published on 11 January 2019 in energy
Renewables are growing but the 2030 target is still a long way off
The year 2018 was a positive year for Italian renewable sources of electricity. In fact, according to the analyses of ANIE Rinnovabili’s Osservatorio FER from January to November last year, new photovoltaic, wind and hydroelectric installations reached a total production of around 836 MW (+9% compared to 2017). If we also consider the new capacity of bioenergy plants, total production becomes 864 MW.
According to estimates, after integrating the data for December 2018 too, the overall results for 2017 will be achieved in terms of new installed capacity, with differing dynamics for individual sources (positive for photovoltaic and hydroelectric, probably negative for window power and bioenergy).
The figures for each individual source are given below.
At the end of November 2018, photovoltaic power reached a total of 402 MW (+6% against the same period of 2017). The number of connected solar production units increased (+8%) as a result of policies for personal use and tax exemptions, that is tax reductions for home owners who install energy saving solutions and extra depreciation allowances for companies. Residential-type systems (up to 20 kW) account for 50% of new installed power in 2018.
Calabria, Liguria, Piedmont and Sardinia were the regions where photovoltaic power increased most, while Campania, Lazio and Valle d’Aosta were those with the most significant decreases. The regions that achieved the highest increases in terms of production units are Abruzzo, Liguria and Umbria, while those with the greatest decreases are Basilicata and Molise.
Wind power produced a total of 297 MW in 2018. While there were positive months, the installations in any case decreased (-9%) against 2017. There was a considerable decrease (-95%) in production units due to the fact that direct access to very small sized systems ended on 31 December 2017.
With regard to territorial distribution, the majority of connected power units (88%) are concentrated in Southern Italian regions. With regard to installed power, last year applications for connection of systems producing less than 60 kW were only 0.2% of the installed total up to November, while plants with capacities higher than 200 kW were 99% of the total.
Hydroelectric power reached a total of 137 MW (+92% compared to the levels recorded in the first eleven months of 2017), but there was a decrease in production units (-69%).
The regions where the highest increases in power compared to the previous year were recorded were Lombardia and Piedmont. Hydroelectric plants with connected capacities lower than 1 MW in 2018 form 8% of the installed total up to November 2018. The start-up of a hydroelectric plant with a capacity of approximately 6.3 MW in Lombardia in October 2018 is worth mentioning.
With regard to bioenergy plants, in the last two months there were no significant variations, and therefore installed power in 2018 remained stable at 28 MW corresponding to 25 plants.
The ANIE Observatory concludes with an invitation to do more to reach the 2030 target confirmed by the European Union at 32%. Certainly a first important step would be approval by the European Commission of the draft Ministerial Decree on renewable sources and its publication in the Official Gazette.