Incentives freeze for large-scale PV plants in Italy puts regional installers in the spotlight

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The Italian energy agency GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici) has announced that large-scale PV plants will not be granted any solar subsidies in the second half of 2012 as the FiT amount was exceeded in 2011. This will lead to a shift in the development of market segments and result in the increasing importance of regional installers.

According to the GSE, the capacity of large scale plants installed exceeded the amount stipulated in the FiT programme, Conto Energia IV. The additional costs will be taken from the budget for the second half of 2012. Rooftop plants with a capacity of more than 1MW have been affected as well as open space plants, not constructed on public buildings or estates.

Up until August 31, 2011, operators had funded large scale plants of €1 billion to the grid. In addition, PV plants on agricultural areas receive no incentives if they are not connected to the grid by the end of March 2012.

Due to the limitation in the PV large scale segment this year and the end to FiTs for plants on agricultural land, the focus is expected to shift in Italy. Market experts at EuPD Research, the leading service provider for the analysis and evaluation of solar markets as well as CleanTech applications, assume an increasing importance of the private as well as the large, commercial rooftop segment, e.g. on storage and industry buildings.

“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. Furthermore, there are still incentives available for these segments”, says market analyst Daniel Christian Quack of EuPD Research. In addition to large project developers connecting plants in MW-range to the grid, the importance of mainly regional based installer companies, focusing primarily on the installation of smaller plants is likely to rise, according to market analyst Quack.

EuPD Research provides in its “Installer’s Point of View” a study that offers important and detailed insights on the Italian installer landscape based on primary data and against the background of a changed regulatory framework. The study conveys know-how on brand perceptions as well as on the selling points, services and distribution channels that have a positive influence on Italian installers in the buying decision and the further recommendations they make. Thus, the study facilitates a better understanding of the relevant distribution channels. In addition, the “Installer’s Point of View” supports companies, in designing and delivering successful sales campaigns.

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