Italy: PV installations declining due to revoked permits

According to Götz Fischbeck, senior equity analyst for PV stocks at BHF Bank AG, since October 20, Italian network authority, GSE’s website counter, which tracks photovoltaic installations in the country, has seen declining figures.

Specifically, Fischbeck says that since October 16, the accumulated photovoltaic power registered under the Conto Energia II has declined by over 220 megawatts peak (MWp) – which is worth around €1 billion.

Also since last Monday 16, photovoltaic systems eligible for a feed-in tariff (FIT) has declined by 35 MWp. This is said to be inclusive of the unknown figure of new registrations within the past week.

The decline in installations has been attributed to the fact that Italy’s authorities are said to be revoking permissions for photovoltaic systems, which are considered to “have submitted fraudulent applications or where the required permissions have been circumvented”.

In some cases, says Fischbeck, fraud has been defined as a false registration date, thus leading to the systems in question receiving a FIT under the Conto Energia IV instead of Conto Energia II. However, for a number of systems, he says the tariff has been completely revoked.

While Fischbeck believes that many of the revoked permits will be challenged in court, he says the news will lead to both higher investment risk in Italy and add to its increasingly negative image of photovoltaics.

Furthermore, he adds that while newly added installed photovoltaic capacity is expected to reach between 4.5 and five gigawatts peak this year, 2012 will likely see a 50 percent reduction.