Octopus Investments Ltd. started generating power from five solar plants in Italy without government support and struck an important two-year fixed price agreement with Green Trade for energy supply.
The plants are located in Montalto di Castro, in the province of Viterbo (Lazio) and represent the first project of this size in Grid Parity in Italy and are among the largest in Europe. Connected to the Terna network in April 2017, the photovoltaic plants reach a power of 63.086 Mwp. Panels were supplied by Canadian Solar Inc.
“Renewable power doesn’t always need the government,” said Matt Setchell, head of renewable energy investments at Octopus. “It’s being driven by demand, rather than subsidy.”
Europe currently has a handful of subsidy-free solar plants, located in Spain and Italy, according to Lara Hayim, at the London-based researcher. Those projects do run the risk of “cannibalizing” themselves by producing large volumes of solar energy, that in turn, can depress the high wholesale power prices that the projects rely upon.
Globally, solar prices have fallen by 62 percent since 2009, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average around the globe, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.