Feed-in tariffs drive nearly 2 GW of solar PV in Italy

Italy has officially reported that 1850 MW of new solar photovoltaics (PV) systems were installed in 2010, substantially exceeding industry estimates.

By Paul Gipe, edited by Renewable Energy Focus

Gesore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) added that data is still coming in for 2010 and that the total installed solar PV capacity through 2010 may reach 3 GW from 150,000 systems.

Italy installed 711 MW of solar PV in 2009, 340 MW in 2008, and only 60 MW in 2007.

GSE says that there are an additional 4 GW of solar PV from 55,000 systems in the pipeline that potentially will bring total installed capacity to 7 GW.

Italy's 2020 target for solar PV is 8 GW.

Though there are no official statistics available on solar installations in the USA, industry sources estimate that as much as 800 MW and possibly up to 900 MW of solar PV were installed in 2010.

If true, it appears that Italy with 60 million inhabitants installed three times more solar PV in 2010 than the entire USA with its 330 million people.

Within three years Italy installed 1 GW more solar PV capacity than that installed in the USA during the past 30 years.

Italy's rapid development of solar PV has been driven by its system of feed-in tariffs, Conto Energia, that pays for every kilowatt-hour generated by solar panels whether owned by homeowners, small businesses, or the Vatican.

Under Italian conditions, 3 GW of solar PV is capable of generating from 3 TWh per year to 4 TWh per year, equivalent to ~1% of the country's electricity consumption.

This feed-in tariff news update is partially supported by An Environmental Trust and David Blittersdorf in cooperation with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The views expressed are those of Paul Gipe and are not necessarily those of the sponsors.

Paul Gipe
661 325 9590, 661 472 1657 mobile,

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