Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
The Italian wind resource is most prolific in the southern regions of Campania, Puglia and Molise and on Sardinia, Sicily and the minor islands. Technically exploitable capability for onshore wind farms has been assessed at around
7 000 MW for wind velocity higher than 5 m/s and 90 m hub height. There is a limited potential for offshore development owing to the considerable depth of the coastal waters, although there are possibilities in the seas surrounding Sicily.
Despite the Government's considerable amount of legislation supporting the introduction of renewable energies into the national energy balance, the introduction of wind power capacity has not been as rapid as might have been thought possible. Nevertheless, progress in recent years has been positive, with 789 MW being added between 2003 and 2005. By end-2005 installed capacity stood at 1 639 MW. To date most turbines have been installed in southern areas of the country and the main islands.
The Italian White Paper for the exploitation of renewable energy sources states that the target for wind energy is 2 500 MW for 2008-2012. This position is unchanged since 1999 when the target was established. However, if the present trend continues, it could be expected that between 4 000 and 5 500 MW capacity could be installed by end-2010. These levels are necessary if the country is to comply with the terms of the Kyoto Protocol's CO2 emissions reduction.
In the past it was thought that problems arose because of difficulties in dealing with an incentive scheme based on Green Certificates and also opposition to the installation of wind turbines from some of the Italian regions and a small number of the environmental groups. However, whereas the Certificates have proved popular with investors and are working well, there is still a certain amount of opposition.
Italy has a wind turbine manufacturing industry. The principal global manufacturer is Vestas Italia, producing medium-size machines. During 2005 the Vestas plant exported 225 turbines not only to other European countries but also to China and the USA. The demand for larger turbines (1-2 MW) continues to increase steadily but policy changes favourable to small turbines will also be likely to boost demand.