Energy community provisions for Italy

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The Italian government has amended its near-annual Milleproroghe decree of bundled new legislation to include a provision enabling homes, businesses and public entities to invest in, generate, sell and distribute renewable energy.

A pilot phase of the community energy rules will focus on rooftop PV systems with a generation capacity of no more than 200 kW and will run until June 2021. Installations which operate under the community energy provisions will not be entitled to net metering payments for any excess energy fed back into the grid but owners will qualify for the Irpef (personal income tax) deduction made available to renewables systems under sustainable building reforms.

Community energy-regulated systems can include energy storage with prosumers who generate and consume energy on-site required to use existing grid infrastructure. The clean energy generated by community energy members must either be consumed immediately by members or stored, it cannot be fed back into the wider electricity network.

Efficient self-consumption

Emilio Sani, founder of law firm Sani Zangrando Avvocati and board member of trade body Italia Solare, said the community energy provisions were designed by the government with the support of Italia Solare and environmental association Legambiente. “The new rules were conceived to enable a more efficient model for self-consumption,” Sani told pv magazine. “They allow [for] the best location for a renewable energy power generator within a low-voltage grid and to bring power to all of the entities connected to that grid.”

Future energy community members can take advantage of high system efficiency by further improving the way they consume power, added Sani. “With some smart programming of home appliances, [consumption] should be increased in daily hours,” he said.

The new provisions anticipate the transposition of regulations brought into force under the new Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) adopted by the EU in December 2018.