Italy - Country Commercial Guide
Renewable Energy

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-09

Overview

2018 is the last full year for which renewables capacity and production data in Italy were available. That year, overall installed power from renewables exceeded 54 GW, i.e. about 45% of the 118 GW-strong Italian generation park. During 2018 1,162 MW of renewables capacity were installed, broken down as follows: wind: 511 MW; photovoltaics: 437 MW; hydroelectric:  140 MW; biomass:  74 MW. Total installed capacity in 2018 was over 250 MW higher than that installed in 2017 (+ 28%). In 2018 Italy was the only major EU country to reach its 2020 renewable quota targets, set at 17%, ranking third in Europe in renewable energy consumption, after Germany and France.

The quota of renewables over total energy consumption in Italy in 2018 was 17.8%, broken down as follows:

Quota of renewables on energy consumption - Italy vs. EU 28 countries - 2018

 

Italy

EU 28 Countries

Renewables/Total Energy Consumption

17.8%

18.0%

Renewables/Transportation

7.7%

8.1%

Renewables/Electrical power generation

33.9%

32.1%

Renewables/Thermal power

19.2%

19.7%

 Source: GSE

2019 whole-year data on renewables still have to be confirmed. However, during a June 2020 seminar GSE, the Italian government-owned company responsible for the development of sustainability and the granting of incentives for renewables and energy efficiency, presented a few key provisional 2019 data: total production from renewables: 116 TWh; additional renewable power installed:  1.2 GW, mainly photovoltaic (+750 MW) and wind (+400 MW), compensating for a decrease in hydro. GSE also noted that in 2019 overall installed power from renewables in Italy amounted to 55.5 GW. Moreover, in 2019 18% of energy consumption (electrical, thermal and transportation) was satisfied by renewables.

Because of the Covid pandemic, which impacted energy production and consumption, it is estimated that any forecasts for renewable power generation in 2020 and 2021 will have to be revised down by about 10%., despite renewable energies being more resilient than fossil fuels. Even with continued cost reductions, renewables are not sheltered from future market uncertainty caused by Covid in terms of demand and availability of financing. However, Ernst & Young’s May 2020 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index observed that “Italy will keep playing a central role in this sector.” This is confirmed by the strategic plans to bolster renewables prepared by the Government during the last few years.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Sources of Import

The renewable technology showing the strongest growth rate (past and future) for Italy is photovoltaic (PV) solar production, with over 22 TWh produced in 2018 by photovoltaic systems and installations. According to the International Energy Agency’s Snapshot of Global PV Markets, Italy is among the countries that now have enough PV capacity to theoretically produce more than 5% of their annual electricity demand with PV. In 2019 Italy installed around 0.6 GW new PV power and ranks sixth among world countries and second in Europe for total PV installed capacity (20.8GW). Italy’s €5.4 billion ($6 billion) renewable incentives program is expected to spur new growth in large scale PV while also providing incentives for rooftop systems. In order to receive the incentives, plants whose power is below 1MW will need to be enrolled in specific registers and for plants above 1MW auctions will be used.

Opportunities

The Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC) describes Italy’s strategy from 2021 to 2030 with regards to decarbonization, energy efficiency, self-consumption and distributed generation, energy security and consumption electrification. The Plan aims to bring the share of renewables of the final gross energy consumption to 30% by 2030. The Plan’s installed power objectives for the various renewable sources in 2025 and 2030 are ambitious and challenging. With regards to electricity generation, the Plan expects power generated by renewables by 2030 to increase by 65% compared to its current total, with renewables scheduled to cover more than 55% of national electricity consumption (estimated at 337 TWh) in 2030. Specifically, the Plan places a strong emphasis on wind energy (set to reach in 2030 almost twice the amount of installed power in 2017) and photovoltaics (2.5 times the 2019 installed power). This means a total increase of installed power from renewable sources by 75%.

Leading global energy company ENEL, headquartered in Italy and with a growing presence in North America, has committed to a “complete decarbonization” by 2050, which includes an increase in the weight of renewable energy to 60GW by 2022. Already, renewables represent 64% of Enel’s total power generation capacity. ENEL welcomes the opportunity to partner with innovative U.S. technology providers through its Innovation Hubs network (with hubs located in the USA as well).

An area of opportunity for U.S. companies is in integrated photovoltaics and energy storage along with sustainable (electric) mobility.

Resources

GSE: https://www.gse.it/en/

PNIEC – Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan: https://www.mise.gov.it/images/stories/documenti/it_final_necp_main_en.pdf

Ecomondo/KeyEnergy trade show, Rimini, November 3 – 6 2020: https://en.ecomondo.com/

Enel Innovation Hubs: https://startup.enel.com/en/innovation-hub.html

U.S. Commercial Service Contact:

Federico Bevini, Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Consulate Milan

Tel: +39 026268 8520

E-mail: federico.bevini@trade.gov

https://www.trade.gov/italy/