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Market Report, "Italy Power Report Q3 2012", Published

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Italy Power Report Q3 2012", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2012 -- BMI View: Following a decision to reject domestically generated nuclear power, Italy faces a widening gap between energy generation capacity and demand. Renewables, particularly solar energy, are registering promising growth, with several projects having been announced; however, changes to incentives for renewable energy production are likely, with the government yet to approve final proposals, and this is creating regulatory uncertainly for potential investors.

Renewable energy has been thrust into the limelight, with several projects having been announced, and the government announcing changes to the incentives available for such projects. In May 2012, Enel Green Power launched operations at its refurbished Rancia 2 geothermal power plant, and seven solar plants also began operating across the country. In June 2012, Soitec's 1.17 megawatt (MW) concentrated photovoltaic (PV) plant was connected to the grid. However, the future of thermal energy projects looks less certain, with Enel announcing in March 2012 that the timeframe for its project to convert Porto Tolle from a oil to coal-burning power station has not yet been determined.

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During the 2012-2021 period, Italy's overall power generation is expected to increase by an annual average of 1.8%, to reach 351.3 terawatt hours (TWh). Driving this growth is an annual 2.3% gain in gasfired and a 7.2% rise in non-hydro renewables-based electricity supply. Coal-fired generation is expected to fall by 2.2% per annum, with the use of oil-fuelled generation to drop by an annual average of 1.6% over the period.

Following an estimated increase in 2011 real GDP of 0.7%, BMI forecasts average annual growth of 0.9% between 2012 and 2021. Over the 2012-2021 period, the average annual growth rate for electricity demand is forecast to be 1.4%. Thanks partly to the modest rise in net generation, the growth of which barely matches that of the underlying demand trend, we believe the country's net import requirement will be 23.4TWh by 2016, which could increase to 26.2TWh by 2021 if investment does not increase appreciably.

The key trends and developments in the Italian electricity market are:

- Italy's government revealed in June 2012 that it was revising the existing cap on financial incentives for solar power production, with a view to raising it from EUR500mn to EUR759mn. The move is partly a response to industry complaints that reduced incentives make solar projects less attractive to investors and less competitive.
- In May 2012, Italian utility A2A closed a EUR1.25bn deal to finance its acquisition of a 70% stake in the Italian power firm, Edipower.
- Enel Green Power began operations at five new solar PV plants in Italy at the end of March 2012, adding 14MW of energy generating capacity to the grid. Enel Green Power constructed the solar plants in collaboration with Sharp and STMicrolectronics.

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