Mamma Mia! Italy is Adding 7,000 MW of Solar by June

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By midyear Italy’s total installed capacity is expected to reach a staggering 7 GW of solar power on the grid. Since 2007, the nation has targeted legislative incentives that drive consumers to make a switch to clean energy sources.

But 2010 was a record: 4,000 MW. And in just one month, Italian households added as much solar power as an average-sized fossil fuel electric power station.

“Some 200 MW out of these 4,000 MW became operative in December, and I believe that at least another 3,000 MW will be connected by the end of June,” Gerardo Montanino, director of the state services agency told Reuters, according to Electricity Forum.

Italy was the world’s second biggest solar market in new installations in 2010, as consumers worried that incentives would expire at the end of the year. But under a special decree passed last year, Italy extended generous incentives for projects connected to the grid by the end of June 2011.

But, although the successful response more than meets Italy’s responsibilities under the Kyoto Accord-driven EU rules on reducing greenhouse gases – now the government is considering cutting the incentives. Delays in the announcement are leading to uncertainty, forcing companies and investors to review their business strategies for Italy.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

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