The Italian government has announced a new rule and a new development governing PV installations in the country. Both will affect the large-scale project market.
First, incentives for ground-mounted PV projects on agricultural lands have been eliminated. In a research note, Jefferies & Co. analysts Jesse Pichel, Min Xu, Elaine Kwei and Joseph Fong call this change a ‘modest negative, as the prior law already significantly choked the market with 1 MW limitations and the condition that land [be less than] 10% covered with panels.’
Second, large-scale solar plants (defined as projects 1 MW and larger) are no longer eligible for feed-in-tariff (FIT) payments this year. The budget for this project segment was spent by ‘excessive’ numbers of installations last year, according to government data cited by the Jefferies analysts.
Additional FIT reductions, as part of the 5th Conto Energie, are expected to be announced soon, as the governmnent may reach budget limits for other solar segments as well. ‘The government can reduce the FIT significantly, but may not eliminate the PV subsidy entirely,’ the analysts note.