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The challenge of photovoltaics in Italy between obstacles and potential

The electricity sector’s 2030 plan, prepared by Elettricità Futura, aims to connect 85 gigawatts of new renewables to the grid in 2030, including 58 gw of photovoltaics. A dynamic that will easily generate an increase in the number of people employed in the photovoltaic supply chain: from the current 25,000, it is projected to reach 300,000 workers in 2030.

To date, the installed photovoltaic capacity in Italy is 26.1 gigawatts. A figure that will need the support of targeted European policies, flanked in the current year by several initiatives, such as support for rapid deployment of solar roofs, a streamlining of administrative procedures (EU Regulation 2022/2577), the development of a widespread and deep-rooted industrial ecosystem, and workforce strengthening.

The limits of the regulations

In 2022, solar energy soared throughout Europe. In Italy alone, growth was exponential: +174%, equivalent to about 2.5 gigawatts. Is this thanks to regulatory reforms? Apparently not. The acceleration of authorization processes has had a mild effect for now. Article 4 of Regulation 2022/2577 shortens the timeframe only for small facilities, in which case the duration of the administrative procedure will not exceed three months, provided that the main purpose of the facility is not solar energy production or that the power revision in the facility does not lead to an increase in capacity of more than 15 percent.

The failure to identify dedicated renewable energy zones and the absence of implementing decrees for individual countries limit the potential of Article 6, which provides that member states may exempt renewable energy projects from an environmental impact assessment if located in such dedicated zones.

The difficulties of the Italian photovoltaic sector

The tortuosity of the authorization procedures, caused by the lack of personnel and excessive bureaucracy, also weighs on the diffusion of the photovoltaic sector. This circumstance, combined with the need to turn to foreign companies and agencies, severely slows down the implementation of systems, making it difficult to achieve the goals, including, first and foremost, the installation of 4 gigawatts per year. 

The slowness linked to the connection of the plants to the electricity grid and the blocking of the transfer of the supply chain credit at 50% on photovoltaics and 60% on heat pumps, decided by the government last February, further affect the success of the electricity sector’s 2030 plan.


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