The SEN 2017 outlines national objectives and policies for Italian energy systems by 2030. Renewable energy sources will play a central role to reach or exceed the environmental and decarbonization objectives by 2030 as defined at European level, and in line with the COP21 targets, in a sustainable way.
In 2009, Italy set a binding national target of 17% of overall annual energy consumption from renewable energy sources (RES), which included a target of 12.68 GW (12.0 GW land-based and 0.680 GW offshore) installed wind power capacity and a target of 20 TWh/yr (18 TWh/yr land-based and 2 TWh/yr offshore) for electricity production.
In order to reach the new target of 55% renewable penetration on the national electricity demand) by 2030, the SEN set a target of 40 TWh/yr of wind energy production (mostly land-based). This includes repowering and revamping of end-of-life wind farms. Therefore, Italy can expect significant increase in wind power capacity in the coming years.
Progress & Operational Details
According to the National Wind Energy Association (ANEV), Italy installed a new net wind power capacity of 252.85 MW in 2017. Cumulative installed capacity at the end of 2017 reached 9.50 GW, including decommissioning and repowering. All of Italy’s current wind power capacity is land-based. The annual installed wind power capacity is substantially driven by the annual quota introduced in the 2012 decree.
Most installations are in the southern regions of Italy, due to wind resource availability. In 2017, new wind power capacity was mainly installed in the Basilicata (59%), Calabria (19%), and Campania (11%) regions.
In 2017, 14 wind farms were grid-connected with capacities between 0.8 MW and 60 MW. Italy installed 114 new turbines, bringing the country’s total to 6,734 units. The wind turbines installed during the year averaged 1.94 MW (maximum 3.2 MW); the average size of all wind turbines in Italy is 1.4 MW.
National RDD Priorities and Budget
There is no coordination of wind energy R,D&D activities at the national level; however, many organizations are involved in wind energy research. Each research organization or university sets its own budget for wind energy R&D. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to give a representative value for the whole budget or to evaluate trends.
In 2017, Italy promoted Mission Innovation—an initiative which aims to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation. Research funds for affordable clean energy are expected to increase before 2021.