“The challenges we will face in 2024 will be strategic and articulated on several fronts, from agrivoltaics to storage systems, moving from the strengthening of electricity infrastructure to the increasing support of the photovoltaic sector to the grid to the dialogue with institutions and territories”


Photovoltaics and Agrivoltaics in a Global Context

The year 2023 confirmed the global commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. The recently reached agreement in Dubai during Cop28 for a gradual disengagement from fossil fuels certifies the will to achieve a zero-emissions economy as soon as possible. To do so, it is inevitable to implement a rapid energy transition, focusing on renewables and accelerating the authorization process.

The general context of 2023, characterized by climate crises and conflicts, has made the diversification of energy supplies increasingly urgent, with renewables playing an increasingly prominent role. Despite the challenges, EF Solare Italia has confirmed its role as leader in the transition to green energy. The Group has contributed to the development of photovoltaics in Italy and Europe through new installations and the modernization of photovoltaic plants through revamping and repowering activities.

As pioneers of agrivoltaics in Italy, we began the year by participating in the European research project “Symbiosyst”, together with the international consortium tasked with developing standardized and cost-effective strategies and technological solutions to increase the competitiveness of agrivoltaics in Europe. In this project, which aims to reconcile energy production with agricultural needs, promoting a synergistic relationship to reduce emissions and support the economy, EF Solare Italia has the task of coordinating the working group that will implement and test the models developed in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands in the coming years.

Thanks to these experiences in research and development, we have continued to study solutions for the evolution of our agrivoltaic model, moving towards a system capable of maximising both electrical and agricultural performance. These systems, in line with the Ministerial Guidelines of June 2022, feature elevated structures, ground-mounted without the use of cement, with solar tracking technology, along with systems for irrigation and monitoring of electricity production, soil, and crops. In 2023, we began to reap the first fruits of our efforts, obtaining authorization for the construction of a 6 MW elevated agrivoltaic plant in the province of Oristano.


Industrialization as a lever for growth

Having successfully exceeded the 1 GW threshold, EF Solare Italia attests to a capacity of 1052 MW distributed across 318 plants. This tangible achievement reflects our commitment to renewable energy. Looking ahead, we are broadening our horizons: more than 150 MW are currently under construction between Italy and Spain, and a robust revamping and repowering program involves a capacity of more than 400 MW. The goal is not only to increase the installed base, but also to optimize land use.

In Spain, EF Solare Italia has started construction of the new photovoltaic plant in Bolarque, in the Guadalajara region, which will have an installed capacity of 126 MW and will come to cover the consumption of 63 thousand Iberian households. Once completed, it will be the company’s largest asset in the country, where approximately 1 GW of projects are in the authorization phase. In the coming years, we will continue to work on a significant pipeline of new projects while also upgrading existing photovoltaic plants to make them more efficient and, as a result, increase clean energy production.

The year 2023 also saw the continuation of the company’s process of structural growth and industrialization: EF Solare Italia internalized the maintenance activities of 110 plants in 4 different regions (Puglia, Molise, Campania, and Sicily) for a total of 263 megawatts. An internal revolution designed to optimize processes: from hybrid plant management to totally in-house management, at least in the most strategic geographic areas for the Group. This new approach marks the beginning of a vertical internalization of maintenance, an integral part of the Group’s industrialization strategy since 2020. The “EF model” is now a set of best practices that aim to ensure continuous plant operations, serving as a quality benchmark for the entire value chain and influencing supplier selection, including sustainability assessments.


Human Resources and Advocacy

In addition to this, we have continued to invest in human resources, consolidating the corporate community through internal teambuilding and engagement initiatives and strengthening training offerings both internally, through workshops and meetings, and externally by promoting training projects, such as the Accademia del Sole and the SAFE Master’s program. Through lectures and guided tours, we had the opportunity to meet young talents, introducing them to the energy sector and offering them the chance to join our Group, which this year carried out a very important hiring plan, totallying over 170 employees.

EF Solare Italia also actively participated in the work of industry associations and took part in important events alongside stakeholders also at an international level, with the aim of guiding the path of structural development of photovoltaics.

Also, this year, we took part in the Observatories of the Energy&Strategy Group of the Politecnico di Milano, to examine, from a regulatory, technological and market perspective, all the elements that can concretely enable the energy transition, such as storage systems. In May, the new edition of the Renewable Energy Report was presented, which showed that despite the encouraging results of 2022, the pace of installation of new renewable plants in Italy still needs to be accelerated to reach the overall 2030 targets. Unlocking renewable energy authorizations and investments could generate hundreds of thousands of jobs, contributing to the achievement of decarbonization targets and fighting climate change.


The CEO’s message

“The transition to renewable energy requires the convergence of various technologies. Regarding our reference markets, it is noteworthy that Spain has started a much more decisive path on large-scale plants, also thanks to a more favourable orography.  In Italy, agrivoltaics represents a solution consistent with our reality. Precisely because of the conformation of our territory, it can become one of the most incisive forms of solar energy.

The challenges we will face in 2024 will be strategic and articulated on several fronts, from agrivoltaics to storage systems, moving from the strengthening of electricity infrastructure to the increasing support of the photovoltaic sector to the grid to the dialogue with institutions and territories. It is precisely for this reason that we have decided to organize an opportunity among the key players in this green revolution at EF Solare’s Annual Conference, where next February we will discuss the challenges that will determine the near future of renewables and the entire national energy system. EF Solare Italia represents excellence in photovoltaics in Italy. Aware of the milestones achieved so far, thanks to all the people who make up the Group, we are determined to be ready to contribute even more in the new year to the transition to an increasingly sustainable reality”, commented our CEO, Andrea Ghiselli.

© EF Solare Italia 2024
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