[ExI] The silent PV revolution

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 18:31:14 UTC 2012

Even assuming that increase, and even assuming that an equal
amount of fossil fuel energy production is taken offline to
compensate, wouldn't a majority of Italy's energy production still
come from fossil fuels?

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM, Alfio Puglisi <alfio.puglisi at gmail.com> wrote:
> During the last few days, I have realized that something very interesting is
> going to happen on electricity markets this summer: there is a
> non-negligible chance that a major country is going to have so much
> production from solar photovoltaics that it will have to *export*
> a sizable fraction of it.
> The facts: Italy has a population of about 60 million, and peak electricity
> usage that hovers around 50 GW on working days, and 40 GW on weekends.
> This February, mid-day PV production peaked at almost 10 GW. That's about
> 330% more than last February. Generous feed-in tariffs have fueled this
> crazy growth. Given the explosive results, tariffs are being slashed every
> few months, but PV installations show no signs of slowing down.
> The graph of hour-by-hour prices in the electricity market
> is mightily interesting: http://www.mercatoelettrico.org/It/  (top left
> graph, red line is instantaneous price): two peaks at 9am and 8pm, while in
> the rest of the day the market is flooded with PV-generated energy, which
> keeps prices down. A few years ago the shape was totally different - a
> high plateau during the entire day.
> in 2011, PV generation in August was 5x the one in February. If the trend
> holds, Italy risks to have too much electricity for its internal market at
> certain times (starting from noon at weekends, and working down from there),
> and will have to export. That's quite a change, since Italy has been a
> chronic energy importer for entire *decades*. Countless electrons inside the
> power lines coming in from France, Switzerland and Slovenia will have to
> suddenly move in a direction they have never witnessed before.
> Traditional energy giants are lobbying like hell the government to regulate
> the market back into something more manageable (for them), but I think it's
> too late. Gas-burning plants, designed to spin up during demand spikes,
> are already  being priced out.
> Is there anyone out there closely following the same developments, or it's
> just me having unhealthy interests? :-)
> Ciao,
> Alfio
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