Renewables on the rise: + 70% compared to 2020 with 1,397 MW. It is essential to accelerate to reach the 2030 goals.
According to the RES Observatory created by ANIE Rinnovabili, an association of ANIE Federation, based on the data from Terna of 2021 there is a cumulative total of 1,376 MW of renewables divided as follows: 936 MW for photovoltaics, 427 MW for wind, 14 MW for hydroelectric and 1 MW for bioenergy. On 31 December 2021, a total of 57.7 GW were installed in Italy. To achieve goals set by 2030, it is essential to accelerate the development of RES, intervening on the authorization barriers, issuing the implementing measures of the Legislative Decree implementing RED II, guaranteeing regulatory stability, and implementing the PNRR.
This result is the result of changes in the power of existing plants, due to upgrades, depreciation, and decommissioning with an overall negative result of -21 MW distributed as follows: +50 MW of photovoltaics, +1 MW of wind, -22 MW of hydroelectric, and – 50 MW of bioenergy.
In 2021, new installations were recorded for a total of 1,397 MW (+ 70% compared to 2020, the year marked by covid, and + 15% compared to 2019) with diversified trends for the various sectors: 886 MW for photovoltaics (+ 36%), 426 MW for wind (+ 368%), 35 MW for hydroelectric (-50%) and 50 MW for bioenergy (+ 500%).
More specifically, it should be noted that in 2021:
- photovoltaics is constantly growing compared to 2020 as regards all sizes, with the exception of power plants> 1 MW and those with power below 3 kW;
- wind power is recovering sharply above all thanks to plants with a power of more than 5 MW;
- the hydroelectric sector is exclusively driven by investments in small plants.
Despite the positive growth forecasts in 2022, there are fears that the escalation of the costs of materials and their availability on the market could generate an involution of the sector.
ANALYSIS OF NEW RENEWABLE PLANTS
Photovoltaics reaches 886 MW of connected power in the whole of 2021.
The regions that, in 2021, increased installed power by at least 85% compared to 2020 are Calabria (+ 96%), Lazio (+ 152%), Puglia (+ 103%), and Trentino Alto Adige (+ 86%), while the only ones with a negative trend are Molise (-10%) and Sardinia (-61%).
In 2021, installations with a power of less than 10 kW make up 39% of the total, those with a higher power, up to 1 MW, 52%, and, finally, those with a power greater than 1 MW the remaining 9%. Overall, just over 80,500 plants were connected to the grid from January to December 2021.
Analyzing the quarterly trend, the greatest contribution was concentrated in the period following the 1st quarter of 2021.
Analyzing in detail the trend changes (2021 vs 2020) in the 4th quarter (Q4) of the year there was an increase in installed power (respectively + 88% in October, + 52% in November, and + 144% in December). The monthly average for the 4th quarter of 2021 stands at 95 MW, up from 49 MW in the 4th quarter of 2020.
Examining the data of the last three years, we see an increase in sizes between 6 and 10 kW, and between 500 kW and 1 MW. The segment of utility-scale plants has stopped due to authorization criticalities, while the impact of the super bonus on residential plants is estimated to be considerable: +165 MW (+ 62% compared to 2020) distributed over 24,152 plants (+ 46% compared to 2020) with a power lower than 20 kW.
For wind power in 2021, there is a growth trend with 426 MW of new installed capacity.
At a regional level, in 2021 there is a decrease in connected power compared to 2020 for Calabria and Trentino Alto Adige, and, on the contrary, an increase in power in Basilicata, Campania, Liguria, Puglia, Sardinia, and Sicily thanks to the activation of new installations.
As far as territorial diffusion is concerned, most of the new connected power (95%) is located in the regions of Southern Italy and the major islands.
According to the trend changes, the contribution of wind power has increased significantly compared to the 4th quarter of 2020 with 238 MW distributed over 39 new installations. In particular, three plants were installed, of which one counting 20.7 MW and two for a total of 96.5 MW, in Potenza, one of 7.9 MW in Palermo, one of 38.5 MW in Trapani, one in Avellino of 25.2 MW, one in Savona of 20 MW and, finally, one of 21 MW in Foggia. In all the rest of the territory, however, there are no variations.
Analyzing the trend in the last three years, it is evident that the incentive tariffs have above all allowed the development of plants with power exceeding 5 MW.
The trend of hydroelectricity decreased in 2021 with 35 MW of new connected power.
From a regional point of view, Lombardy, Piedmont, and Trentino Alto Adige are the most active on the source of hydroelectricity, despite recording a decrease in new connected power compared to 2020; in Valle d’Aosta, there was the greatest decrease in installed power compared to 2020.
Of the total 147 new plants installed in 2021, of which only 6 have a power greater than 1 MW (one located in Bergamo of 1.4 MW, one in Turin of 1.7 MW, one in Bolzano with a power of 1.8 MW, one in Trento with a power of 1.6 MW and two in Belluno with a total of 3.2 MW), 85% is located in northern Italy.
Hydroelectric is the only renewable sector that in the 4th quarter of 2021, compared to the same period of 2020, has achieved a decrease in new built.
By analyzing the evolution of the last three years, the interest in small sizes renewables is confirmed, in particular those below 250 kW.
The contribution of bioenergy to renewables is recovering which overall in 2021 will amount to 50 MW of installed power (+ 500% compared to 2020) on 88 new plants.
From the analysis of the new installations, the interest in medium-sized plants over the last year is confirmed, even if the greatest contribution was provided by two large plants installed in Emilia Romagna, with a total power of approximately 30 MW.
Focusing on the 4th quarter of 2021, renewables including the new photovoltaic, wind and hydroelectric installations reach a total of 534 MW (+ 173% compared to the 4th quarter of 2020 ) with positive trends for photovoltaic (+ 93%) and wind (+ 552%) and a negative trend for the hydroelectric sector (-1%).
From the analysis of the economic changes, renewables in the 4th quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021) achieved a positive result in all sectors compared to the 3rd quarter (+ 50%). Specifically, photovoltaics recorded + 16% of new built, wind power + 127%, and hydroelectric power + 71%. In general, there is a constantly growing trend for all quarters of 2021, above all thanks to the contribution of photovoltaic and wind power to renewables.
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