Italy’s feed-in tariff program for solar energy will be ceasing on July 6 — a month after having reached the country’s solar energy subsidy limit of €6.7 billion. The ceasing of the program will make Italy the third member of the European Union to completely end its incentive programs for solar energy development.
The Italian energy authority — the Autorita’ per l’energia elettrica e il gas — recently made the announcement as a result of the budget cap for solar incentives in the country having been reached on June 6. Per the terms of the law, incentives must seize one month following that. So, to reiterate, as of July 6, feed-in tariff (FiT) payments for all new solar installations in Italy will completely cease.
While the program is now ending, it was no doubt a success — more than 17 GW of solar energy capacity were installed as a result, spread out across more than 526,000 different projects. The 17 GW figure includes the more than 727 MW of capacity that have been installed so far this year, as PV Magazine noted in its coverage.
On a related note, both Spain and Portugal recently ended their FIT programs as well. Germany is also in the midst of consider significant changes to its feed-in tariffs. Any potential changes to the German program are likely to only occur after the elections there, in a couple of months.
A quick background on what FiTs are, via CleanTechnica:
“Feed-in tariffs (FIT) are a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. Producers of renewable energy are paid a set rate for the electricity they produce, usually differentiated according to the technology used (wind, solar, biomass, et.al.) and the size of the installation. FITs guarantee that anyone who generates electricity from a renewable energy source—whether they are a homeowner, small business, or large electric utility—is able to sell that electricity into the grid and receive long-term payments for each kilowatt-hour produced.”