15 Mai 2010

Simplified DIA Authorization Procedure sufficient for Renewable Energy Projects in Italy up to 1 MW

This Blog recently reported about Italian Constitutional Court’s decisions no. 119/10 and no. 124/10, declaring illegitimate the regional laws of Apulia and Calabria respectively (see previous Blog-Post on 10 April 2010). Main reason for such lawsuit and Constitutional Court’s decisions was, that both regional laws had unilaterally allowed for the authorisation of 1 MW or 500 KW projects by means of a simple “start of works” declaration (dichiarazione di inizio attività or in short “DIA”), contradicting federal law (Decreto Legislativo or Dlgs) no. 387/2003, which foresees and requires a lengthy autorizzazione unica procedure (in short “AU”) for much smaller projects (e.g. photovoltaic projects above 20 KW or wind energy projects above 60 KW).

Now, only a few weeks after and maybe as a reaction to the aforementioned Constitutional Court’s verdicts, which not only have caused significant uncertainty in the market as to the validity and risks of previously authorized DIA renewable energy projects (mainly solar pv plants) in Apulia and Calabria, but also were widely perceived by investors and renewable energy industry as a political obstacle to the expedited development and financing of renewable energy plants in Italy, it comes to a sudden and unexpected turn of events. Italian Government decided to enact a new national law in compliance to European Community Law and EU guidelines.

The Italian Chamber of Deputies has taken the above mentioned market concerns seriously and reacted accordingly by proposing on a federal level what the Apulia and Calabria regions had in the past attempted to achieve independently without the necessary federal backing. Indeed, on 23 April 2010 the Chamber of Deputies proposed an amendment to the latest draft of Italy’s so-called “Community Law 2009” (ddl Comunitaria 2009), the yearly framework law delegating the Government to enact by decree the rules necessary to comply with the mandatory provisions of European Community Law. In particular, the Chamber of Deputies proposed that, when implementing Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of renewable energy sources, the Government should provide that renewable energy projects with a peak capacity of up to 1 MW be authorised through a simplified “DIA”.

On 12 May 2010 the proposed amendment was approved by the Italian Senate (Art. 17 ddl n. 1781-B), which now means that it now will soon become law and therefore the Italian Government must enact the necessary provisions by legislative decree within the same deadline as for transposing the entire Directive 2009/28/EC into national law, i.e. 5 December 2010. In such new law (Dlgs) renewable energy projects of up to 1 MW will be subject to the simplified DIA procedure.

Latest developments and recent Italian Government reactions can be interpreted as a clear sign, that Italy is willed to finally end legal uncertainty and discussions due to regional normative chaos and to create a stable legal foundation on a national level in order to further promote renewable energy investments. Simplifying authorization procedures is definitely one first good step to reestablish market stability and investor's trust and to prepare the stage for future growth in Italy. Next decisive step should be the overdue regulation of the new incentive regime (Conto Energia) for the next three year period 2011-2013, expected to be officially announced within 30 June 2010 by GSE under the auspices of Italian Government (Ministry of Economic DevelopmentMinistry of Economy and FinanceMinistry of Environment).

Sources and where to read more about this topic:
edilportale.com | Articles 12 | Author: Paola Mammarella (all rights reserved);
McDermott Will & Emery | Author: Carsten Steinhauer (all rights reserved);
projectfinancemagazine.com (all rights reserved).

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01 Mai 2010

100% renewable energy by 2050 is a feasible objective

According to an article published on PV-tech.org, a recent McKinsey feasibility study with the intention to determine if electricity from 100% renewable resources was possible, has observed that by the year 2050, such goal not only is feasible, but that countries like Germany are already leading the way to making it possible. The study report, published by the European Climate Foundation was commissioned to examine the possibility of the EU achieving 80% greenhouse gas reduction by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore the study concluded that along with renewable energy being 100% feasible, it was also a reliable and economically sound energy decision. Renewable energy industries record strong growth, generate many jobs, hence represent emerging markets in times of global economic crisis.

As reported October last year, Germany currently has one of the biggest renewable energy markets in the world and represents European Lead-Market in Solar PV. Only in the year 2009 Germany had an incredible 16.1% increase in the total share of electricity from renewable resources. Beginning of the new year 2010, Germany also saw its solar PV installations surpass the 3.8GW benchmark, making it responsible for more than half of the world’s solar market. Considering that at present only 2% of Germany’s suitable rooftops are covered with PV systems, the country has plenty of opportunity to expand its international lead in the solar renewable energy market and to further proof, that a clean energy future is a convertible dream.

Sources: PV-tech.org | Author:  Syanne Olson (all rights reserved).

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