Technical profile

Monitoring of the development of distributed generation plants in italy, for the year 2014

Resolution 304/2016/I/eel

June 10, 2016

Italian Flag Italian version

With resolution 304/2016/I/eel, the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water  has approved the "Monitoring of the development of distributed generation plants in Italy, for the year 2014", the annual report containing the data on the development of distributed generation and small generation plants in Italy (with evidence from regional data) for the year 2014.

In the context of this monitoring, in continuity with the previous year, the following definitions are used:
  • Distributed generation (GD): the entirety of generation plants connected to the distribution system;
  • Small-scale generation (PG): the entirety of electricity production plants, also operating in cogenerative mode, with a generation capacity no greater than 1 MW (this is not strictly a subset of GD)
  • Microgeneration (MG): the entirety of electricity production plants, also operating in cogenerative mode, with a generation capacity no greater than 50 kWe (this is not strictly a subset of GD but is a subset of PG).
Data relating to GD-10 MVA has also been recorded over time, that is data relating to the entirety of the generation plants with nominal power no higher than 10 MVA, thus ensuring continuity with the previous monitoring (until 2012, however, only the last definition for distributed generation was used). With regards to GD, in 2014 in Italy, the gross energy production was equal to 64.3 TWh (around 23% of the entire national electricity production), with a modest increase of around 0.9 TWh compared to 2013. In 2014, 657,193 plants were installed for a total gross useful power equal to around 30,117 MW (around 24% of the useful gross power of the national portfolio).

Regarding PG, in 2014, in Italy, gross electricity production was equal to 28.6 TWh with an increase, compared to 2013, of around 2.4 TWh. In 2014 654,389 PG plants were installed for a total gross useful power equal to 16,944 MW. As already highlighted in the monitoring of previous years, we are witnessing a considerable and rapid evolution of the electrical system, from a few bigger plants to a multitude of smaller plants, with the objective of exploiting widely distributed renewable energy sources and the energy efficiency inherent in cogeneration. In the last year the increase in the number of GD plants, compared to 2013, has been equal to 69,909 new plants installed, almost all attributable to the development of photovoltaic power plants (68,854 more plants compared to the photovoltaic plants installed in 2013), whilst the contributions of wind plants (457 more wind plants compared to those installed in 2013), thermoelectric plants (436 more than in 2013) and hydroelectric plants (163 more than in 2013) have been much lower.
The electricity produced by GD is increasing rapidly, both in absolute terms and relative to the total national output, above all due to the effect of the new installation of photovoltaic plants, the greater production from plants powered by biomass and biogas as well as the effect of increased water resources. In more detail, the increase in production of electricity from 2013 was equal to 870 GWh, attributed mostly to hydroelectric plants (+1,745 GWh) and secondarily to photovoltaic plants (+500 Gwh) and wind plants (+211 GWh), whilst a reduction in thermoelectric plants was recorded (-1,431 GWh). In terms of thermoelectric plants, as it was highlighted in the monitoring from the previous year, a large increase in the production of biomass, biogas and bioliquids was witnessed (+1,219 GWh) and a large decrease in non-renewable sources (-2,637 GWh), whilst minor variations were recorded in hybrid plants and those powered by waste Furthermore, in terms of thermoelectric production from GD, we are witnessing a progressive substitution of plants powered by fossil fuels with plants powered by renewable sources, thus involving a significant reduction in the installed power, despite the increase in the electricity produced. In more detail, the decrease in the installed power of GD compared to 2013 was equal to -50MW, mostly due to a net reduction of thermoelectric plants (-197 MW) and, to a lesser extent, hydroelectric plants (-66 MW), whilst there was an increase in the relative power of photovoltaic plants (+147 MW) and wind plants (+89 MW).  

With regards to the mix of energy sources
in 2014, 79.7% of energy produced by GD plants is from renewable sources, mostly solar sources which account for a 32.4% of the production of the entire GD production. Power stations exclusively powered by renewable sources make up 99.7% of the total GD plants and 84.5% of the total gross GD useful power. Considering, however, PG, the mix of energy sources is even more skewed towards solar and biomass, biogas or bioliquid sources with a few non-renewable sources. In more detail, 98.2% of the electricity produced by PG plants is from renewable sources and of these renewable sources, solar energy is the main one, representing 58.7% of the total in 2014. Plants exclusively powered by renewable sources represent 99.8% of total plants and 98.6% of the total gross useful power in PG.  

Considering consumption and production, in the case of GD the amount of electricity produced used for self-consumption is 20.4% whilst 76.5% of the energy produced was inserted into the grid and the remaining 3.1% was used to power the auxiliary production services[1].
With respect to GD, in 2014 a reduction in the self-consumption of electricity of 1.7 TWh was recorded, becoming 13.1 TWh in 2014, with a reduction of the incidence in percentage terms on the total gross production equal to 2.9 percentage points compared to 2013 (from 23.3% in 2013 and 20.4% in 2014). Such a decrease, in absolute terms, can be ascribed mostly to the thermoelectric plants powered by non-renewable sources (-1.3 TWh compared to 2013) and should be interpreted in the context of the general fall of overall electricity consumption. Because of this, the amount of electricity passing into the grid has increased by around 3 percentage points (in 2014 76.5% of the electricity produced was input into the grid), meaning that the relative consumption by auxiliary generation services remains roughly invariable. (in 2014 3.1% of the electricity produced was used to power auxiliary production services).  

Lastly, with regards to the destination of the electricity produced and input into the grid, 28.5% of the total electricity produced fell directly onto the market, whilst the remaining 48% was withdrawn by the GSE[2]

This sheet is for disclosure purposes only; it is not a measure.  

[1] auxiliary services in the power station and leakages in station transformers.
[2] Of which 2% as provided for by the measure Cip n. 6/92, 13.7% in the context of the incentive regime with fixed all-inclusive feed in tariff provided for by Inter-ministerial Decrees of 18th December 2008, 5th July and 6th July 2012 and 32.7% in the context of dedicated withdrawal and on-the-spot trading.