Italy’s ministers sign Conto Energia V

09. July 2012 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Beetz

On Friday, July 6, Italy’s ministers signed the new Conto Energia (renewable energy act). It is believed that only an extra €700 million will be made available for photovoltaics. Final security will not be available until the law has been published, however.

Italy rooftop solar photovoltaic plant

Italy's government has shown a "clear preference" for small photovoltaic systems on roofs.

According to project manager, New Energy Projects, the Italian government has only provided an additional €700 million for photovoltaics under the Conto Energia V, which will be introduced into law 30 days after the current €6 billion funding limit is reached. Meanwhile, the Conto Energia IV will be valid for 45 days after this ceiling is met.

As such, it is now believed that the new Conto Energia V will come into play for the majority of systems, between this September 5 and 10, excluding those that were built on public buildings and land. In these instances, the Conto Energia IV will apply until December 31.

While final certainty on the terms and conditions will only be achieved after the new law's publication, according to the latest available draft of the new Conto Energia V obtained by New Energy Projects, there will be no register for:

  • Systems up to 50 kW, which replace asbestos roofs;
  • Systems up to 12 kW;
  • Systems between 12 and 20 kW, which voluntarily give up 20 percent of their FIT; and
  • Integrated systems with innovative applications, that use concentrator technology, or are realized in the public sector, up to a maximum funding limit of €50 million.

In terms of funding, it is believed that €140 million will be made available in the first register (registers run half yearly). The second register, meanwhile, will reportedly have €120 million worth of funds. For every register thereafter, €80 million will be available until the maximum funding limit is reached. Furthermore, for the second register of €120 million, those facilities, which enjoyed a FIT in the half year they were not registered, will be deducted. The same applies to those registers, which come after the first two.

Registration or application fees are said to total €3 up to 20 kW, and then €2/kWh above this. Systems that receive no place in the first register, are not required to repay the fees at the new registration in the next half year.

New Energy Projects said that the first register must be opened by Italian energy agency, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) no later than 50 days after the publication of the Conto Energia V. The registration period should then be open for 30 days. "The application process has been greatly simplified," it added.

In clear support of the preference for photovoltaic systems that replace asbestos roofs, the following priority criteria for the allocation of capacity in the register – apart from the first register, in which the date of commissioning is the most important criterion – have been identified:

  • Roof systems where asbestos has been removed, graded according to energy efficiency rating (min. D);
  • Roof systems without asbestos, graded according to energy efficiency rating (min. D);
  • Other roof systems which replace asbestos roofs;
  • Systems with European components;
  • Systems on contaminated areas, landfills, quarries, etc.;
  • Systems up to 200 kW, when the electricity is used on site (feeding into the grid);
  • Systems on buildings, greenhouses, pergolas, etc.; and
  • Other systems.

It has been said that for the removal of asbestos and/or the use of European components, a bonus of up to €0.03/kWh will be paid. The amount will depend, however, on the size of the systems and the year of commissioning.

Furthermore, New Energy Projects said that the new FIT be valid for 20 years at the rate received when the plant was commissioned.  For systems that go into operation before the register is closed, the FIT will only become valid from the time of the closure.

See the proposed FIT rates under the Conto Energia V (in German/Italian).


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