Italy: More time available for energy bill

This development has come with the approval in the country’s Senate of an amendment to the so-called "energy act" (decree 8 July 2010, No. 105), which will pass examination by the Chamber next week, but which, being "sealed" should not be subject to any modification.

The news source continues by saying that the amendment in question modifies the provision which stipulates that only those plants coming into operation by December 31, 2010, shall be entitled to the existing incentives (i.e. -paragraph 1 of Article 2 of Law Decree 25 January 2010, No. 3, amended by Act 22 of March 2010, No. 41).

The amendment states: "The incentive rates under Article 6 of the Decree of the Minister of Economic Development of February 19, 2007 (…) shall be granted to all persons who, in compliance with Article 5 of the ministerial decree, have concluded, by December 31, 2010, the installation of the photovoltaic system, have notified the competent authority of the granting of approval to the network operator and to the Manager of Electrical Services-GSE Spa and that, by the same date, have completed the work and entered into operation by June 30, 2011.

"Hence, if the decree is passed as amended, to enjoy the current incentives (rather than those reduced in the energy bill 2011) it will no longer be necessary to submit the request to Enel by the originally stipulated deadline (i.e. 15 November 2010 for simple systems) nor that the plant comes into operation by December 31, 2010. It will suffice that by said date the plant is completed (this shall be certified by the affirmation of a qualified technician) and that the request to be connected to the network has been submitted, at which point there will be time to enter into operation, as stated, until 30 June.

"Inspections and checks must be made to ensure the authenticity of network operators and the GSE, while the Authority for electricity and gas, within 90 days from the conversion of the decree, will be required to prepare the rules to avoid "the phenomena of booking Network capacities for installations using renewable sources, for which the conditions for realising the practical implementation of the initiatives have not been verified within the time given, also with reference to connection requests already assigned."

"The amendment", explains Senator Francesco Ferrante (PD) to Qualenergia.it, "has been introduced to avoid that, due to delays in connection by the network operator, many plants lose the right to access under the old energy bill. With such an ample deadline period between the request for connection and the date by which the facility must be activated and with the rules and guarantees that the Authority will establish, this should no longer happen."

In short, it is an amendment to prevent bottlenecks in the process of connection and to soften the impact in the transition from the second to the third energy bill. Under the incentive scheme for the next energy bill will fall, therefore, only plants that will not be ready and have not made the connection request by December 31, 2010 or that will not have entered into operation by June 30, 2011.

These plants, says Qualenergia.it, will experience reductions in incentive rates between 10 and 25 percent for systems installed on buildings and between 13 and 27 percent for other plants.