L R AS Published on Monday 16 October 2023 - n° 461 - Categories:agrovoltaic

Interesting figures on the cost of agrivoltaics... in Italy!

After several years of virtually no installations, Italy is starting to believe in photovoltaics again. The country plans to install 0.8 GW in 2020, 0.9 GW in 2021 and 2.5 GW in 2022, mainly residential installations. The country has set itself a target of installing

50 GW by 2030 and to generate 55% of Italy's electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Solar installations are being stimulated by regional incentives for residential photovoltaics, and by a simplification of the authorisation process for building clean energy plants from April 2022.

The post-Covid economic recovery plan has allocated €1.5 billion for the installation of solar energy on farm buildings, known as "agrisolar", and €1.1 billion for agrivoltaics. Nothing has been allocated to installers of ground-mounted power plants. The promoters of such plants have divided their projects into units of less than 20 MW in order to qualify for the simplified authorisation process, and even below 14 MW to ensure easier connection to the medium-voltage grid.

In INTEC Energy Solutions' experience, because the panels are installed between 2.1 m and 6 m above the ground, agrivoltaic installations require 30-60% more expenditure than ground-mounted installations. This is because more steel is needed and more work has to be carried out at height.

Working at height and eliminating the extra dust generated by agricultural vehicles adds 20 to 40% to the operating and maintenance costs of agrivoltaic panels, compared with ground-mounted sites.

The lower panel density means that agrivoltaics require 10 to 40% more expenditure to produce electricity and that an additional payment ofof €20 to €50 per hectare is required to cover the cost of the farmer's compulsory declarations proving continued agricultural production in these installations.

As a result, agrivoltaic sites are, on average, 40% more expensive than ground-mounted installations.

There is great enthusiasm for the potential of solar power in Italy. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has highlighted Italy's dependence on certain foodstuffs from Ukraine.


PV Magazine 12 October 2023

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