Jun 20, 2014 - The photovoltaic (PV) operators in Italy are revolting against a proposed amendment to the solar feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme, warning that a retroactive cut in incentives is against the Italian Constitution.
Italy's industry and economy ministers, Federica Guidi and Pier Carlo Padoan, unveiled on Wednesday a proposed decree aimed at boosting the competitiveness of local businesses, which includes changes to the current regulation for PV operators of plants bigger than 200 kW. As part of the plan, some 8,600 power generators across Italy will have two FiT reduction alternatives to choose from -- to either accept a 10% cut in the 20-year tariff period or extend their existing FiT contracts from 20 to 24 years and make the cut dependent on the remaining years in the initial guaranteed period.
Should the bill become law, it would enter into force on January 1, 2015. The proposal has to pass Parliament ratification in the next 60 days.
Explaining the proposed legislation, Italy's industry ministry said it wants to eliminate privileges that have been accumulating with time and have been weighing on the industry, and to redistribute costs on the basis of effective consumption. The affected 8,600 operators receive 60% of the incentives, the ministry noted.
The state's major motivation for the FiT amendments is cutting the energy costs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Renewable sector associations, on the other hand, see the proposed regulation as "disastrous" and "unconstitutional".
According to the Assorinnovabili association, the proposed regulation is an unacceptable retroactive measure which damages Italy's credibility, betrays legal certainty and definitely drives investments away from Italy, which have reduced by 58% since 2007 anyway. It is a measure against the Italian Constitution and against the European Union, the association commented, adding that the energy costs can be lowered without reducing the green economy to dust.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!