Wind energy plants repowering potential in Italy: technical-economic assessment

In many countries, pioneers in wind plants installation during the last decades of XX century, there is a progressive shortage of land based sites suitable for new wind farms and, at the same time, many installed wind turbines are reaching the end-of-life. Three options can be considered for a wind plant at the end-of-life: the decommissioning, the revamping and the repowering. The main advantages of the repowering option are the better exploitation of wind resource, the reduction of the wind turbine number and the prevention of further “virgin” land consumption. However, there are some issues that may affect the success of repowering initiatives: the significantly high investment costs and long and the complex authorization process. In this frame, in order to support both operators and decision-makers, RSE undertook a research activity concerning the evaluation of the wind repowering potential in Italy. The main objectives of this work were to understand the amount, the features and the geographical distribution of wind capacity that will reach the end-of-life in 2020 and also to develop repowering scenarios and to evaluate their technical-economic sustainability. A three steps methodology was designed and applied for the evaluation of the national repowering potential.


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