Italy: Retroactive PV proposal likely thrown out

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On January 24, 2012, Article 65 of Law Decree n. 1/2012 ("Decreto Monti") entered into law two months early, meaning that developers who were in the process of planning or installing photovoltaic systems on agricultural land bigger than one megawatt, could no longer meet the FIT requirements, as set out under Article 10, paragraph’s 4 and 5, of the Legislative Decree n. 28/2011 ("Decreto Romani"). Originally, they had until March 29 to do so.

At the time, the industry was outraged by the news. A GIFI spokesperson told pv magazine on February 10, "We are … meeting with the MP involved in the adoption of the new law and … promoting the complete cancellation of article 65." They added it appeared that the retroactive action would be removed from the decree, but that incentives would still be halted for photovoltaic systems larger than one MW on agricultural lands. Those at law firm Rödl and Partner, also believed this would be the likely outcome.

And, in a positive sign that the industry’s voice has been heard, the Undersecretary for the Environment, Tullio Fanelli, and the Commission for the Environment of the Senate, have today said that it is more than likely the Decreto Monti, in its present form, will not be converted into law. According to Germany-based New Energy Projects, "It looks like the decree will be corrected … to protect the investments made."

The specifics

Under the Decreto Monti, FITs are no longer paid to photovoltaic systems on agricultural land. This decision does not apply, however, to developers which have already received a construction permit, or which had applied for a permit by January 1, 2012.

Due to these exemptions, under the Decreto Romani, published in March 2011, a FIT could be granted to those photovoltaic systems that entered into operation one year from the publication of the Decreto Monti, i.e. January 24, 2013, and that fulfilled the following conditions: (i) did not exceed one megawatt; (ii) had a minimum distance of two kilometers from privately owned land; and (iii) did not occupy more than 10 percent of the available land.

Solarpraxis will be holding a conference on the Italian photovoltaics market on February 23 and 24 in Rome. The topics of policies, markets and finance will be addressed at the Conferenza dell’Industria Solare – Italia 2012, along with marketing and sales, and public relations.