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Italy’s new ‘Conto Energia’: upkeeping the world’s no. 2 solar PV market | Europe

Italy?s new ?Conto Energia?: upkeeping the world?s no. 2 solar PV market

The Italian government released the draft decree for the 5th national feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme (?Conto Energia?), revising the rules and incentives for the solar PV industry.

Highlights of the draft include:
1.Italian Government is committed to raise the renewable energy share of total electricity demand at 2020 from the 26% EU-agreed target to 32-35% (120-130 TWh/y)
2.among the new renewables, the role of PV generation already exceeds that of windpower in the achievement of the new green energy targets
3.PV generation hit in March a record generation of almost 8% of Italy?s domestic power production, further growth boost expected in late spring and summer
4.grid parity is already achieved in 2011 in some segments
5.as of 1st of July incentives are reduced by an average 35%, which is admittedly less than the drop in module and system price over the last year
6.Italian FiT incentives still remain above EU average
7.corridor to bridge the whole market to the grid parity is set to 2-3 GW/year of new installed PV capacity, with corresponding cap to cumulative cost of incentives set to ? 6.5 B/y
8.Government?s goal is upkeeping Italy as world?s second PV market
9.a booking register for plants exceeding 12 kW is introduced to keep under control the yearly installation cap; strongly questioned by the Italian PV association for imposing too high a bureaucratic burden to the PV operators;
10. the new FiT regime is now brought to the conference of the Regions: a few critical improvements have the chance to be passed by the Government before final publication of the decree.

According to analysts at Jefferies, the global securities and investment banking group, ?demand may be more stable longer term?. In a recently released report ? ?Global / Clean Technology: One More Solar Overhang Removed; Italian Draft Law In Line? ? Jefferies said: ?We believe this draft law may be revised incrementally positively in coming weeks, but this will not materially change our estimate.... We believe the law is a longer term positive as it is economically more sustainable, plays to PV strengths as a distributed energy source, and favours self-consumption relying less on the grid and subsidy?.

For Martin Simonek, analyst, Solar Insight, at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the impact of the new law was expected:
?The new Conto Energia means a virtual stop to large utility segment, but not a stop to the Italian PV market. Beyond July 2012, almost no activity in this segment is expected, unless Italian developers drive the system costs to levels seen in Germany and explore new revenue generating options based on the wholesale power price. The small residential segment is expected to boom, though this will still keep Italian PV market at more reasonable demand growth. All this is reasonably well expected?.

Believing that the decree will set new challenges but also release new energies and opportunities for the Italian PV market, Solarexpo is offering the entire renewables business community the chance to debate these issues at the ?Italian PV Summit ? Roadmap to grid parity?, the international top-conference on solar PV that will be held in Verona, Italy, on 7-8 May 2012, ahead of the 13th edition of Solarexpo, the international exhibition and conference, with the participation of relevant international experts.
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Posted by Gloria Llopis | 2012-04-26