Large Scale Photovoltaic Market Analysis In Italy

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Author: Federico Annese; [2021]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The environmental targets set by Europe of reaching a net zero carbon emission by 2050 and the European Green Deal have increased the environmental targets previously set. The Italian government managed to reach the targets set by 2020 in advance and started to work on the 2030 targets in 2017. Nevertheless, after the EU agreement on the Green Deal, the strategy has been revised and the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan has been published with the aim of setting clear targets to reach by 2030 in compliance with the strategy of the European Union. The Italian strategy will strongly rely on solar and wind energy: the government intends reaching 51 GW of installed solar capacity from the 20.8 GW currently installed.  The cost-competitiveness of solar energy is well known, and it has already reached the grid parity stage in Italy. This study is aimed at giving in the first part an insight on the current status and future trends of photovoltaic technology. In the second part, the analysis has been focused on the Italian photovoltaic energy, market schemes and permitting phase. The biggest threats to the deployment of large scale photovoltaic are: the land procurement due to the national and regional/municipal constraints and the impossibility of knowing a priori the availability of connection capacity.  Lastly, a feasibility study has been performed on a site in the northern part of Italy. The scope was to assess which was the best design solution that maximized the IRR. Therefore, a technoeconomic optimization has been carried out on three different systems: the fixed mounting, the single axis tracking (astronomical) (SAT-A) and the single axis tracking with backtracking (SAT-B). For the economic analysis, a financial model has been built to account for taxation and the debt schedule.  The optimization showed that the backtracking system is a good trade-off between the system with the higher production (SAT-A) and the system with less land consumption (fixed mounting). For the optimization in the feasibility study also bifacial modules have been tested. Unfortunately, the cost figure found for the modules led to IRR lower with respect to the other systems. Nevertheless, all the systems have shown an economic and technical feasibility. As emerged from the sensitivity analysis, the continuous reduction in system cost will further benefit the system. 

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