Rumours of the contents of Conto Energia V were last month refuted by the Italian PV Association, only for the Italian government to then release official drafts this week where it appears the speculators were correct in their speculations. New decrees have been set up to drastically cut the budget for solar incentives. A budget of €500 million has been proposed for the next two and a half years. The new scheme will come into effect on July 1 or once the €6 billion annual program cap has been reached.

The administration states that the current legislative approach towards solar installations has not generated enough profit to make it enough of a financially lucrative investment. In an attempt to justify the cuts, the government said it does not want to impede growth of the industry and wishes to lessen its dependence on imported fossil fuels, but renewable energy needs to be redeveloped to maximize economical and environmental returns for the country.

After all, the government claims, renewable energy production targets have actually been revised upwards from 26% to 32-35%.

The “generous” incentives provided by the previous legislation did not take into consideration that the price of renewable energy technology is in sharp decline. However, the lack of adequate planning mechanisms resulted in a rapid growth of installed equipment costing the tax payer over €9 million per year, of which solar makes up 65%.

Larger systems will most likely be left out of the fifth Conto Energia, with priority given to residential and industrial self-consumption systems. A six-month register for PV systems over 12 kW will be introduced.

Photon International reports that several solar companies and associations have planned a demonstration on April 18, in front of the Italian Parliament.

Please click here for the official presentation by the Italian Ministry of Industry and the latest draft of the decree, confirmed in its structure but not in its figures by the Italian Ministry of Environment.