As part of the liberalisation package adopted on 20 January 2012, the Italian Government has decided to stop incentives for ground-mounted photovoltaic plants on agricultural land.
The previous Government had already introduced limitations to photovoltaic plants located on agricultural land by limiting the incentives to only those not exceeding 1 MWp and on the condition that they did not cover more than 10% of the available land. An exception was made where the land had been abandoned for at least 5 years. These limitations were laid down in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of art. 10 of legislative decree no. 28 of 3 March 2011 (the so-called “Renewables Decree”), which have now been abolished.
The new Government has now decided to eliminate incentives for all ground-mounted photovoltaic plants on agricultural land. Art. 65 of the liberalisation-Decree provides that the new rules will apply to all new installations, except those for which the request for authorisation was filed before the entry into force of the Decree and provided that operations start within one year from the entry into force of the Decree.
In turn, the Government has increased incentives for photovoltaic plants installed on greenhouses, by providing that they will receive the full tariff for rooftop PV plants instead of the currently applicable average between the tariffs for rooftop and ground-mounted facilities.
The Decree will enter into force on the day after its publication in the Official Gazette, which is expected shortly. After publication of the Decree, the Parliament will have 60 days to approve and convert the Decree into law. During such period, the Parliament may introduce further amendments. In particular, we expect the Parliament will correct the immediate abolition of art. 10, paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the Renewables Decree, which would lead to the certainly undesired situation of an interim period with unrestricted access to incentives for all ground-mounted plants located on agricultural land that do not yet fall under the new rules. Also, it remains to be seen whether the Parliament will approve the increase of the incentives for greenhouse PV plants.