Almost 10% of Italy’s electricity was produced by PV solar in the first eight months of 2014. The exact figure was 9.68%, which would round up to 10%. Ten percent might not sound all that impressive until you consider the solar surge in Italy also happened recently, and that there are nearly sixty million people living there.
In August, 12.66% of Italy’s electricity was generated by the same clean source. So, going beyond ten percent is definitely feasible, and is by no means a limit. Italy had a feed-in tariff program that helped expand solar power, but it was cut in 2013. Predictably, such a change did slow solar power growth.
Recently, Italy’s net metering upper limit was increased from 200 kW to 500 kW, so that might help increase solar power expansion. Cleantechnica has reported consistently about solar developments in Italy along the way.
For example, the issue of cost parity was referenced in article about a solar installation at an IKEA rooftop solar plant, “As a future-oriented company, Martifer Solar achieved a historical milestone with this project completed together with IKEA Group. This achievement means that solar energy is as cost-competitive as any other energy source in Italy and principally, without subsidies. The solar industry is approaching grid parity in an increasing number of places worldwide,” explained Henrique Rodrigues, CEO of Martifer Solar.
Cost parity had already been achieved in Italy, according to a report that was covered on Solar Love, “A new study, the PV Grid Parity Monitor, conducted by consulting firm Eclareon, has found that commercial solar power hit grid parity in Italy, Germany, and Spain in 2013. Based on levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculations, commercial solar now competes with retail electricity in these European countries.”
Fifty billion Euros have been invested in Italian solar power in the last five years.
Solar power incentives were capped to help reduce rising electric bills for consumers. It’s unfortunate that the incentives were not allowed to remain intact for another several years, to expand solar even further. Falling solar power prices might have resulted in an even greater surge of installations.
Image Credit: Threecharlie, CC BY-SA 3.0