Energy storage as key driver for the growing Italian PV market

5/16/17, 11:00 AM -

Alberto Nadai, Key Account Manager Italy at Hanwha Q Cells sees a build-up of 400 MW PV this year in Italy. Growth will be mainly driven by residential energy storage. Three phase ESS technology and advanced inverters also will spur the commercial and industrial energy storage market.

Energy storage: Alberto Nadai from Hanwha Q Cells sees good perspective for solar battery storage in Italy.
Energy storage: Alberto Nadai from Hanwha Q Cells sees good perspective for solar battery storage in Italy.

“Last year, PV plants totaling 368.7 MW (plus 24% compared to 2016) were installed in Italy. With this addition, the Italian photovoltaic cumulative capacity reached 19.28 GW at the end of last December. For a number of related plants, this amounted to 44,219 new installations, of which only 17,486 are residential. As for commercial and industrial (C & I) systems, 196 PV systems in the 100 to 200 kW range were installed, 81 in the 200 to 500 kW range, 7 in the 500 kW to 1 MW range and only 5 installations above 1 MW. There are no official figures for the revamping of the secondary market, but we estimate a market value of 60-70 MW", Nadai says.

Residential tax deductions of 50% as driver

The 2016 market drivers have been in residential tax deductions of 50%, while the projects realized on the industrial market were carried out mainly thanks to super-depreciation, a tax exemption of 140% of expenditure which was granted in the effort to stimulate productive investments. This super-depreciation will lead to an increase in fiscally recognized cost of 40%, thus generating annual installments of amortization increased benefits with the IRES and IRPET determination”, Nadai states.

New business model trend: PV operational leasing

“This year is expected to bring an estimated 400 MW of new installations. Within 2-3 years, we should arrive at a sustainable market amounting to 500 MW, without direct incentives. The market drivers will be similar to the tax incentives for residential and tax deductions for C & I. We will speak increasingly more of PV Operational Leasing, a hire all-inclusive fee where the person acquires the PV system without investing in equity and the guarantee covers the correct functionality of the system itself for the duration of the contract.

More high-efficiency solar modules

This year new standards for high efficiency are being introduced in Italy, thanks to the spread of PERC technology in monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV modules. In this sense, the performance of the modules in real-life conditions, as well as their reliability and durability will be the technical drivers behind profitable PV investments in Italy.

Stable module prices in the first half of 2017

The prices in the first half of the year will remain stable following the 25% collapse which occurred last year. However, in the second half of the year, global demand will drop if we assume a slight decline in the prices of PV modules.

Italy second largest European energy storage market

The growth of the Italian market will be mainly driven by energy storage systems (ESS,) which, in 2016, lead Italy to become the second largest market in Europe after Germany, with about 5,000-6,000 new installations (20-25MW).

8,000 to 10,000 new energy storage system installations in 2017

The greatest opportunities for storage this year, estimated at around 8,000-10,000 new installations, will come mainly from new residential plants thanks to the 50% tax deduction, but we will see the C & I market grow thanks to three-phase ESS technology and the new inverter generation, which readily integrates with ESS”, he says,

“Advancing in renewable electricity production in Italy and improving both cost and energy efficiency will be a long and difficult journey, but I am confident that we are heading in the right direction”, Alberto Nadai, Key Account Manager Italy at Hanwha Q Cells underlines. (HCN)

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