another 2.2 MW in Lombardy’s Cremona province.

Most new installations were reported from the regions of Campania, Marche, Molise, Sicilia e Valle d’Aosta, and the largest decrease was seen in Abruzzo, Lazio and Tuscany.

According to the association, new installations of up to 10 kW or more made up 63% of the Q1/2020 total, while system sizes of less than 20 kW capacity accounted for 45%. Anie Rinnovabili observes that the lockdown mostly impacted residential and industrial additions in the month of March 2020 for installation sizes of up to 200 kW.

Recently, Italy announced the results of its second renewable energy auction wherein wind beat solar to win the lion’s share of 406 MW out of 425 MW awarded. Solar won only 19.3 MW, its second dismal performance as during the first auction the results were even worse with only 5 MW secured out of 500 MW auctioned. Wind won almost entire chunk of 495 MW.

Anie Rinnovabili says that a 178 MW quarterly addition of renewable energy in Q1/2020 is still far from an average of 330 MW a month required to achieve the country’s renewable energy objectives for 2030. However, the key to more installations is in the hand of the government which needs to simplif the permitting and authorization process. It needs a bigger change in perspective on part of the government to change their approach towards environmental issues, the association said.

For renewable energy auctions, it suggests increasing the number of calls to 2 more after September 2021. Italy is obliged to hold 7 bidding rounds between 2019 and 2021 aiming for 4.8 GW of new renewable energy capacity.

In early June, there was some good news for the solar PV sector in Italy as the COVID-19 stimulus package Decreto Rilancio called for 110% tax relief for energy efficiency and retrofit measures including rooftop solar PV. German consultancy EuPD Research called it an opportunity for PV system installers to enhance their skills to align solar PV with the approved measures.