Italy passed a new Renewable Energy Law in February 2007, which will pay 49 Euro cents per kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic power, which is guaranteed to remain unchanged for 20 years.
The Italian energy company ENI Group invested 40 million euros to build the first local solar power station on the east coast of Sicily, Italy at the end of 2009. The power station, named “Archimedes” power station, transforms an operating gas power station into a new power station that uses solar energy and gas to generate electricity. The annual power generation is 5MW. It can provide electricity for 4,500 homes. The key point of the Archimedes Power Station is that it can store solar energy and run it for 24 hours to generate electricity. The parabolic mirror in the battery of the power station refracts sunlight into the tube filled with alkaline liquid, which can store up to 550°C of heat for several hours. The use of these solar energy can greatly reduce the consumption of gas, and also greatly reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. It is estimated that the solar power plant will reduce 7,300 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
SOLONS.p.A, a subsidiary of the Italian SOLON company, announced in early February 2008 that it would invest in the Italian photovoltaic market and build a new solar module production base in Carmignano di Brenta, Pad ova province. The plant has an annual production capacity of 120MW, which brings the company’s total production capacity to 150MW by the end of 2008. The new production base was completed in December 2008 to produce SOLONP220 solar modules and a dual-axis tracking system for large-scale solar power facilities.
Phoenix Solar and Mein1 International Power Company signed a contract on July 23, 2008 to build a solar photovoltaic power generation facility in Italy. The total peak power generation capacity of the facility is approximately 14MW. Each of these power generation facilities has a peak power generation capacity of approximately 1MW. In 2009 Built in Sicily at the end of the year.
Enfinity4Srl, a subsidiary of the Italian Enfinity Management Company, announced on August 26, 2008 the construction of a new solar photovoltaic facility in Foggia, Italy. The project was completed in July 2009 and includes 6 photovoltaic tracking systems, with a maximum output of 4.3MW and an investment of approximately 25.5 million euros (37.7 million US dollars).
Econcern announced on January 16, 2009 that it will build a 42MW solar photovoltaic power station in Pug1ia, Italy. Seven 1MW photovoltaic power plants were built in early 2009 and put into use in 2010. Once completed, the 42MW project will generate approximately 6×104MW.h a year.
The Italian company TerniEnergia announced in September 2009. The construction of a total of 10MW photovoltaic facilities was completed that month. Five of the new facilities have a total capacity of 6MW. They were built by TerniEnergia and its partners, and the remaining four facilities have a total capacity of 4MW.
Italy is the second largest photovoltaic market after Germany. As of December 9, 2009, there have been more than 56 grid-connected photovoltaic systems in Italy, reaching 700MW. Italy has introduced nine solar photovoltaic tax terms according to the system scale, ranging from non-integrated systems exceeding 20kWp [0.36 euros/(kW·h)] to integrated systems of 1~3kWp [0.49 euros/(kW·h)].
Sino-American Silicon Products, a Taiwanese polysilicon wafer manufacturer, announced on September 2, 2008, that it will invest in the production of polysilicon from Italy’s Si1fab company, so that its products will be used in the photovoltaic and semiconductor industries. Si1fab is building a polysilicon production facility in Borgofranco dlvrea (Turin) in Piedmont, Italy. The device will begin to produce 5000t of ultra-high quality 9N polysilicon annually in the fourth quarter of 2009, making Si1fab one of the largest manufacturers of high-purity polysilicon used in the fast-growing photovoltaic industry.
Italy’s largest electric power company Ene1 and Sharp formed a joint venture on December 2, 2008 to develop multiple solar photovoltaic power generation facilities with a total capacity of 189MW, which will be completed in 2012. These photovoltaic power generation facilities are mainly located in southern Italy and will use thin-film solar cells.
Italy has set a solar-grade polycrystalline silicon production target. Si1fab will produce 2500t of polycrystalline silicon by 2009 and double its production capacity of solar-grade polycrystalline silicon to 5000t by 2010. The products produced are used to manufacture about 600MW solar cells.
Premier Electric Renewable Energy announced on November 26, 2009, the construction of a 1MW solar project in Italy. The project is located in the Pug1ia region of southern Italy and is part of a series of solar projects worth more than 100 million US dollars. The company completed the ground installation and fixation of the solar facility in January 2010. The project will utilize the crystalline silicon module of the Canadian Solar Company and the inverter of Power One.
United Solar announced on February 9, 2010 that it will provide Ene1 green power company with 25MW UNI-SOLAR brand rooftop photovoltaic panels for use in CIS-Inter porto diNola’s multiple buildings in Italy. UNI-SOLAR brand roof photovoltaic panels can be integrated with existing buildings (Figure 1), and can be installed in commercial and residential buildings. After CIS-Inter porto di Nola installed UNI-SOLAR brand roof photovoltaic panels in the above-mentioned buildings in Italy, the annual power generation is about 3.3×107kW.h, which is equivalent to the annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by more than 21t.