Just as it seemed Italys photovoltaic industry was getting back on track, along comes a rumor that renewable energy cuts of up to 30 percent would be applied to all energy companies from January 2012, in order to make up the shortfall in the governments household budget.
Government officials have denied the rumors outright, and Italys Secretary for Development, Stefano Saglia, was quoted as saying, "Cutting to the incentives in the budget law was not there and there will not be." pv magazine was also told on Monday that the rumor was "a pure negotiation maneuver, which was never a serious prospect."
However, following the feed-in tariff farce that surrounded the introduction of the fourth Conto Energia, it seems as though investors arent willing to stick around and take any chances.
Calls for commitment
Valerio Natalizia, President of ANIE/GIFI, the Italian PV Industry Association stated: "The voices that have been chased from Thursday, June 30 created a panic in the industry. Many operators have decided not to invest.
"The PV sector is exhausted after four months of complete stop of the market as a result of the suspension of the incentives provided by the Renewable Decree of March 3, 2011 and that has caused many bankruptcies and significant reductions in staff. And now more rumors of possible cuts to the incentives."
Consequently, Natalizia is calling for the government to make "specific commitments" in order to bring stability and security to Italys renewable energy industry.
The association reiterates the importance of photovoltaics to the renewables sector, particularly following the countrys new referendum, which will see no more nuclear power plants built there.
In a statement released, the association lamented: "Only in recent weeks we have registered the first signs of a slow recovery. The national banks, though with many fears and doubts, they were returning to invest in the sector. But rumors from Rome complicate any schedule. Some believe now that our country is difficult to make a contract with the State."