Is Italy’s Conto Energia V pointless?

17. July 2012 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Sandra Enkhardt

On July 12, Italy reached its €6 billion photovoltaic feed-in tariff funding limit. On Friday 13, the energy agency’s official counter showed just under €6 billion worth of funding for plants. By Monday 16, it was sitting at €6.06 billion. If the funds continue to be consumed at this rate, the money allocated for the Conto Energia V will be used up before the end of August.

Italy solar photovoltaic rooftop system

It is possible that the €700 million allocated under the Conto Energia V will be used up before it comes into force.

Last Thursday, one could see that €5.995 billion worth of photovoltaic funding had been reached on Italian energy agency, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici’s (GSE’s) official counter. At this point the Conto Energia IV expired. After a 45-day transition period, the Conto Energia V, which was finally approved by Ministers in early July, is scheduled to come into force on August 27.

All photovoltaic systems that are grid connected during the transition period are supposed to receive the feed-in tariff rates under the Conto Energia IV. However, already on Monday, GSE’s counter had increased to €6.06 billion and a newly installed capacity of 213 MW was recorded, according to Dirk Morbitzer from Renewable Analytics. As such, these plants’ tariffs, will have to be deducted from the €700 million made available under the Conto Energia V.

Commenting, Carlo Zucchino, president of Solectric srl., the Italian branch of Orange Solar GmbH, said that when you see the growth over the past few months, it is apparent that around €13 million to €15 million worth of solar funding is being consumed daily. His worry is that the funding limit allocated under the new Conto Energia could already be reached by the end of August. If this happens, the €140 million required for the first register will not be available, which was supposed to support photovoltaic systems over 12 kW in size.

Morbitzer further fears that the brakes will be applied to the Italian market. "The impact would be more devastating than the EEG discussion in Germany," he said. The only way to avoid this happening, is if the Italian Government quickly plans and adopts the Conto Energia VI, in order to safeguard the security of investors.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz.

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