Last year, photovoltaic solar power in Italy accounted for some 5.6% of the total energy mix produced, and the number is only increasing.
For the first seven months of 2013, Italian solar power, specifically photovoltaic panels, grabbed almost 20% more share of the energy mix, 7.3% in the first seven months this year. A total of 13,810GWh were produced by photovoltaic solar power alone from January through July, 2013, the second-most-common renewable energy source in use in Italy. Hydropower produced 32,922GWh, Wind turbines 9,666GWh, and geothermal 3,061GWh during the same period.
One concern that has been raised with the increasing use of renewable energy is that they rarely replace conventional, fossil-fuel, energy sources, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. For example, the adoption of renewable energy in the US has merely to kept up with increasing energy demands of the country. Italy’s power mix is a good step in the opposite direction, actually reflecting a 15.7% reduction in conventional power production.
For the first seven months of 2013, conventional power plants in Italy produced 104,668GWh of electricity, while renewables, including hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar power, produced a total of 59,459GWh. Right now, Italy is powered by 57.2% renewable energy, a good example for the rest of the world.
There is one concern though, since Italy stopped FIT payments in the first week of July, that future solar power projects might be at risk of being dropped. Under the $8.8 billion FIT program, Italy added some 17GW of solar power capacity to the grid, but economic problems might prevent further funding from being made available.