By Juan Manuel Antelo, Country Manager of ISOFOTÓN Italy
After the closing of SolarExpo 2013 in Milan (Italy), held from 8 to 10 May 2013, it is now time to take stock of the interesting exchange of opinions between experts, clients and heads of the principal companies in the Italian photovoltaics industry – the 3rd market worldwide – who have been present on these dates at Milan’s trade fair site. Among the principal trends for the future put forward at this forum – one of the most outstanding events for the photovoltaics industry Europe-wide –the European product’s commitment to internationalisation and to quality is of particular note.
The first point to be emphasised regarding the fair is undoubtedly that of the regulatory domain. In this regard, the importance has been underlined of the “Patto dei Sindaci” or “Pact of the Mayors”, which seeks to facilitate the implementation of photovoltaic installations for the local public administration, something that is already included in the V Conto of Energy that regulates the Italian energy system at state level. In this regard, we must point out that the Italian market is committed to the residential sphere by establishing a higher tariff for small installations and the possibility of having direct access to incentives (without the need for registration) for any plants below 12 kW. With the aim of boosting small roof installations, it is foreseen that the regulation will facilitate the possibility of applying for tax discounts for amounts of up to 50% of the investment made in photovoltaic energy. This is a measure that is undoubtedly aimed especially at private individuals and SMEs.
Despite the negative mood regarding the situation that the sector is currently experiencing in Europe, the general perception of the participants in SolarExpo is that a strong stand needs to be taken towards a promising future through geographic diversification – particularly in Brazil and Eastern Europe, a natural market for many Italian businesses – in addition to a preoccupation with the evolution of prices and a clear interest in innovative products.
Ultimately, the latest edition of SolarExpo, which welcomed more than 400 stands and more than 300 speakers from all over the world, has defined as the latest future trends for the sector a commitment to internationalisation, a preoccupation with product quality and price evolution, together with the announcement during the event of the new European regulation that levies charges on imported Chinese products and which will come into force on 6 June and will impose duties ranging from 37.3% to 67.9%.