Construction of new wind farms in Italy came to a standstill after a national Covid-19 lockdown began on 9 March, when maintenance of operating wind farms was also largely limited to undeferrable servicing. Yet interest in investing in the sector has remained high throughout the pandemic.
Just 36MW of new capacity was installed in the first six months, preliminary figures from Italian wind energy association Anev show. On the other hand, turbine manufacturer Vestas says the impact on production at its Taranto factory in southern Italy was minimal. State energy agency GSE also stuck to its regular auction schedule, awarding 15-year tariffs to 406MW in new wind projects in May, while results for the latest joint wind and solar tender are due to be published on 28 September, after Windpower Monthly goes to press.
Construction and maintenance are returning to normal and Italy has at least 2GW of fully authorised wind farms ready to be built, says Davide Astiaso Garcia, secretary general of Anev. Interest in investing in Italy’s wind sector remains strong, adds Christof Stork, Italy country manager for DNV GL.
Italy will receive €209 billion of the €750 billion Next Generation EU recovery package, making it the largest recipient. Market participants are hoping some of these funds will help support wind and other renewables.
The government has promised a decree on incentives for offshore wind, tidal and concentrated solar power plant technologies will be ready shortly.
However, Italian politicians have fallen short when it comes to establishing the conditions for the country to meet its 2030 targets for 18.4GW of wind farms producing 40.1TWh of power.
An amendment to a decree on streamlining bureaucracy to help boost the Italian economy in the wake of Covid-19 would have accelerated the lengthy authorisation process for repowering Italian wind projects but was rejected by parliament.
Italy’s wind capacity stands at 10.5GW and repowering is key to meet 2030 targets.