Solar Installations Surged, Wind Fell in Italy During First Half of 2020

In the first half of 2020, Italy added 339 MW of new solar, wind, and hydroelectric installations, a dip of 39% compared to the same period in 2019. Solar and hydropower primarily drove the installations this year as wind suffered a setback. According to the RES Observatory, solar and hydroelectric saw 12% and 62% growth, respectively, while wind power fared poorly, falling 86% in 1H of 2020.

Italy is lagging behind its annual average installation target of 330 MW/month to secure its renewable energy objectives for 2030.

The solar energy sector resumed growth with 69 MW of new installations in May and 71.6 MW in June, after a decline in March and April due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Overall, the first half of 2020 was positive, with approximately 259 MW of additions (+ 12% compared to 2019). The first quarter saw over 115 MW of solar capacity additions.

Italy Solar Installations 1H 2019 and 2020

The regions of Campania, Liguria, Marche, Molise, and Sicily saw growth in installations. Meanwhile, Sardinia, Tuscany, and Valle d’Aosta saw a negative trend. Nearly 67% of new additions were ~10 kW or higher, whereas installations below 20 kW made up 42% of the total.

There was a 39% reduction in the number of new wind installs in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 with 42 MW. Notably, 78% of the new connections are located in the regions of Southern Italy. There were no new installations in January and April. However, some projects did come into operation, particularly an 8 MW project in Calabria in the province of Catanzaro in June.

Recently, France’s Data and Statistical Studies announced that the country added 379 MW of new solar capacity during the first half (1H) of 2020. France had managed to install 405 MW of solar capacity in 1H 2019. These new installations are mainly concentrated in the southern part of the country. The total cumulative installations in France reached 10.3 GW at the end of June 2020.

Meanwhile, Germany installed  447 MW of solar capacity in July 2020, an increase of 11 MW (2.2% increase) from June 2020, according to the latest numbers announced by the federal network agency Bundesnetzagentur. Germany had installed 302 MW during the same month last year.