June 28, 2007
According to a recent article in Sun & Wind Energy (2/2007), Italy has launched new feed-in tariffs for Solar PV. The new tariffs replace a complex and bureaucratic system of net metering and feed-in tariff incentives.
For small rooftop systems, the new program pays $0.74 USD/kWh ($0.79 CAD/kWh), among the highest payments for solar PV in Europe. Building integrated solar PV will receive a total value of $0.80 USD/kWh ($0.86 CAD/kWh).
The new tariffs finally put Italy on a par with tariffs in Germany and France.
The new program is itself complex with tariff differentiation by project size and application. In this regard, the new program is similar to that in Germany and France.
Italy has an advantage of higher insolation than Germany and northern France. Yields for central Italy are about 1,400 kWh/kW of installed capacity, 50% greater than those in Germany and about 17% greater than those of Toronto, Ontario.
The Italian program still hasn’t completely broken from the influence of the country’s quota model (RPS) for developing renewable energy. The Italian solar PV program still includes net metering and payments for wholesale generation costs. The feed-in tariffs are on top of the net-metering rate.
Only solar PV has been shifted out of the country’s RPS program.
The new program also lifted the annual installation cap and increased the total program cap to 1,200 MW.
Despite Italy’s abundant sunshine, the country has been a laggard in the development of solar energy. With tariffs now rivaling those in Germany and France coupled with Italy’s better insolation, analysts expect a boom in Italian solar PV development.