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MET: Italian market offers “perfect mix” for CPPAs

MET: Italian market offers “perfect mix” for CPPAs

March 15, 2024
MET Group is significantly expanding its presence in Italy: MET Energia Italia intends to exploit the potential of the local market. The focus is primarily on corporate PPAs and the government's expansion plans.

Source: Energate Messenger Switzerland

MET Energia Italia has only been operating in the field of CPPAs for about a year, but the company confirms that it has high expectations for its development. According to the company, Italy currently offers the “perfect mix” for involvement as there is significant production of renewable energies and an increasing interest in PPAs from industry. On the supply side, MET predicts that much more will be added to the current 60GW of installed renewable capacity in Italy. The growth driver is the government's plan to add a total of 70GW of renewables by 2030.

MET Group is involved in this development with various solar projects. According to company information, their planned installed capacity totals around 480 MWp. MET told energate that the first plants in Italy are planned to commence construction this year.

Growing demand from industrial customers

The entry into the corporate PPA business is MET Energia Italia's latest line of business. The company has been represented on the Italian energy market since 2017 and has steadily increased its sales in the areas of electricity and natural gas over the past few years. It specialises in energy services for private individuals and companies as well as services for e-mobility. MET Energia Italia claims to be one of the market leaders in the field of energy supply and energy management.

Previously, the company's main customer group consisted of small and medium-sized Italian businesses. According to the company, more and more medium-sized and large industrial customers are being added through the PPA business.

Hydrogen market not yet an investment topic

According to the company, there are no signs yet that MET will expand its involvement in Italy beyond the electricity and gas market to include energy sources such as hydrogen. “Italy is unlikely to play a pioneering role in the areas of hydrogen and green gas, unlike other European markets in which we are active, but it is more likely to follow other countries’ examples”, MET says. Although Italian companies themselves are active in the aforementioned segments, they are still largely focused on other markets - such as Germany.

On the other hand, MET is not ruling out investments in the Italian gas and hydrogen markets and in battery storage in the future. “Both gas-fired combined-cycle power plants as well as flexibility plants and renewable energies are areas in which MET Group has a great deal of expertise, experience and ambition, which is why we are following developments in Italy with interest” MET stated. 

Rapid growth in Milan

Besides that, Italy offers MET business opportunities that are only available to a limited extent in Switzerland. Although the company has been headquartered in the canton of Zug for over ten years, it was not very active in the Swiss market until recently. However, opportunities could also arise here in Switzerland in the future, as head of renewables Christian Hürlimann said in an interview with energate. In November 2023, the company announced that it had acquired a 25% stake in the Valais wind farm developer SwissWinds.

Currently, MET Group is facilitating opportunities in foreign markets through its European hubs in Budapest and Milan. According to MET Energia Italia, it employed around 40 people in mid-2023; by the end of the year this had increased to 50. In addition, other MET employees from other departments are working in the country. “We assume that growth will continue and that we will have around 70 employees at the Milan site this year,” MET told energate.

Substantial investmentsin grids and storage needed

MET's employees in Italy are also likely to change the European and therefore the Swiss market with their projects: If the Italian government's ambitious plan is achieved, the current electricity exports of around 40 TWh per year from France and Switzerland to Italy could ultimately decrease significantly, MET says. "On the other hand, significant investments in the expansion of the Italian electricity grids and in battery storage are necessary for the feasibility of this plan," the company stated.

Amongst other things, this would require the authorisation processes for energy infrastructure in Italy to keep pace with government plans. “The still lengthy and complex authorisation procedures in Italy have so far been the biggest obstacle to the growth of electricity generation from renewable energies”, MET commented. Compared to northern European countries, the limited space for onshore wind farms could also pose a challenge.