In 2018 more than 1 GW of additional renewable energy power was installed in Italy. 450 MW are represented by solar photovoltaics.
Thanks to over 113 TWh of energy produced from renewable sources, Italy has exceeded, in 2018 and for the fifth consecutive year, the threshold of 17% of consumption satisfied by renewables.
Among the main objectives of the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC) is a percentage of consumption by renewables equal to 30% at 2030, in which the expected contributions from photovoltaics stand out (+30 GW).
Feed-in tariff and energy sales
The Italian promotion and feed-in tariff system for renewable energy sources is characterized by a multiplicity of mechanisms that have followed over the years in a logic of progressive market orientation and reduction of the incentive level in line with the decrease of generation costs.
The FiT program Conto Energia, operating in Italy since the end of 2005, guaranteed a significant growth in the photovoltaic sector during its operations, especially between 2011 and 2012.
In 2018 50,023 PV plants benefited from the dedicated withdrawal regime (RID) with a total capacity of 9,237 MW. The energy sold through this mechanism amounts to 10.5 TWh in 2018, with a cost of around 623 mln €.
This cost is due for 64% to solar systems, followed by hydroelectric plants (23%) and wind plants (6%).
With regard to the other electricity sales mechanism, called on-site exchange (SSP), 65,717 renewable energy plants benefited from this regime in 2018, corresponding to a total power of 5.6 GW. Compared to 2016 there has been an increase of over 46,000 agreements, for a total of about 348 MW.
Overall, the energy sold through SSP in 2018 amounts to 3,570 GWh, while the energy exchanged has been 2,402 GWh, with the total withdrawal cost of € 314 million, of which € 46 million for the remuneration of the surplus.
We can observe a vast majority of photovoltaic systems, with a share of more than 99% in terms of number, power, energy and withdrawal cost.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Since 2008, the public entity that promotes sustainable development by granting economic support for electricity generation from renewable energy sources, called Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), has been operationally involved in the national management of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS).
EU-ETS is a European system for the exchange of emission quotas which is the main European regulation instrument for the reduction of climate-changing emissions in the energy and industrial sectors.
GSE has been designated as Responsible for the placement of national emission quotas on behalf of the Italian Government (Auctioneer).
Thanks to the exceptional electricity price increase in 2018, the placement of the emission quotas, equivalent to approximately 93 MtCO2, generated a strong increase in revenues for Italy, reaching a total of € 1,453 million (+ € 903 million compared to 2017).
Italian law requires that at least 50% of auction proceeds must be dedicated to measures for environmental energy sustainability and their specific allocation is established by the Italian Ministry of Environment, together with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Economy.
The amount of energy produced has allowed to avoid about 45 million tons of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and the consumption of 117 million barrels of oil.