In order to reduce the rising gas costs due to the Russian conflict, the Italian government has introduced measures to speed up their complex renewable project application process. This is increasingly important in the capital, as Rome relies on gas to generate 40% of its electricity. Additional wind projects will be required for the country to reach its 2030 NECP target, which is for renewable energy to account for 30% of total production. Thus, requiring 19.3GW of wind energy to be developed by the year 2030, which is a rate of 1GW/year. In March 2022, the Italian government granted access for 6 wind farms with a potential installed capacity of 420MW to begin construction. In order to meet such ambitious goals, the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition has begun to explore all avenues which can accelerate the growth of the wind sector. The department received over 60 expressions of interest in November 2021 to develop floating offshore wind projects, located mainly off the coasts of Sicily and Sardinia. The first, which will be discussed below completed construction in March 2022 and represents a promising transition towards a greener Italian future in a country that has suffered from complex project applications hampering wind growth.
1) Renexia (Italy)
The Italian renewables developer was responsible for the construction of the first offshore wind project in the Mediterranean. Project Beleolico was completed by Renexia in March 2022, the wind farm is located off the coast in Taranto and has an installed capacity of 30MW. The offshore project will supply 60,000 homes with electricity and once fully operational will produce 58,000MWh per year. Renexia hopes Project Beleolico will spur future offshore projects, with plans to develop a vast floating wind farm consisting of 190 turbines located off the coast of Sicily.
2) Falck Renewables (Italy)
The Italian renewables giant has over 1GW of installed wind energy located across Europe. Falck Renewables has established a strong relationship with BlueFloat Energy as the pair aims to become experts in floating offshore wind projects. To date, the duo has completed offshore projects in Scotland and the Celtic sea. The duo aims to complete several large-scale offshore wind farms in Italy, two of which have been named Odra Energia and Kailia Energia. The latter is located off the coast of Puglia and has a potential installed capacity of 1.2GW. Odra Energia, is located off the southern coast near the province of Lecce and will have an installed capacity of 1.3GW. The joint venture has also submitted an application for Minervia Vento and Nora Ventu projects located in Calabria and Sardinia. Their complete portfolio will have an installed capacity of 4.6GW if the projects are fully approved by the Ministry for Ecological Transition. Once completed, the five projects will put Falck and BlueFloat amongst the key players in Italian wind.
3) WPD (Germany)
The Bremen-based wind and solar developer has a diversified portfolio of renewable assets with projects located in Taiwan, Germany, and France. Their total installed capacity is in the excess of 5GW. In 2022, WPD first entered the Italian market with the construction of a 30MW wind farm located in Sicily. The Licata wind project is comprised of 7 4.2MW Vesta turbines.
Image Source Unsplash 24.06.2022