Retroactive changes to Italy’s feed-in tariff (FiT) have been referred to the country’s constitutional court as the case against the government advances.
In June 2014, the Italian government proposed retroactive cuts to its FiT that could see plant owners lose 10% of their revenue from the scheme.
In a proposal from the Ministry of Economic Development, PV projects over 200kW and subscribed to the FiT have been asked to accept one of two changes. They can extend the term of their FiT payments from 20 to 24 years, effectively thinning them out or take a straight 10% cut. A new payment schedule of FiTs has also been deemed unfavourable.
The move was slammed by investors. Now assoRinnovabili, the country’s renewable trade group and Confagricoltura, which represents the agriculture sector, have pushed a case through the courts culminating in the decision to advance the case to the constitutional court.
"We are confident that the Court will confirm the position of the [regional court] and declare constitutional illegitimacy of the retraction of the photovoltaic incentives,” commented Agostino Re Rebaudengo, president of assoRinnovabili, and Mario Guidi, president of Confagricoltura.
“We hope that the Government can now reverse its decision and erase the legislation in the imminent Green Act, thereby restoring the commercial attractiveness of ' Italy to investors.
"The cancellation of the [current policies] would solve the international arbitration procedure that began with foreign investors,” they said, referencing cases lodged by foreign companies claiming that terms of the international energy charter have been breached. Action through the energy charter is not open to Italian companies.