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Did Italian Solar Growth really increase by a mind boggling 500% to 6 GW in 2010

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Italian Electricity Regulator really shook the global solar market saying that approximately 6 GW of Solar Installations were done in the country in 2010 up almost 500% from 2010.While 2 GW were installed and connected in 2010,4 GW worth of application were submitted by 50,000 installations which were installed but not connected.This means that that Italy’s target of 8 GW in 2020 was almost fully met in 2010 itself.I had written that Italian Solar Feed in Tariff Subsidy Cuts for 2011 will fail to stop the Boom in Solar Demand and the 2020 target would be met much earlier.But 2010 was not in my wildest projection.The combination of high sunlight,high electricity rates,falling solar module prices and attractive feed in tariff by the government has made investing in solar in Italy a hugely profitable venture.So 6 GW is not totally impossible given the massive supply growth seen in solar panels.Every solar company in the world had been shipping to capacity making it a mystery as to what was the source of such demand.Italy might prove to be the answer.

With a sharp cut in 2010,every solar EPC was installing at a feverish pace to get higher returns.However 6 GW seems too high and their may have been some frauds.However  4 GW seems more probable and even this implies a 300% growth in 2010.Note the Spanish boom in 2008 had seen more than 50% of the global demand going to Spain due to the same conditions existing in Italy.So this GSE report does not seem to be too farfetched and might mean that in 2011 we might see a sharp clampdown like Spain in 2009.France has already put a moratorium on solar installations while Czech has put strong retroactive measures such as taxes etc.Italy might be forced to follow the same path as 2011 might see 6-7 GW if the subsidy is not changed.

Italy solar capacity can hit 8,000 MW end-2011: GSE

Italy’s total installed photovoltaic capacity can reach 8,000 megawatts by the end of this year, hitting a target the country has set for 2020, Italy’s state energy services agency GSE said on Tuesday.

Italy’s total installed photovoltaic capacity, which turns sunlight into power, jumped to 3,000 MW at the end of 2010 from 1,142 MW at the end of 2009 as operators rushed to sign up for generous incentives which expired at the end of 2010, GSE said in a statement.

The total figure would rise to 7,000 MW if capacity installed by the end of 2010 but not yet connected to grid was included, GSE said adding such capacity must be connected to the grid by the end of June to qualify for earlier incentives.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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