Greentech Media reports that Italy has taken over from Germany and Spain as the hot European solar power market - On Italy, PV, and Overheated Markets.
The Italian PV market has been exploding with project announcements over the past two weeks. Among them is a 25 MW project to be constructed by Prime Sun Power, a 5 MW project that is already the largest using Evergreen Solar modules, a 9.8 MW turnkey project to be developed by Siliken for Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, and a 72 MW project by SunEdison that will become the largest PV project in Europe. In February, SunPower acquired SunRay, a Malta-based project developer with a 75 MW+ Italian pipeline, in no small part to gain better access to the Italian market. And that is without mentioning the continuous stream of just-under-1 MW project announcements that arrive daily (more on that later). Most importantly, all of these projects are intended for completion this year.
If the market keeps up this pace throughout 2010, Italy will experience triple-digit growth and could install a gigawatt of new PV capacity. But in doing so, Italy risks becoming the next victim of the PV gold rush. Over the past two years, this has happened in Spain (2008), the Czech Republic (2009) and, to a lesser extent, Germany (2009). Each of these countries had a national feed-in tariff without a hard cap, which enabled demand to expand far beyond the government's expectations within a single year. And in each market, the government responded drastically, either by slashing rates (Germany), instituting a strict program cap (Spain), or placing the program entirely on hold (Czech Republic).