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Italy could reach up to 162 GW of cumulative installed capacity from renewables by 2035

According to GlobalData, Italy is set to revolutionize its energy portfolio, significantly increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources by 2035. This transition is largely fueled by the global repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which highlighted the risks of European countries' dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Notably, Italy, previously a major importer of Russian natural gas, has taken decisive steps to reduce this dependence from 40% of its gas needs in 2021 to just 19% in 2022.

Italy's ambitious renewable energy goals

GlobalData's recent report, "Italy Power Market Size, Trends, Regulations, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2024-2035," projects that Italy will achieve an impressive 107.7GW of renewable capacity by 2030, with renewables making up about 59% of the total annual power generation. By 2035, the cumulative installed capacity from renewable sources is expected to reach 162.7GW, constituting 69% of Italy's power capacity mix.

Challenges in the transition to renewables

Sudeshna Sarmah, Power Analyst at GlobalData, notes that the severe drought in 2022 significantly affected Italy's power market, particularly impacting hydropower generation, which dropped from 31.2TWh in 2021 to only 13.7TWh in 2022. In response to the reduced hydropower output and the absence of nuclear energy, Italy increased its thermal power generation by 8.4%, indicating a shift from 163.4TWh in 2021 to 177.1TWh in 2022. Moreover, Italy had to increase its electricity imports, which reached a total of 47.4TWh.


Source: GlobaData


Policy responses and future directions

In response to energy challenges, the Italian government introduced the National Plan for the Containment of Natural Gas in 2022, aiming to decrease the country’s reliance on natural gas. As part of diversifying its energy sources, Italy has started importing natural gas from Azerbaijan, Algeria, and Libya. However, the focus remains on expanding renewable energy capabilities to achieve energy self-sufficiency. In 2023, Italy revised its renewable energy goals, setting a new target of 65% renewable energy by 2030.

Sarmah emphasizes that the revised renewable energy targets must be accompanied by robust measures and a clear strategic roadmap to reduce dependency on natural gas and electricity imports. Sarmah also highlights Italy's commitment to phase out coal-powered plants by 2025 and the government's efforts to strengthen the national grid and accelerate renewable energy development. The revised National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) aims for a renewable power capacity of 93.2GW by 2030, with significant contributions expected from solar PV systems (50GW) and wind power (19.3GW).

A sustainable future in sight

As Italy continues to adjust its energy strategies in the face of global and environmental challenges, the nation is firmly on the path to not only enhancing its energy security but also leading by example in the transition towards a sustainable and renewable energy future.


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