Rome to cap solar incentives, minister says

Italy is poised to become the latest European country to scale back its solar incentive scheme, following similar, dramatic moves by Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Rome to cap solar incentives, minister says

Speaking to reporters during a government conference in Rome, Italian Deputy Economic Development Minister Stefano Saglia said the plan is for there to be a cost-based cap for the country’s popular solar feed-in tariff program.

“We're thinking about a cap on costs on the German model, seeing that the cap on power has been so unwelcome,” Saglia said.

"Moreover, the new system foresees no incentives in 2017," he added.

Officials in Rome had decided that they’d scrap the existing generous incentives for the solar industry in June, but until this morning, there was little information on what may replace them going forward.

According to published reports, Saglia said no decision has been taken on whether the costs would be calculated every six months or annually.

Italy's solar sector is among the biggest in Europe, and has attracted numerous companies from around the world.

Many who are active in Italy’s solar energy community fear an annual limit on installed photovoltaic capacity, believing that such a move would put the brakes on what has been a booming sector.

Italy's renewable energy association, APER, and the Italian PV Industry Association (GIFI) favour the German model, under which incentives are automatically reduced once installed capacity reaches a certain amount.

Many solar energy sector operators believe that Italy will reach grid parity by 2017-2018 -- when solar energy is expected to become competitive with traditional power generation -- and the industry would not need incentives.

Saglia said the cap will be discussed by a state body including the heads of Italy's 20 regions on 20 April.

For additional information:

Italian Ministry for Economic Development

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