Electric and photovoltaic cars: you can travel for free in Italy

Electric and photovoltaic cars: you can travel for free in Italy
Electric and photovoltaic cars: you can travel for free in Italy

Domestic photovoltaic system

The combination of electric car and energy produced from domestic renewable sources, photovoltaics in particular, is the “closing of a virtuous circle” that satisfies ecology and economic convenience. However, there are several elements to analyze. From the evolution of the energy scenario to investment formulas, without forgetting the technical and bureaucratic aspects. We will face them with the contribution of Fabio Stefanini, General Manager of Otovo Italy. Otovo is a Norwegian operator specializing in the installation of photovoltaic panels, which arrived in Italy this year with an innovative all-digital business model.

A look at geography

By Fabio Stefanini *

The geographic and climatic configuration of Italy illustrates the potential for use of solar panels. They can be installed throughout the country, since most of the territory receives more than 2000 hours of sunshine per year, with tips of over 2600 hours of light in the South. This results in a high irradiation, i.e. the amount of solar energy incident on a unit surface in a given time interval, typically a day (kWh / m² / day). This can vary based on latitude and local climatic conditions. In any case, ENEA has calculated that, for a plant with a nominal power of 1 kWp (1000 Watt peak, i.e. the maximum instantaneous production of the panels), the following are respectively produced:

– 1080 kWh in Northern Italy;
– 1350 kWh in Central Italy;
– 1500 kWh in Southern Italy.

It is also necessary to take into account i monocrystalline silicon modules, since they represent the most suitable for photovoltaic solar panels. The more performing versions have a power of around 400 Wp and an occupation of approx 4.5 m² per kWp.

Electric car, photovoltaic and domestic users

After determining the production capacity of the solar panels, we can define the sizing of the home system also based on the consumption of your electric car. In this regard, the most efficient models have a average consumption of about 150 Wh / km (Tesla Model 3, Fiat 500E, Hyundai IONIQ Electric, Dacia Spring). The most energy-hungry, however, such as SUVs, have a value greater than 200 Wh / km (source EV Database). Considering the average distance of a car in Italy (14.100 km, source UNRAE), a ‘thrifty’ electric therefore requires around 2.1 MWh of energy per year to move. A significant amount, but which translates into about 5.7 kWh per day.

Assuming to install a system a Roma, 290 kWh per year can be obtained for every m² of surface covered with photovoltaic panels. TO Milano 230 kWh, while a Palermo you can go up to over 400 kWh / year (with an average solar radiation of 1900 kWh / m²).

How many panels do you need?

To recharge the electric car with photovoltaics, one must then be taken into account loss of 15-20% efficiency between the actual refueling and the operations to load and unload any accumulator. To get 2.1 MWh, that’s it 2.64 MWh needed per year that are “translated” into 1.95 kWp of photovoltaic panels. In other words, one surface of approximately 9 m². And, considering that the average residential plant in Italy (4.4 kWp) requires about twenty square meters of panels (with a average investment of 6,000 euros and an annual yield of 24%), you can understand how it is fully feasible meet the electrical needs for mobility and daily life.

The choice of the future, today

The European Union aspires to become carbon-neutral nel 2050. To achieve this, it has defined intermediate targets to be achieved. For example, by 2030, it plans to meet at least 32% of its energy consumption through renewable sources. And, since 2035, the European Commission has proposed to sell exclusively new light commercial vehicles and cars with zero CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the PNIEC has set the target (for 2030) of a share of energy from RES of 30% for gross final consumption of energy (in 2018 the% of energy predicted from RES is 17.8 %). However, the national plan will be revised to meet the new emission reduction target recently set by the EU (-55% by 2030 for the entire Union compared to 1990).

It will therefore have to go from 96 GW of production capacity with renewable sources to 114 GW. But above all, from 52 GW to 64 GW of energy generated through photovoltaic systemsthe. It must be remembered that, from 2007 to 2020, the photovoltaic power installed in Italy went from 0.1 to 21.6 GW.

And it has to accelerate further, through incentive policies and the simplification of procedures. It is not only an environmental issue, but also an economic one. To reduce dependence on fossil fuels and the fluctuation of the prices of these raw materials.

Just think of the recent increase in the cost of electricity, which registered + 10% due to the increase in the price of hydrocarbons and CO2 emissions permits. More increases are in sight from 1 October (read)

Millions of opportunities

The photovoltaic therefore represents achance to promote the production and use of a natural, non-exhaustible and renewable resource. In particular, Italy must focus on the formation of anational industry involved in the production of technologies for the generation of electricity from renewable sources, as well as onenergy storage, i.e. on storage systems, to be combined with production plants to maximize self-consumption. A very useful solution, especially for the residential sector. On the Italian territory there are six million homes that could enjoy home photovoltaics along with a similar amount of electric vehicles.

Clean energy is ready. Are we too?

*General Manager Otovo Italia.

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