The recent announcement from Italian energy agency GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici) that large-scale PV plants will no longer receive feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives in the second half of 2012 will lead to a shift in the development of market segments and result in the increasing importance of regional installers, according to Germany-based market research firm EuPD Research.
GSE found that the capacity of large-scale plants installed already exceeds the amount determined in the incentive scheme. Based on the Conto Energia IV, the resulting additional costs will be taken from the budget for the second half of 2012. Rooftop plants with a capacity of more than 1 MW are affected, as well as open space plants not constructed on public buildings or estates, says EuPD Research.
In addition, photovoltaic plants on agricultural areas will no longer receive incentives if they are not connected to the grid by the end of March.
Due to these policy changes, EuPD Research expects that the Italian solar market will see increasing emphasis on residential PV as well as on the large commercial rooftop segment.
‘The private and commercial rooftop segment is attracting investors with comparatively high feed-in tariffs as well as a multitude of unused roofs in attractive locations,’ says market analyst Daniel Christian Quack. ‘Furthermore, there are still incentives available for these segments.’
In addition to large project developers connecting plants in megawatt-range to the grid, the importance of mainly regional-based installer companies, focusing primarily on the installation of smaller plants, is likely to rise, Quack adds.