The Italian Plan aimed at meeting the 2020 European renewable engagements

Italy firmly believes that it will be able to meet the EU target which provides for renewable sources to generate 17% of the national energy consumption by 2020.

At the end of 2009, Italy was host to 4,850 MW of wind farm generation capacity, an increase of more than 1,100 MW compared to 2008. The regions which added the most new capacity were Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, followed by Campania and Sardinia. Some developments are also taking place in central and northern Italy, in regions such as Liguria, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany.

The Italian Wind Energy Association (ANEV) estimates that more than 6TWh of electricity were produced by wind turbines in 2009, bearing in mind that around 700 MW of new capacity came online only in the second half of the year.

The most active developers and power producers were the Gruppo IVPC, Veronagest, Asja Ambiente, Edison Energie Speciali, Falk Renewables and Sorgenia. In terms of total installed capacity, IP Maestrale, Gruppo IVPC and Enel Green Power are now the leading wind farms owners in Italy.

The global financial crisis affected Italy’s wind energy sector, not in terms of production or employment, but in terms of tightening project finance. Consequently, some project funding has slowed down, and this is expected to continue through 2010.

This is the conclusion of the National Action Plan for renewable energy, that was drawn up by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development in order to apply the EU 2009/28/CE directive.

The document foresees that in ten years from now renewables will meet 6.38% of energy consumption for transportation, 28.9% of electricity generation and 15.8% of heating and cooling needs.

These projections take into account the effects of other measures aimed at increasing efficiency and restrain end user energy consumption, which by 2020 is expected to amount to 131.2 Mtoe (millions of tons of oil equivalent) compared to the 141.2 of Mtoe of the reference year 2005, when in Italy renewable sources met 16.3% of electricity consumption and 4.9% of all end user consumption).

The Plan contains and describes every measure (economic, non-economic and in the field of international cooperation) that the Ministry considers necessary in order to attain these targets, including taking action on the presently adopted stimulus mechanisms, aiming at “increasing the energy share that is produced, while improving the efficiency of supporting schemes, so as to avoid a parallel growth of production and of stimulus costs, which fall on end users, families and businesses”.

As for electricity generation, renewables installed by 2020 are expected to grow to 45,885 MW (compared to the 18,220 MW generated in 2005). The contribution of wind energy is particularly significant (16,000 MW are expected to be produced, of which 1,000 offshore wind power) as well as solar (8,000 MW of photovoltaic power and 500 MW of concentrating solar power).

Biomass is expected to more than double (to 4,650 MW), while hydropower will grow by approximately 1,840 MW and geothermal by about 330 MW. Moreover, 3 MW are likely to be produced from marine energy.