The Italian solar market aims to mimic the success of nearby countries such as Spain and Portugal by exploiting the nation’s high solar potential.
The Italian government has recognised the country’s solar shortcomings and has devised strategies to allow for solar development to strive.
Italy’s solar and wind development must be accelerated to reach the goals outlined in the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which is for renewables to account for 55% of power generation by 2030. The PNIEC also targeted 52GW of installed solar energy by 2030, which would require 3GW of solar growth per year.
In order to obtain this goal, the government installed a Simplification Decree in 2021 which fast-tracks planning permission for solar projects.
The vast majority of solar growth in Italy will occur in the south, due to the superior sun exposure and land availability
1) Cero Generation (United Kingdom)
With over 8GW of installed solar capacity, Cero Generation are amongst Europe’s leading solar energy developers. The London-based solar developer is an independent portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.
Cero have a strong Italian presence with over 1.5GW of their installed capacity coming from projects located across Italy. Their first project dates back to October 2021 with project Bolotana, a 6MW PV plant in Sardinia with a further 9MW to be added later this year.
Their latest Italian project is located in Pontinia, in May 2022 the solar group announced the completion of their deal to develop a 70MW agri-voltaic project. The project consists of a 70MW solar park using single-axis trackers, bifacial modules, and string inverters.
The solar project is the first of its kind in Italy as it will adopt a unique approach, 65% of the 135-hectare site will be used to cultivate crops which will optimize the efficiency of land usage. The farm will also cultivate the land using biodynamic and a fuel-efficient approach in alignment with Cero’s net-zero goals.
2) Matrix Renewables (Spain)
The TPG-backed renewables developer first entered the Italian solar market in 2021, with the development of 420MW worth of solar projects in Sicily and Lazio in a joint venture with Horus Green Investment.
Matrix Renewables have since accelerated their Italian expansion with over 1GW of solar energy in different stages of development. Their latest project was announced in February 2022 in partnership with Spanish developer Energia Aljaval. The partnership will develop 300MW of Italian solar, affirming Matrix’s position as one of the leading developers of Italian solar.
3) STEAG Solar Energy Solutions (Germany)
The Würzburg-based solar developer targeted Italy as a key region to develop solar projects, outlining a 3GW goal by 2025. Currently, STEAG SES have an installed Italian solar capacity of just under 1GW.
A large proportion of this installed capacity is supplied by their 700MW Sicilian solar project which is co-developed by KGAL. The construction commenced at the end of 2021 and will provide over 1400GW hours into the grid per year.
The longstanding partnership will also develop a 17MW solar farm in the Emilia Romagna region. The Emilia Romagna region offers up to 10 hours of sunshine per day and will supply 25m kWh of renewable electricity per year.
Image Source Unsplash 22.06.22