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Official Name:
Italian Republic

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Mr. Sergio La Motta
+39 06 3048 6407

Energy profile

Italy (2013)

Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Given its geographical position, and its ratio consumption / generation, Italy has interconnections with all neighbouring countries, as well as one with Greece.

Renewable energy potential

SolarItaly ranked among the world’s largest producers of electricity from solar power with an installed photovoltaic nameplate capacity of 12,773 MW at the end of 2011 and 330,196 plants in operation as of the end of 2011.The total energy produced by solar power in 2011 was 10,730 GWh, about 3.2% of the total electricity demand of 332.3 TWh.The installed photovoltaic capacity, compared to the previous year, has tripled in 2010 and almost quadrupled in 2011.As of December 2012, the installed capacity is approaching 17 GW, with a production so important that several gas turbine power plants currently operate at half the their potential during the day. The sector provides employment to about 100,000 people, especially in design and installation.Wind EnergyThe best wind resources in Italy are located in the south, particularly the Apennine Mountains and on the coast, as well as in the major islands. Also the relatively large off-shore potential is located in the southern coastal areas and islands. In perspective, this implies that a large share of non-programmable electricity would be fed into the grid in such areas. Unfortunately, the power grid in these areas is weak for historical reasons, since these areas are less densely populated and larger consumption centres are located in the North.BiomassThe maximum exploitation possible from current resources of biomasses, made up mainly of agricultural and forest residues, firewood, livestock manure and the biodegradable portion of solid urban waste, potentially equals 20-25 Mtep/year. Additional quantities of raw material can be produced by renovating the non-food agricultural sector and the forest sector, together with the recovery of abandoned agro-wood territories, which extend for at least 2 million hectares.HydroWater energy is by far the major national energy source in Italy and the principal indigenous resource alternative to fossil fuel sources. There are over 2000 hydroelectric power plants mostly in the Alpine region, of which only 300 have a production capacity of more than 10 MW. 80% of electricity is produced in large plants. In recent years, some small and medium plants under 10 MW have been added and they contribute 20% to the total production. The hydroelectric power plants in 2007 made up approximately 72% of the electricity production from renewable sources. However, its potential has been almost completely exploited.GeothermalThe Italian geothermal potential to economically profitable depths is considerable, with high temperature resources (>150oC) concentrated in the foothills of the Apennines in Tuscany-Latium-Campania and on some volcanic islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It has resources of medium and low temperature (< 150oC) on large areas of the national territory. The high-temperature resources lend themselves to the production of electricity and direct uses, while the medium and low temperature resources can be utilized mostly for the production of heat.

Energy framework

In order to comply with the EU renewable energy directive, Italy is required to source 17% of its final energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020. To meet this requirement, Italy has implemented various policy measures to stimulate investment in renewable electricity generation, renewable heating/cooling, and transportation. According to Italy’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan, the country is targeting 26.4% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. According to the Italian government Italy had nearly met its renewable electricity production goal at the end of 2011, nearly eight years ahead of schedule.Italy’s strategy for achieving climate mitigation goals has relied heavily on increased use of renewable energies. Economic incentives for electricity generation, in the form of feed-in tariffs and tradable renewa¬ble energy certificates (green certificates), have been at the core of the renewables policy mix. These sup¬port programmes have driven a dramatic increase in generation of electricity from renewable sources and have helped stimulate growth and employment in the renewables sector.  To encourage deployment of renewable electricity generation, Italy has used a variety of incentive policies such as green certificates, feed-in tariffs, market premiums, and reverse auctions. As a result of generous solar PV FiTs, declining solar PV equipment prices, and high quality solar resources, approximately 7,900 MW of solar PV capacity was installed in 2011. Italy was the largest solar market in the world that year. As of the end of 2012, Italy was ranked second in the world in terms of total installed solar PV capacity, with nearly 17,000 MW; second only to Germany.However, in an effort to reduce the cost of financial incentive programs to electricity consumers—and since the country is very close to achieving its 2020 renewable electricity target—Italy has imposed annual FiT support limits for renewable electricity generation. In June 2013, the solar PV annual support limit of €6.7 billion was reached and FiTs for new solar PV projects will no longer be available after July 2013. While residential solar PV continues to be incentivized through tax rebates and net metering laws, Italy’s solar PV market might not return to 2011 levels in the foreseeable future.A new incentive system based on FiT for all types of renewable energy is applying from 2013 on. There will no longer be a market for GCs in Italy after 2015, the point in time when the binding quota of green electricity to be fed into the national grid by producers of energy from conventional sources will be eliminated, and the obligation of the state-owned Gestore dei Servici Elettrici (GSE) to purchase excess GCs will cease.On the new FiT see also below section on regulatory framework.

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