Italy stands at 6th position in the world, with a 22,698-megawatt capacity as of 2021. I will be discussing the Italian government’s ambition regarding renewable energy, mentioning new and upcoming solar projects. Moreover, I will shed light on indigenous companies and start-ups and list three challenges hindering solar power.
Regarding Italy’s ambition to promote renewable energy, The Ministry of Environment and Energy Security submitted a proposal for the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan under which it intends to generate about 65 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, renewable energy is expected to produce about 40 per cent of gross energy consumption in sectors like power production, housing, and transportation.
New & Upcoming Solar Projects
- The Malvezzi solar farm is in Ferrara, developed by Enel Green Power. Construction began in September 2021 and was completed in March 2023 with €200,000 raised through funding. It has a capacity of 17 Megawatt and electricity for over 8,000 families.
- Solar Power Park in Sicily is being developed by European Energy, who have secured the permits for the plant. Once completed, it will be the country’s biggest solar park with 250 megawatt capacity and can power 130,000 households.
- Troia Solar Park in Apulia was built by European Energy with an investment of $135 million. The project was commissioned in November 2019 with a 121.5 Megawatt capacity.
- Solar PV Park in Apulia was developed by Green Genius Italy Utility 12. It is expected to begin construction in 2024 and enter operations in 2025 with 30 Megawatt capacity.
- Solar PV Park in Sicily was developed by Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investment. It is at the permitting stage and will be constructed and enter operations later this year with 78 78-megawatt capacity.
- Gruppo STG S.R.I., is headquartered in Piedmont, and was founded in 2009. They specialise in the design and production of photovoltaic and structural solutions.
- EF Solare Italia is headquartered in Trento and was founded in 2015. They are a leading solar power manufacturer and operate more than 300 plants in Italy with a cumulative capacity of more than 800 Megawatts.
- Enel S.P.A. is headquartered in Rome and was founded in 1962. They produce as well as distribute energy around the world from solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power plants.
- Sungen is headquartered in Reggio nell’Emilia, and founded in 2014. They are engaged in trading and manufacturing of solar photovoltaic panels and modules.
- Levante S.R.L., headquartered in Milan, and founded in 2021. A cleantech startup producing portable solar power to provide people with clean energy.
- The first and foremost challenge has to do with Italy possessing one of the most complex taxation systems, leading to unnecessary delays in starting solar projects, and thereby impacting Italy’s ability to scale solar energy.
- The second obstacle to scaling solar power is due to scarcity of materials, delaying construction of projects and a hindrance to deploying the technology at large scale.
- The third problem is that the climate for tapping solar energy is better in the south while energy consumption is higher in the north. The government needs to tap solar energy and connect the electric grid to get electricity where it is needed.
In this piece, I have talked about Italy’s position regarding solar energy, and its ambitions to promote renewable energy sources. The new and upcoming solar energy projects and the indigenous players are at the forefront of boosting solar power. Finally, I have mentioned three challenges which hinder the growth of solar energy and the government needs to address them to deploy solar power at scale.