Italy: Conto Energia V to be published by end of June; amendments likely


A meeting of Italy’s state regions was held yesterday, Wednesday, June 6, in Rome to discuss the country’s new renewable energy law, the Conto Energia V.

While no exact date has been pinned down for the law to come into play, it is still expected that it will be effective when the country’s €6 billion photovoltaic feed-in tariff (FIT) ceiling is reached which, based on the current levels of project registration, is likely to occur between this August and September. In May, there had been indications that the date would be pushed back until October 1.

At the meeting, the regions suggested a number of changes to the draft law, according to the country’s photovoltaic association, GIFI. These encompassed: a FIT bonus for new PV systems, which have replaced asbestos roofs; the continuation of the "Made in EU" premium; an increase in the size of the photovoltaic systems that have to register, from the suggested 12 kilowatts peak (kWp); and adequate transitional periods to protect existing or already planned investments.

The draft of the new law will be sent to the Ministers of Development, Environment and Agriculture next week. They will then have to release a final version by the end of the week, said GIFI. It is expected to be ready to be published in the Official Journal by the end of June. According to a release sent out by the Italian ministry, the government has said it is prepared to amend the bill. It did not disclose which changes it will take on board, however.

Apparently, the regions did not push to decrease the level of tariff cuts or ask for an increase in the annual FIT budget. As such, if the proposed changes are adopted, it is expected that FIT cuts will be made.

For instance, a three kW rooftop system will be eligible to receive 23.7 euro cents/kWh, instead of the current 27.4 euro cents/kWh. Meanwhile, a 200 kW rooftop system will be paid 19.9 euro cents/kWh, as opposed to 23.3 euro cents/kWh, and a one megawatt ground-mounted system, 16.1 euro cents/kWh, instead of 18.2 euro cents/kWh. Furthermore, it seems likely that the eight euro cents market price will be scrapped.

In April, a number of proposed changes to Italy’s photovoltaic market were announced. In addition to the aforementioned FIT cuts, it was suggested that a two to three GW cap on annual photovoltaic installations be introduced. Meanwhile, it was said that systems over 12 kW in size will have to register, and will only have the right to a FIT when they fall within the limits of the annual cap.

Systems between one and 12 kW will not be required to be a part of the register. However, the total installed capacity of all these systems will be counted on an yearly basis and put towards the next year’s annual cap. Consequently, the total cap for the next year will be reduced accordingly.

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