Subsequent to Italy’s energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici's (GSE) 45 days notice to the domestic solar industry until the implementation of the revised Conto Energia, analysis from IMS Research has revealed that the country will have a severely reduced budget for incentive schemes. The new scheme was intended to be accompanied by an additional annual budget of €700m and is due to end when the total annual cost reached €6.7 billion. However, due to a large number of installations having been completed in the first half of this year in order to benefit from the previous Conto Energia’s generous rates, these have not yet been included in the official GSE statistics. As a result, this official annual cost figure has continued to rise since the announcement just over a week ago and already exceeds the €6 billion threshold by nearly €100m.
The research firm’s latest quarterly PV Demand Database report reveals that whilst the new feed-in tariff scheme could have supported an additional 7.5GW of installations over the next two years, it is now likely that it will result in just 3GW of additional installations, with the FiT closing as early as 2013.
Sam Wilkinson, senior PV analyst at IMS Research, said, “Currently the official GSE statistics show 1.8GW of installations and a cost of €6.1 billion. Once these figures catch up with reality, this will take the annual cost of incentives to around €6.4 billion, and will reduce the additional budget available for new Conto Energia V installations to just €300m.”
The latest forecast released by IMS Research predicts that installations in Italy will now decline for the second consecutive year in 2013 and fall to less than 3GW for the first time in since 2009. “Whilst Italy has consistently been one of the largest markets in the world, 2013 will see it fall outside the top-three markets for the first time in five years,” added Wilkinson.
IMS Research predicts that had the full €700m of additional budget been available to Conto Energia V installations, Italy could have maintained its leading position in the global market, installing over 7GW over the next two years.
“Unless additional budget is made available or further changes are made to the incentive scheme, it looks likely that Italy’s PV market will need to survive without incentives starting from 2013.
“Italy does have favorable conditions for PV and some installations will continue without incentives, particularly in the south of the country, but this will not be enough to maintain the market at its current size for some years,” concluded Wilkinson.