Solar energy for a sustainable development

The sun has always played an important role in the history of mankind: in many ancient cultures it was worshiped as a divinity, centuries later, the Romans understood its potential to produce heat inside greenhouses, and Leonardo Da Vinci created a mirror to dry fabric thanks to the heat produced by the sun. Fundamental to the development of life on Earth, today the sun can be used also to produce clean energy.

Solar energy is a source of sustainable energy and it is potentially unlimited: every 50 minutes the sun produces enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.

The power of the sun can be captured using different technologies: solar thermal technology, which captures solar heat, and photovoltaic technology, which transforms solar irradiance in electricity.

How does photovoltaic technology work?

 Photovoltaics convert solar light into energy thanks to:

  • photovoltaic panels
    with the use of silicon cells – semiconductors that exposed to light produce electricity;
  • an inverter
    a device that converts the electricity generated by the panels into alternating current for domestic use;
  • a control system
    that monitors the plant and makes available all the energy that can be produced.
Infographic - Photovoltaic plant

Photovoltaics at Acea Group

“Archimedes, 2300 years ago, used the power of the sun to burn Roman ships during the siege of Syracuse. Today, Acea makes a less theatrical, cutting-edge use of the same solar power to produce sustainable clean energy”, says Simone Nunzio Sammartino, Head of Pv Asset Management at Acea Produzione.

In fact, the Group’s 2024-2028 Industrial Plan is focused on energy production from green sources, especially solar energy from photovoltaic technology, in support of decarbonization and energy transition.

Acea sees growth and creating value as intricately connected to achieving corporate environmental sustainability goals. Out of a 4.7 billion total budget, Acea’s Industrial Plan envisage 7.6 billion euros of total investments, of which approximately 5.5 billion are related to sustainability areas and in line with the SDGs.

Among these, the fight against the effects of climate change, through the increase in the production of green electricity. On this point in particular, Acea plans to build the current solar pipeline (870 MW), also through partnerships with financial operators.

Electricity produced by the Acea Group in 2022

GWh (gross)
electricity produced by Acea
electricity from renewable sources
electricity produced by Acea’s photovoltaic plants

Acea manages photovoltaic plants located mainly in Puglia and in central Italy. The total power installed is approximately 101 MW.

A new way of conceiving energy

From worshiped divinity to source of energy, the sun keeps opening new possibilities, many of which are based on environmental sustainability. With time, it has become clear that we need to invest in new energy opportunities developed from sustainable technologies: solar energy is one of them.

In the near future, the sun will allow us to use 100% sustainable energy produced by plants owned by companies like Acea. But this in not all. “Just like a vineyard, the production of a photovoltaic plant is seasonal, and this is why we want to look to the future by including in the project the possibility of storing energy using cutting-edge accumulation systems able to provide sustainable energy during the periods in which radiance is lower and to fully participate in energy regulatory markets. With a more adventurous approach, we are considering options to create an energy synergy by including floating photovoltaic structures in our hydroelectric basins”, explains Sammartino.
There is no doubt that the future is be green, and this will also be thanks to the sun.


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