Skip to main content


Global Onshore Wind Market Report

Key Regional Markets


Onshore Wind Capacity

15.3 GW

GDP (Current Prices) USD (2022)


GDP Growth Forecast (constant prices) (2023-2027)




Country Credit Rating (S&P)


Renewable Energy capacity (2022)


Onshore Wind Share in Renewables (2022)


Renewable Energy Target

Targets increasing renewable energy’s share in the country’s power mix to at least 40% by 2030 and 65% in electricity generation

Italy is a significant market for renewable energy in Europe, with a total installed capacity of around 60GW in 2022 (IRENA, 2023). The country mainly relies on renewable hydropower and solar energy, but onshore wind is also gaining traction due to auction-related schemes and revised energy generation and consumption targets. As of 2022, Italy is ranked fifth among European Union countries in terms of cumulative onshore wind installed capacity (Wind Europe, 2023). However, with the strong wind speed in the coastal regions and decreasing wind project costs, there is great potential for Italy to increase its onshore wind activity and climb higher in the rankings.


  • Regulatory initiatives for streamlining wind farm permit and approval procedures

  • Extended auction program under FER1 and FER2 to boost renewable capacity growth between 2023-2026

  • Funding initiatives for wind turbine manufacturers under the Just Transition Fund (JTP)


  • Bureaucratic hurdles in the approval process causing luke warm competition in Italy’s renewables auction

  • Insufficient grid infrastructure with regulatory uncertainty pushing onshore wind downwards

Renewable Energy Mix

Source: IRENA Renewable Capacity Statistics July 2023

Over the past decade, renewable energy has assumed an increasingly significant role in Italy’s overall power mix. It currently accounts for 49.2% of the country’s total power mix, 11.7% higher than ten years ago. Hydroelectric power and solar energy are the two primary sources of renewable energy in Italy, making up 31% and 42% of the mix, respectively. While onshore wind has been growing more slowly, its cumulative installed capacity has increased from 17.4% in 2012 to 19.6% in 2022 (IRENA, 2023). The renewable energy sector in Italy is poised to benefit from the EU’s decarbonization drive and Italy’s National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which aims to increase wind power capacity and the share of wind power in electricity generation by the end of the decade (Italian Climate Network, 2023).

Installed Capacity: Status and Trend

Trend in Installed Onshore Wind Capacity

Source: Preqin Global Report 2023: Private Equity

Italy’s onshore wind installed capacity has been growing at an average rate of 4% annually since 2013, concentrated predominantly in the high-windy region of the south. However, annual capacity additions remained below the 500MW mark, averaging 365MW annually from 2013 to 2022 (IRENA, 2023). The reason for this backlog is the complex permit processes, which have led to repeated undersubscribed auctions (Wind Europe, 2022). 

Despite these challenges, the increasing attention of corporate off-takers towards cost-effective onshore wind has resulted in a slight increase in capacity additions, from 383MW in 2021 to 496MW in 2022, the highest in the last nine years (IRENA, 2023). To further accelerate the sector’s growth, steps are being taken to streamline the permitting process and reduce the permitting timeline within two years, in line with the REPowerEU plan (IEA, 2023).

Demand Drivers

In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the global energy sector was hit hard by soaring gas prices. Italy responded by accelerating its push to reduce heavy dependence on imported gas, with plans for renewables to account for 40% of gross energy consumption in all sectors by 2030. As part of the REPowerEU program, the Italian government announced in 2023 that it aimed to generate two-thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade and to revise the target for electricity generation from clean sources from 55% to 65% by 2030 (REUTERS, 2023). To achieve this, the government revised the cumulative installed capacity targets, aiming to attain 28GW of wind energy by 2030, up from the previous mark of 19.3GW, which means that 2.4GW of annual additions will be required by 2030. The government has already begun to phase out coal plants gradually by 2025 and has allocated EUR59.46 billion under the “Green Revolution and Ecological Transition scheme” to develop renewable energy and promote sustainable agriculture, which is expected to boost the expansion of this technology (Italia Domani).

Despite these ambitious plans, Italy has been hampered by a sluggish and complex permitting process. However, in March 2022, Italy began streamlining the permit procedures by bypassing local authorities to license some renewable energy projects (IEA, 2023). To demonstrate the effectiveness of the streamlining process for large-scale projects, regulators authorized six wind projects in March 2022, with a cumulative capacity of 418MW, indicating progress towards carbon neutrality (Renewables Now, 2022). Currently, more than 2.2GW of onshore wind projects are under permitting pipeline, which, when approved, will lead to a 2x growth in capacity installation (Wind Europe, 2023). Regulators are taking steps to simplify and accelerate permit procedures.

Furthermore, the skyrocketing prices of conventional energy have affected Italy’s wholesale electricity rates and material costs. Despite this, demand for large-scale onshore wind has increased among communities and corporations, given its relative cost competitiveness to other renewable technologies. To take advantage of this opportunity, authorities plan to schedule auctions through the FER program, which will auction off the remaining 1.3GW of the technology-neutral scheme in 2023. However, given Italy’s surging wind power prices and repetitive undersubscribed auctions, injecting competitive auctions in two-way fixed contracts for difference (CfD) could help maintain wind power’s cost-competitiveness. Additionally, Italy plans to introduce the FER 2 auction scheme to boost renewable capacity growth between 2023-2026 (Wind Europe, 2023).

Market Opportunity

The wind turbine manufacturing industry is set to receive a boost from the State aid scheme worth EUR450 million, which is available to EU member states (European Commission, 2023). The scheme aims to speed up investments in all renewable manufacturing equipment, including a significant amount allocated for the development of wind turbines. Additionally, the Just Transition Fund (JTP) has set aside up to EUR 1 billion in funds for climate transition, which also aims to support wind turbine manufacturing and promote the use of renewable energy among SMEs (European Commission, 2022). This presents a clear opportunity for OEMs to produce wind turbines locally.

According to a study conducted by ANEV/Studio Elemens, Italy has an extensive market for repowering its legacy turbines, with a potential incremental capacity of 8.5GW by 2030 (ENEL Energia, 2023). Due to land availability constraints and restrictive planning guidelines, the trend is expected to pick up, as seen from recent market transactions. The Vizzini Wind Farm in Sicily, with a capacity of 58.8MW, is set to be repowered and is currently in the permitting stage, with an overall investment of about EUR 54 million (Power Technology, 2023).

Corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) are gaining momentum in Italy’s onshore wind industry. Following the removal of subsidies, unsubsidized projects in the form of PPAs and merchant plants are gaining popularity and are expected to grow further in Italy, as evidenced by the signing of new long-term projects in 2023 (IEA, 2023). One such project was signed in March 2023, where EssilorLuxottica signed a 12-year PPA with ERG for the supply of around 900 GWh of wind power between 2023 and 2034. The wind farm is located in Palermo, Italy, and is currently being repowered and is expected to come online in 2023 (ERG EU, 2023). Another merchant-based PPA was signed in May 2023 between Glennmont and Trailstone Group for a wind capacity of 84 MW in Italy (RENEWABLES NOW, 2023). However, solely merchant-based projects are still in the early stages and are using the PPA route for guaranteed revenues.

Additionally, foreign renewable energy developers are interested in generating clean energy using onshore wind technology. In July 2023, RWE announced an investment of EUR180 million to build two onshore wind farms with a total capacity of 108 MW in the Apulia region of Italy (RWE, 2023). Furthermore, renewable fund manager Glenmont purchased 27 MW of onshore wind from OX2 to expand its renewable portfolio in Italy, indicating the growing interest of corporate buyers (OX2, 2023).


Source: BNEF Global Wind Market Outlook

Italy has the potential to grow its onshore wind industry, but it is currently falling behind in achieving the country’s 2030 carbon-neutrality target. According to estimates by BNEF, onshore wind builds are expected to peak at 1.2GW in 2030, with acceleration from 2025 onwards.

The development of Italy’s onshore wind energy industry faces several significant obstacles. The major challenge is the lengthy and complex project permitting process, which has affected the number of bids in auctions. In Italy, it takes five years to secure permits for wind projects, compared to the two years mentioned under the RED scheme of the EU. This creates planning risks for wind energy producers. Therefore, recent auctions launched under the FER scheme have produced a series of undersubscribed results, with onshore wind rewarded below 500MW capacity due to bureaucratic bottlenecks in the approval process (Wind Europe, 2023). Such bottlenecks have resulted in lukewarm competition in Italy’s renewables auction. Furthermore, regulatory uncertainty and the lack of stringent policy commitments have contributed to the ineffective installation of wind power in the country.

To achieve its carbon-neutrality target by 2030, Italy needs to streamline project approvals and provide funding to support the growth of the onshore wind sector. Additionally, focusing on developing onshore wind in central and northern Italy could lead to the installation of around 2GW of new capacity, taking into account feasibility in those areas (Wind Europe, 2023).