Renewable energy has become a critical component of the global energy mix as nations seek to reduce their carbon footprint and transition away from fossil fuels. Solar energy, in particular, has been growing rapidly in recent years, with advances in technology and declining costs making it increasingly competitive with traditional sources of energy.
The Italian Solar Belt Map is an innovative dataset that has the potential of driving solar energy growth in Italy. The data provides a detailed overview of high-potential areas for solar development of different regions in Italy, enabling policymakers and industry stakeholders to make informed decisions about the best locations for solar farms and installations. This, in turn, helps to increase the adoption of solar energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve energy security in the country.
In this article, we will explore the development of the Italian Solar Belt Map and its impact on solar energy growth in Italy.
The Potential to be a Major Solar Energy Producer
According to data published by SolarPower Europe, the Italian solar market has had a slow growth in the last eight years, with on average 500 MW of capacity installed per year. After an improved performance in 2021, when 936 MW was added, the market is poised to grow significantly in 2022. At the end of Q3 2022, 1.6 GW of new PV power plants were installed, bringing the cumulative solar capacity level to 24.2 GW, with a total of 1,137,374 plants. The vast majority of these factories were small scale systems. However, it is stated that Italy has the potential to be a major producer of solar energy in Europe.
The Italian renewables energy associations, ANIE Rinnovabili, Elettricità Futura and Italia Solare agree that Italy must install at least 85 GW of new renewables capacity by 2030 to achieve their REPowerEU targets. They also believe that Italy must install 80 GWh of new large-scale storage capacity to effectively integrate new power into the grid. Solar PV represents 58 GW out of this 85 GW of new renewable energy sources.
To address this, new technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become increasingly important in supporting the evolution of the energy market. GIS allows for the superimposition and direct comparison of various types of information, revealing patterns and opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to identify.
For instance, in Italy, agricultural areas located within 500 meters of industrial areas are considered suitable for the installation of photovoltaic systems under the D.L. 50/22 and related regulations. However, it can be challenging to identify which areas fall within this buffer zone. To address this, an algorithm has been developed that uses satellite images to identify industrial areas and apply the buffer zone of 500 meters from these areas.
Research and Development of the Italian Solar Belt Map
The development of the Italian Solar Belt Map involved a comprehensive research and analysis process. The goal was to identify industrial areas and apply the buffer zone of 500 meters from these areas by using satellite imagery. The data was gathered from various sources, such as satellite images, governmental databases, and crowdsourced data. The resulting map provides a high-resolution analysis of the high-potential areas for solar development of different regions, allowing policymakers and industry stakeholders to make informed decisions about the optimal locations for solar farms and installations.
Accurate mapping of potential areas for solar development is essential for the growth of renewable energy. The Italian Solar Belt Map provides a solid foundation for policymakers and industry stakeholders to make informed decisions about solar energy development. As renewable energy adoption continues to grow worldwide, mapping of potential areas will become increasingly important. The development of accurate and detailed maps, such as the Italian Solar Belt Map, will play a critical role in driving renewable energy growth and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It is important to note that while the Italian Solar Belt Map is a valuable tool in driving solar energy growth in Italy, it is based on satellite photo-interpretation, and therefore there is still a margin of error. The estimated margin of error for the suitability surface is between 6-7%. Furthermore, the only official method to verify the accuracy of the map is through georeferencing of the cartography of the municipal plan in force. Therefore, it is crucial to use these datasets appropriately and exercise caution when making decisions based on the information provided by the map.
Explore the Italian Solar Belt Map
The Italian Solar Belt Map is available to customers through the Enernite Platform. By leveraging the data and the other innovative GIS features of the Enernite Platform, you can optimize the use of land and resources, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of solar energy production.
So, request access to our beta and explore the Italian Solar Belt Map today!
Stay in the loop
Are you interested in the development of the next-generation GIS platform? Subscribe today to the Enernite monthly newsletter that features inspiring use cases and product announcements to help you locate success. Sign up today!Subscribe now