Strong Growth set to continue in Italy’s Solar PV Market

22 Oct. 2009 by

Italy is the world’s second largest solar PV energy market after Germany. In 2007 and 2008, the market grew by more than 770% and 480% respectively. Despite the financial crisis, anticipated growth for this year is 32%. In view of the attractive, guaranteed incentives and module prices at historically low levels, the return on investment for PV projects is unprecedented. Nevertheless, the Italian market is not booming as was the case in Spain in 2008. The way in which the market is likely to develop in the near future is a question addressed in an exclusive and comprehensive report published by Solarplaza entitled “The Italian PV market”.

The attractive feed-in tariff for the production of solar electricity, relatively high energy prices, and the dynamics of Italy’s PV industry have all attracted many new players to enter the market. Substantial regional differences have been observed; for example, it was surprising that the less sunny northern part of the country had the most solar PV installations. The most successful market segment in Italy is PV building applications. More than 73% of all solar PV projects have been realized on roofs. Unlike Spain, ground-mounted solar farm projects are less commonplace. Regulatory hurdles and delays in authorization procedures for grid connections have frustrated this development.

The Italian government has set ambitious goals for solar PV. The intermediate target for 2016 is 3,000 MWp of installed PV power. 8,500 MWp of PV are expected to be installed by 2020. Although this may appear to bode well, it does raise some questions. At present, the market is growing so fast that the target set for 2016 could be reached as early as 2012. And even with a low average of 10% growth from 2012 to 2020, the 8,500 MW goal will be reached long before the end of that period. Grid-parity should become a fact of life in Italy during that timeframe, meaning that solar electricity will be able to compete with electricity from the grid without subsidies. The question is whether such conservative growth levels are realistic.

Both the barriers and business opportunities are discussed in the Solarplaza report, which is available in Italian and in English. This report–the most extensive ever published about the Italian PV market–provides a comprehensive overview of Italy’s market and its PV industry. It describes all regulations, provides detailed market segment data, market forecasts, system price developments, discusses supply side dynamics, and offers a complete categorized overview of all Italian PV players with their contact data.

More information and report at