Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for Italy 2011
Installation of new wind farms in Italy continued its pace in 2011. Total online grid-connected wind capacity reached 6,878 MW at the end of the year, with an increase of 1,080 MW from 2010. As usual, the largest development took place in the southern regions, particularly in Apulia, Calabria, Campania, Sardinia, and Sicily. In 2011, 590 new wind turbines were deployed in Italy and their average capacity was 1,831 kW. The total number of online wind turbines thus became 5,446, with an overall average capacity of 1,263 kW. All plants are based on land, mostly on hill or mountain sites. The 2011 production from wind farms could provisionally be put at about 10.1 TWh, which would be about 3% of total electricity demand of the Italian system.
The main scheme for supporting RES in Italy is based on a RES quota obligation and Tradable Green Certificates (TGCs). The sale of energy production yielded owners of non-programmable RES plants, such as wind farms, an average price of 74.72 EUR/MWh (96.69 USD/MWh) in 2011. The additional income from the sale of TGCs on the free market was on average 82.25 EUR/MWh (106.43 USD/MWh). Owners of wind plants between 1 kW and 200 kW can opt for other schemes: either a fixed FIT of 300 EUR/MWh (388.20 USD/MWh) or exchange (net-metering) contracts.
The main issues affecting growth came from permitting procedures and from wind production curtailments ordered by the TSO. A decree giving nation-wide permitting guidelines has been in force since 2010 and noteworthy efforts have been made by the Italian TSO Terna to upgrade the grid. In the meantime, the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG) has provided for curtailed production to be estimated and wind farm owners indemnified. Uncertainties among investors have arisen because restructuring of RES support schemes was outlined in 2011, but not yet fully defined.
Most new turbines were supplied by foreign manufacturers (Vestas has an establishment in Italy). The Italian manufacturers are currently Leitwind (opening photo) (1-MW to 3-MW turbines) and other firms that supply small-sized units. The market for small wind systems is still at the beginning.
No national R, D&D program exists for wind energy, but work is carried out by ENEA (the second national research institution in Italy), RSE (formerly ERSE) under contract to the Italian government in the interest of Italy’s electricity system, some universities, polytechnic schools, and companies.