Italy recently launched its new energy strategy, providing long term growth targets and attractive support for the development of renewable energy sources, and photovoltaics in particular. As the leading independent solar operator in Italy, RTR supports this important step and looks forward to the growth opportunities it presents.

On November 10, 2017, the Italian Government approved Italy’s new National Energy Strategy (Strategia Energetica Nazionale or SEN), which aims to anticipate and manage the change in the country’s national energy system towards a more competitive, more secure and more environmentally sustainable model with a long-term time horizon.

The SEN defines policy scenarios until 2030 and sets ambitious targets for the development of the renewable energy sector, energy savings, electric mobility and building energy efficiency. Building a path in line with the European Energy Road Map, the SEN also provides for a major decarbonisation step of the Italian electricity sector by 2025. To develop renewables, over 35 billion euros in investments are expected from Italian and international sources. With a 55% share of renewables in electricity consumption by 2030, renewable sources are destined to cover the majority of the country’s electricity generation.

RTR is the leading independent solar energy business in Italy with 332 MW installed, and welcomes with great enthusiasm the government’s SEN along with the leading role that photovoltaics are destined to play in the Italian energy mix.

“We now have a clear, ambitious and long-term framework for the energy sector, which focuses on and strongly supports photovoltaics,” says RTR’s CEO, Ingmar Wilhelm. “With this, we are entering a phase of strong market expansion and great innovation. RTR is the leading independent operator in the Italian photovoltaic market, and from this position we will fully seize the development opportunities highlighted by the SEN.”

“The goals for 2030 can be reached, and even surpassed, thanks to the progressive reduction of construction and operating costs for renewable energy plants,” adds Wilhelm. “With clear and transparent rules, Italian and international investors will be able to activate all of the industrial skills and financial resources that will be needed to achieve these objectives.”

The SEN sets the target of attaining over 70 TWh (70 billion kWh) generated by solar photovoltaics by 2030, whilst Italy currently produces about 24 TWh. The new target aims to triple photovoltaic power generation in just 13 years, where a significant number of these new plants can be expected to come online during the first years of this period.

A target production level of over 70 TWh will require building at least 30 GW of new large, medium and small solar plants. To achieve this goal, the SEN sets out important measures to support the sector, such as competitive auctions and instruments to favour long-term contracts (Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs) for the purchase and sale of electricity between energy producers and energy users.

Italy’s National Energy Strategy opens up the market for highly efficient, large-scale operators helping to consolidate the market and create new and innovative plants in Italy. “The photovoltaic market, also thanks to the SEN, will see the rise of specialized operators of industrial dimensions that will consolidate the market, develop new plants and thus propel the country into the new era of photovoltaics without incentives,” concludes Ingmar Wilhelm.