Italy: Clarity on fiscal breaks for sustainable PV investments

Italian energy agency, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) has provided clarity on the possibility of combining the fiscal incentive granted to small and medium-size enteprises that make environmentally-friendly investments (the so-called Tremonti Ambientale Tax Allowance) with incentives of the FIT program Conto Energia, which ran from 2005 to July 2013.

The GSE has stated that this fiscal break may be applicable to projects developed under the first two programs – Primo e Secondo Conto Energia – but not to solar systems installed under the last three programs, Terzo, Quarto e Quinto Conto Energia.

The agency stressed that the possibility of combining both forms of incentives for projects installed under the first two Conto Energia will be limited to projects that benefited from public incentives not exceeding 20% of the investment cost.

According to Carsten Steinhauer and Riccardo Narducci of the law firm Mc Dermott Will & Emery, who recently wrote in a paper on the matter, there had been confusion in the past years over the means of recovery of the Tremonti Ambientale tax allowances which, either out of prudence or ignorance, had not been used when the investments had been made.

The two experts said that, in 2014, the territorial directorate of the Revenue Agency of the region of Veneto, answering a formal request, ruled that recovery was possible through a mere “correction” of accounts as per Circular 31/E of 2013. “Although unpublished, the ruling became soon known throughout the Italian PV community and, despite the doubtfulness of its legal reasoning, many took it as a point of reference to for the recovery of Tremonti Ambientale allowances,” the two layers stated.

Under its fifth Conto Energia, Italy saw the deployment of around more than 17 GW of PV capacity.