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RENEWABLES: TIME FOR CHOICES

RENEWABLES: TIME FOR CHOICES

The transition towards tomorrow’s Europe

In recent days, our CEO Andrea Ghiselli participated in the annual presentation of the Irex Annual Report by Althesys. The report provides a map on the development of renewables in the country, the regulations, future developments, and unresolved issues.

What emerged during the day, which was full of insights and testimonies, is that the energy sector is undergoing a phase of significant and rapid change – not only in Italy – primarily due to geopolitical tensions alongside the need to proceed swiftly towards and ecological transition. Meanwhile, in Italy, the regulatory framework continues to evolve, and there is a general buzz despite the volatility of the electricity markets and a not particularly favorable economic situation.

“This year’s Irex Annual Report gives us a snapshot of a sector with fast-growing projects and investments, with 80 billion euros of total investment in pipeline in Italy. This is an important opportunity both in terms of our country’s decarbonization goals and in terms of opportunities for investors, including institutional ones, to support a significant part of our industrial and energy sector. The investment directions are primarily on photovoltaics, agrivoltaics, but also significant projects regarding wind power, especially offshore wind, which is also establishing itself in our country. Finally, the issue of storage. The strong development of renewables requires flexibility and storage capacity; there is great interest from investors, including international ones, in the Italian market and in the upcoming tools such as MACSE that will be put in place to develop storage. So, an important perspective in a framework of regulations and policies that will require stability to achieve the goals,” said Alessandro Marangoni, CEO of Althesys, at the event.

Thanks to a more streamlined authorization process, many more projects have been approved in Italy compared to the previous year, recording a 73% increase. A comforting figure, but not sufficient.

But what are the choices and challenges that lie ahead for the sector?

Andrea Ghiselli - CEO di EF Solare Italia“In the last four weeks, the main discussion at the national system level has been related to land use, a topic we cannot ignore as operators. This necessarily involves reflections and uncertainties in investments. Awareness of this must guide our choices. At this moment, we are witnessing very ambitious decarbonization goals in renewables, but practically, the evolving regulatory framework does not seem to favor achieving these goals. We are also witnessing market evolution that seems to marginalize the spot market, with significant effects on existing plants that will exit incentives in the coming years. These plants must be protected considering they do not involve further land use. Finally, a crucial point often underestimated, with significant reflections on the LCOE of new renewable plants, is the shortage of human capital: almost 700.000 more people are needed in the European photovoltaic and wind sector by 2030. The energy transition has already begun, but the timeframe for training STEM profiles is at least three to four years, so investments in human capital are needed to bridge this timing gap and achieve European goals,” explained Andrea Ghiselli during his speech at the presentation of the Irex Annual Report 2024.

In conclusion, the report shows a more than positive state of health for the renewables sector despite the highlighted issues, and all operators, stakeholders, and institutions agree and are united in wanting to quickly overcome the obstacles slowing the sector, thus providing the additional push necessary to compete in Europe.

© EF Solare Italia 2024
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