Photovoltaics and storage system at Ecomondo-Key Energy

by Gianni Silvestrini from

After Solarexpo, which was a solid reference fair in the sector for many years, the world of photovoltaics lacked an exhibition to help assess market developments and present new products. A worrying lack also related to several encouraging signs about the future of the sector at both global and national levels.

The international context

First, the continuous reduction of prices of modules and storage systems, which is leading to dramatic results at the international level. The last tender in Abu Dhabi for 1,170 MW was won with a solar electricity price of 2.42 c $ / kWh. Definitely lower than the price of our generation power plants. Favorable also the world market outlook. For the tenth consecutive year, despite a slowdown in plant installations in China and the US, also in 2017 the global PV market is expected to grow, reaching 79 GW and 370 cumulative GW, a higher level than that of nuclear power in the world . Even in terms of generated kWh, within 5-6 years the solar and wind power generation will exceed the atomic one.

The Italian context

In Italy there are signs of a restart, still slow, with an installed capacity of 369 MW in 2016, an increase of 22% with respect to the previous year. In the coming years, 220 MW will be generated without relying on incentives by Eni petrochemical sites and 200 MW by Terna to feed the railways on the basis of an agreement with Trenitalia. In addition, as part of the programming of the 2014-2020 European funds, local authorities will receive incentives to install solar plants. The trend thus seems to accelerate, considering that in order to reach the 50% of electricity production from renewable by 2030 set by the EU, the solar power will rise from the current 19 GW to a level between 30 and 35 GW.

Storage systems

Storage systems have made their appearance on the market, with 6,000 systems installed last year in Italy. A combination, the solar + battery, which should see a rapid spread in the coming years thanks to lower prices. The inverter are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are playing decisive roles for smart grids on the side of the monitoring and regulation. Even in our Country, the possibility of participating in the provision of ancillary services is opening up, a prelude to the creation of virtual power plants with the involvement of storage and steering systems for the energy demand, the Virtual Power Plants.

Simplifying authorization procedures and revamping

Finally, the simplifications for landscape authorization published in the Government Gazette should facilitate new interventions, while the new rules of the GSE on revamping will enable a strong expansion of performance improvement measures for a significant part of the Italian photovoltaic system.

A trade fair for solar and storage systems

In light of these developments, in the context of the Ecomondo-Keyenergy that will be held in Rimini from 7th to 10th of November, there will be a specific area “KeySolar & Storage” in order to support photovoltaics with wind power, cogeneration, biomethane, energy efficiency and electric mobility. The organization of technical seminars and conferences will be an opportunity to focus on the opportunities for PV and storage systems. To present this initiative, a conference organized by IEG Expo- Fiera di Rimini in Milan on April 4 will explore the new scenarios of PV in Italy at the presence of major Italian operators.

This post is also available in: Italian