Italy Likely to Surpass California in Solar PV in 2009

By Paul Gipe


Italy is expected to surpass California in total installed solar PV by year end 2009 according to recent statistics.

Long the poor man of Europe, Italy’s successful feed-in tariff for solar PV has driven the country to among the top five countries developing the technology.

There were approximately 530 MW of solar PV operating in California at end of 2008. The Golden State is installing about 200 MW per year under the California Solar Initiative.

Italy reached 500 MW in mid 2009 and may reach a total installed capacity of nearly 1,000 MW of solar PV by year end according to an article in New Energy, a German trade magazine.

The land of “dolce vita” uses an innovative feed-in tariff that pays among the highest prices for solar PV in Europe. In contrast to Spain where most solar PV had been installed in large central-station power plants, most of Italy’s solar PV generation is on rooftops. More than one-half the installed capacity is in projects less than 200 kW each.