The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Italian Small Wind Growing with Feed-in Tariffs

The installation of small wind turbines is growing rapidly in Italy since the introduction of feed-in tariffs, according to a report by the Department of Engineering at Milan's Polytechnical University (Politecnico di Milano Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale).

Since the introduction of feed-in tariffs for small wind turbines in 2008, installations have grown exponentially says the University's Wind Energy Report.

In absolute terms, installed capacity of small wind turbines in Italy, like that in Great Britain, remain a fraction of that of commercial-scale turbines. By the end of 2011 cumulative capacity of small wind in Italy was 13 MW, or 2% of the 6,700 MW of wind generating capacity in the country.

Yet installed capacity of small wind doubled from 2008 to 2009 and again in 2010 and 2011. Up to 10 MW may be installed in 2012, says the report.

More than 90% of the turbines are less 80 kW in size. The majority of the capacity, 70%, is installed in the southern provinces, 25% in the central region, and only 5% in the mountainous north.

In 2011, Italy installed more than twice as much small wind generating capacity as the US relative to its population. The same will likely be the case in 2012.

Feed-in tariffs have proven effective for rapidly developing new small wind generating capacity. In North America, only Nova Scotia and Vermont have effective feed-in tariffs for small wind. Most of the US uses a mix of state and federal subsidies in combination with net-metering.

Italian feed-in tariffs for small wind are quite lucrative, effectively double that of total payments for commercial wind under Italy's Green Certificate (Certificati Verdi) system. Yet, Italian small wind tariffs are comparable to those in Britain and other countries.

New tariffs go into effect at the end of the year. Italy will differentiate small wind into two size tranches: <20 kW, and 20 kW to 200 kW. While the tariffs have been cut modestly, the contract term has been extended from 15 years to 20 years.

Extending the term of the contract offers a substantial financial benefit, assuming that the turbines can stay in operation that long. There are fleets of wind turbines in California more than 25 years old. However, the turbines in California are all professionally maintained.

Small wind in Italy is now nearly 50% more expensive than the most expensive solar PV per kilowatt-hour of generation.

According to the University's Wind Energy Report, 3% of the Italy's land area has average wind speeds of greater than 6 m/s or good to excellent wind, 37% has average wind speeds from 4 m/s to 6 m/s or sites with good wind. The report quotes the Italian wind energy association (Associazone Natzionale Energia dal Vento), that Italy has the potential for 1,000 MW of small wind capable of generating 1.5-2 TWh per year. For comparison, solar PV generated more than 10 TWh in 2011.

Lead image: Small wind turbines via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

Sage Grouse Removed as Threat to Biggest Wind Farm in U.S.

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg Billionaire Phil Anschutz’s plans to build a $5 billion wind farm in southeast Wyoming will no longer be stymied by t...

CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar

Jennifer Delony The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling th...


Array Technologies Finalizes Shipments to E.ON’s Maricopa West Solar Project

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has completed DuraTrack® HZ shipments to the 20 MW (ac) ...

B.C. Energy Minister to provide keynote at renewables for mines summit.

BC Minister of Energy and Mines to address the challenges of providing alternative powe...

Mining leaders seek renewables solutions at Toronto Summit

The global mining sector is facing a tough business environment with low commodity pric...

American Renewable Energy Institute Gears Up for 12th Annual Summit

"Racing Climate Change: Green Bridge with China, The Road to Paris” is the theme of th...


New Mexico Attracts Jobs and Revenues with Renewable Energy Tax Credit

New Mexico has abundant fossil fuel resources: in 2013, it ranked sixth in the nation for crude oil production, seven...

The Vice President Stole My Show (Not Really)

When I finished my Solar Power International (SPI) panel discussing what future opportunities the panelists saw in so...

The Value Of The Building

If you’re selling efficiency solutions in the built environment, you may find yourself being asked by your pros...

Sewage provides energy through processing

Many nations are investing in new technology to turn sewage waste into usable energy. Japan has recently revised its ...


Paul Gipe has written extensively about renewable energy for both the popular and trade press. He has also lectured widely on wind energy and how to minimize its impact on the environment and the communities of which it is a part. For his efforts,...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is rapidly building out its national certified installer...

Wind Operator Congress Europe

The UK’s only business-focused O&M event for the European wind...


Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now