The interactive web page Atlasole created by Italy’s Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) indicates that the country surpassed 7,000 MW of total installed solar photovoltaics (solar PV) from nearly one-quarter million systems sometime mid year.
In 2009, Italy became the world’s second largest market for annual installations of solar PV capacity, a position it held in 2010 and will likely hold again in 2011.
Italy has quickly overtaken one-time leaders in total installed capacity Spain and Japan.
According to GSE, Italy installed 2,300 MW in 2010. This is up from the 1,850 MW reported at the end of the year.
GSE had said previously that there were an additional 4,000 MW of solar PV from 55,000 systems in the pipeline that potentially will bring total installed capacity to 7,000 MW and this appears to be the case.
On May 2, 2011, GSE issued a 48-page statistical report on Italy’s solar PV development.
In 2010, solar PV generated 1.9 TWh of electricity. Solar PV currently installed may generate as much as 10 TWh in 2011 or 3% of Italy’s 320 TWh annual consumption.
Italy is three-fourths the size of California, with which it is often compared because of their similarly-sized economies. Italy has a population of 60 million, to California’s 40 million people.
California has installed approximately 1,000 MW of solar PV to date. Current installed capacity of solar PV in California is capable of generating approximately 1.5 TWh per year or less than 1% of California’s electricity consumption.