The Renewable Energy Law Review: Italy

Introduction

Since the electricity market liberalisation was conducted under Legislative Decree 79/1999 (the Bersani Decree), electricity activities have been primarily undertaken by private entities based on free competition. To date, except for distribution activity carried out under concession, and the activities of transport and dispatching, carried out by the national grid operator, the production, import, export, purchase and sale of electricity have been free.

Electricity generation remains a non-regulated activity; construction and operation permits and licences need to be sought from different authorities.

In this respect, since 2003, a special regulatory regime has been 'dedicated' to renewable energy plants under Legislative Decree 387/2003 (implementing Directive 2001/77/EC requiring Member States to adopt a specific framework for renewables). This regime has been further developed under Legislative Decree 28/2011 (implementing Directive 2009/28/EC).

Ancillary regulation is also established by independent agencies, public entities or other subjects called upon to oversee or implement or integrate the established framework (such as the GSE,2 ARERA3 and MSE4).

The development of renewable energy plants has increased over the years, thanks also to the dedicated support schemes implemented. The first one was the 'CIP6' scheme, a feed-in tariff programme implemented through Law No. 9 of 9 January 1991, followed by the Green Certificates established in 1999 (replaced in 2012 by a feed-in mechanism) under which most, if not all, existing wind plants are incentivised. The boom of renewables, however, was made possible by the dedicated support scheme for photovoltaic (PV) plants in place between 2005 and 2013 (the 'Conto Energia' support scheme), that largely contributed to the growth and expansion of renewable energy installations, together with other forms of support also designed, but not exclusively, for other kinds of renewable energy plants (e.g., feed-in-premium, off-take regime, net metering service).

Thanks to the policies implemented by the legislator, Italy achieved the 2020 target of renewable energy share in gross consumption set by Directive 2009/28/EC (17 per cent) six years before (i.e., in 2014).5

To date, according to the GSE Renewable Energy Statistical Report 2021 – Year 2019, more than 839,000 renewable energy plants have been installed.6

Renewable generated energy currently accounts for about 18.2 per cent of the national energy gross consumption, although a higher share can be found in the electricity sector (about 35 per cent), followed by the heating cooling sector (19.7 per cent) and transport (9 per cent).

Renewable energy generation contributes to 39.4 per cent of electricity national generation. The main sources are hydro (40 per cent), followed by solar (20.4 per cent), wind (17.4 per cent), bioenergy (16.9 per cent) and geothermic (5.2 per cent)

The main renewable source in the thermal sector is solid biomass (just under 7 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe), not including the biodegradable fraction of waste), used mainly in the domestic sector in the form of firewood or pellets. Heat pumps are also very important (capturing and transferring renewable heat to air-conditioned environments for just under 2.5Mtoe), while the contributions from other sources are still relatively limited.

With regard to the transport sector, biofuels (biodiesel, biogasoline, biomethane) for consumption are just under 1.5 million tonnes, with an energy content of 1.32Mtoe.

On 11 December 2019, the European Green Deal was presented. The European Green Deal is a roadmap for making the EU economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

It outlines investments needed and financing tools available, and explains how to ensure a just and inclusive transition to make the EU a zero CO2 emission continent by 2050.

In light of the EU objectives, the Italian government presented the Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC), finally approved by the EC Commission in early 2020.

The PNIEC sets the course of action to 2030 and provides for commitment to reach, by 2030, a share of renewable energy in gross consumption equal to 30 per cent distributed across the various sectors as follows:

  1. electricity sector: 55.4 per cent;
  2. heating & cooling sector: 33 per cent; and
  3. transport sector: 21.6 per cent.

The electricity sector will have to largely sustain the achievement of the targets set, through significant growth in capacity of about 40GW.

Wind and PV are called upon to play the leading role as the most mature technologies with a contribution almost double compared to current ones (+31GW solar and +8.6GW wind power).

The achievement of the targets indicated in the PNIEC cannot ignore complementary elements, such as installing new generation capacity and maintaining, valorising and improving existing capacity.

In relation to the above, the main current incentives framework for newly built, repowered, revamped, partially or fully renovated renewable energy plants is represented by Ministerial Decree of 4 July 2019 (FER Decree), setting the regulation applicable for the period 2019–2021. The decree provides for registry and auction qualification procedures based on technological neutrality and the mechanism of contracts for difference.

The decree also sets a framework for regulated power purchase agreements (PPAs), although the subject matter is still under study by the government with the aim to elaborate a comprehensive framework encouraging long-term PPAs, moving forward to market parity.

In response to the covid-19 pandemic, the EU launched the biggest support programme ever under the Next Generation EU programme (NGEU), established with Regulation (EU) 2021/241.

NGEU is a €750 billion temporary recovery instrument to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the covid-19 pandemic, and also offers an unprecedented opportunity to speed up the recovery in Europe and reinforce the commitment to the twin transitions: green and digital.

In this respect, Member States are required in their recovery and resilience plans that set out a coherent package of reforms and public investment projects to ensure 37 per cent of the resources committed by the EU go to climate investments and reforms.

To this end, last April, the Italian government outlined the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

Under the plan, about €23.78 billion are destined to the green transition and e-mobility.

As far as renewable energies are concerned, the NRRP objectives include:

  1. unlocking the potential of utility-scale plants, which in many cases are already cost-competitive with fossil fuels but which require reforms of authorisation mechanisms and market rules to reach their full potential, and enhancing the development of agro-voltaic opportunities;
  2. accelerating the development of energy communities and small-scale distributed systems;
  3. encouraging the development of innovative solutions, including integrated and offshore solutions; and
  4. strengthening the development of biomethane.

The year in review

The year 2020 (and 2021 so far) has been characterised by the covid-19 pandemic that caused a general slowdown of all sectors.

In response to covid-19, the government passed a number of contingent relief measures, including, as far as the renewable energy sector is concerned, the 'Cura Italia Decree' (i.e., law-decree No. 18/2020 converted into law, with amendments by law No. 27 of 24 April 2020).

Under the Cura Italia Decree, the government extended the duration of permits and authorisations already granted proportionally for the duration of the covid-19 state of emergency (currently extended until 31 July 2021) and provided in relation to ongoing authorisation procedures to safeguard project development.

Meanwhile, with the aim of simplifying authorisation procedures, favour revamping and upgrading of existing plants and of providing a framework for most innovative technologies (specifically storage facilities) the government passed the 'Simplification Decree' (i.e., law-decree No. 76/2020, converted into law, with amendments by law No. 120 of 11 September 2020).

Recently, the NRRP focused attention on hydrogen technology and renewable energy communities (Rec).

In relation to Recs, the Italian government has started implementing the RED II Directive under Article 42 bis of Law-Decree 162/2019, converted into law, by Law 8/2020, ARERA Resolution 318/2020 and the GSE technical rules regulating access to the incentives provided to collective self-consumption communities.

As per hydrogen technology, two of the main players of the energy market, namely Enel and Eni started pilot projects for the production of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources serving their fossil fuel plants.7

With regard to the most recent trend of the energy market, the renewable energy sector is one of the most dynamic. In 2020, despite the covid-19 slowdown, according to Althesys IREX Annual Report,8 M&A transactions in the energy and utilities market increased and represented about €9.1 billion (+7 per cent compared to 2019) for a capacity of 10.9GW.

Compared to 2019, the deals increased in number (+20 per cent, for over 300 deals) and in power (+7 per cent), while they decreased in value (–4.4 per cent), thanks to the continued decline in technology costs. Most of the transactions (57 per cent) were concluded in Italy and the internationalisation process has slowed down slightly, but remains significant, with 4.7 GW and €4.6 billion investment.

Half of the transaction concerned the PV sector, where the consolidation process continues with the first 10 operators owning the majority (54 per cent) of industrial plants. Wind transactions accounted for 27 per cent of the deals but they are first in terms of power (5.1GW) and value (€4 billion).

Among the notable deals concluded is the acquisition by Snam for €332 million of a 49.07 per cent stake in the share capital of OLT Offshore LNG Toscana SpA, the company that owns the offshore regasification terminal located approximately 22km off the Tuscany coast between Livorno and Pisa.9 A further increase in the M&A activity with further consolidation of the sector and the number of key players is expected with the expiry of the support measures approved by the government that could leave room for the acquisition of the most vulnerable companies and related assets.10

In addition to investments, renewables stocks are also racing. The IREX Index, which tracks the performance of pure renewable small to mid caps listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, closed 2020 with a growth of 62.2 per cent.

The policy and regulatory framework

i The policy background

The Italian policy towards renewable energy is strictly connected with European policies on this. As known, the support and development of renewables has been one of the cornerstones of EU policy since the White Paper issued in the 1990s, and Member States have ruled accordingly to ensure the achievement of the objectives established over time by the EU under directives and regulations.

In line with the EU standard, Italy strongly committed to the promotion and support of renewable energy plants.

The current policy is based, from an authorisation perspective, on the framework deriving from Legislative Decree 387/2003, Legislative Decree 28/2011 and Legislative Decree 152/2006 (the Environmental Code) providing for an ad hoc regime.

From an incentive perspective, Italy has provided for different kinds of support schemes (e.g. Green Certificates, feed-in tariffs, off-take regimes, net metering services).

The current incentive policy for newly built plants is based on competitive tender for awarding incentives, adopting a neutral approach among groups of technologies with similar structure and levels of cost. The incentives are paid based on contracts for difference executed with the GSE, the entity in charge of managing the renewable energy support schemes and paying the related incentives (i.e., the incentive amount is equal to the difference between the awarded tariff and the market price). This mechanism is considered to be ideal because it enables pre-defined power levels to be programmed, providing certainty to operators and, at the same time, controlling the costs of the support scheme and avoiding overcompensation with benefits for consumers (that bear the costs of a support scheme passed on the electricity bill), where the market price of electricity goes above the recognised tariffs.

The policy implemented by the government proved successful. The country has experienced impressive growth in the renewable energy sector and has been successful in integrating large volumes of variable renewable generation. To date, according to the GSE Renewable Energy Statistical Report 2021 – Year 2019, more than 839,000 renewable energy plants have been installed.11

As per future developments, according to what was provided under the NRRP, the government intends to increase the share of renewable energy sources and stimulate the growth of an industrial chain in the technological sectors linked to the production of energy from renewable sources (specifically photovoltaic and wind).

For this purpose, the government is studying a reshaping of the current framework based on (1) simplification of authorisation procedures for onshore and offshore renewable installations and the definition of a new legal framework to support production from innovative renewable sources by extending the time frame and extension of the scope of eligibility of the current support schemes; and (2) increasing the national production of PV modules from the current 200MW per year to at least 2GW per year in 2025 and to 3GW per year in the following years. With regard to wind turbines, the government will support the creation of intellectual property and the acquisition of new technologies and skills for the production of high-efficiency turbines, with the creation of a prototype production plant.

In addition, the incentives would be progressively phased out towards market parity, in which respect a framework for long-term PPAs should be provided.

The main current support regimes in place for renewables are the following.

All-inclusive feed-in tariffs

This is a support scheme under Ministerial Decree 18 December 2008 for small renewable energy source plants (excluding PV plants). The tariff includes both the incentive and the value of electricity fed into the power grid. The tariff is granted on request to plants entering into operation after 31 December 2007 with a capacity not exceeding 1MW (200kW for wind farms). The support period is 15 years.

Off-take regime

Regulated under Annex A to ARERA Resolution No. 280/2007, it is managed by GSE and applies to plants below 10MVA. Under agreements with the GSE, producers sell the electricity generated and to be injected into the grid to GSE, instead of selling it through bilateral contracts or directly on the power exchange market. GSE purchases and resells the electricity to be fed into the grid at the zonal price or at a minimum guaranteed price (for plants below 100kW only).

Net metering service

Under this service, regulated by the TISP (Consolidated Text on the Net Metering Service – ARERA Resolution ARG/elt 74/08), the electricity generated by a consumer or producer in an eligible on-site plant and injected into the grid can be used to offset the electricity withdrawn from the grid. The GSE pays a contribution to the customer based on injections and withdrawals of electricity in a given calendar year and on their respective market values. Net metering is not compatible with the off-take regime and the all-inclusive feed-in tariff. The service applies to:

  1. owners of renewable energy source electricity generation plants with a capacity of up to 20kW;
  2. renewable energy source electricity generation plants with a capacity up to 200kW (commissioned after 31 December 2007); and
  3. high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) plants with a capacity of up to 200kW.

The FER Decree

Issued on 4 July 2019, the FER Decree sets the support regime for renewable energy plants, including PV plants for the period 2019–2021. The support scheme applies to newly built, fully rebuilt and reactivated, repowered plants and plants undergoing power renovation.

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Tariffs are awarded based on the reduction on the base tariff offered by each participant. The base tariff varies according to the kind of energy power source as listed in Table 1.1. of Annex 1 to the FER Decree.

Rebates on the base tariff are allowed up to 30 per cent in case of registries procedures and up to 70 per cent (but not less than 2 per cent) in case of auction procedures.

Starting from the registry or auction procedures opened as of 1 January 2021, the amount of the base tariff reported in the FER Decree is reduced by 5 per cent. This reduction does not apply to previous registry or auction procedures.

The final incentive paid is equal to the difference between the awarded tariff and the hourly zonal price. The mechanism is based on contracts for difference, and thus the producer may have to pay back an amount in the case that the difference between the awarded tariff and the hourly zonal price is negative.

The value of the awarded tariff is subject to (1) a reduction of 1 per cent per year in case the plant does not enter into operation within 15 months from the relevant registry or auction procedure qualification ranking and (2) a further reduction of 0.5 per cent per month up to six months of delay in the case that the plant does not enter into operation within the final entry into operation deadline provided (varying according to the kind of plant).

Transfer of a project before the publication of the qualification ranking entails the application of a 50 per cent reduction to the awarded tariff.

To participate at the qualification procedure (auction or registries) the producer shall:

  1. secure the authorisation title;
  2. obtain the estimate of connection and accept it;
  3. register the plant on the GAUDI system managed by Terna SpA; and
  4. meet the capitalisation requirements varying according to the value of the investment.

Moreover, it is imperative that construction works are not commenced before the publication of the qualification ranking by GSE.

As noted above, the government also recently focused on more innovative technologies, such as storage systems and hydrogen. In this respect, a specific authorisation framework has been developed under the Simplification Decree for electrochemical storage system, including the connection lines and any further ancillary works.

Specifically, pursuant to Article 1, paragraph 2 quarter LD 7/2002, as modified under Article 62, paragraph 1, of the Simplification Decree, electrochemical storage facilities necessary for the electricity system together with the works necessary for the connection of the same to the grid, and any other ancillary works can be authorised according to four different procedures listed under letters (a) to (d) of paragraph 2 quarter mentioned above, depending on the features of the project, namely:

  1. Pursuant to letter (a), storage systems located within areas characterised by the presence of either industrial plants of whatever kind, including plants no longer operational or in the process of being dismantled, or by the presence of electricity generation plants with a capacity lower than 300MWt powered with fossil fuels or by the presence of quarries or liquid/gas hydrocarbon production plants being dismantled are authorised by way of PAS (see Section III.ii for explanation of PAS). That is provided that the implementation of the project does not entail an extension of the existing selected site area or an increase in heights or require a variation to the existing urban instruments.
  2. Pursuant to letter (b), stand-alone storage systems located within non-industrial areas and related connection works or storage systems located within areas occupied by fossil fuel powered electricity generation plants with a capacity equal or higher than 300MWt are authorised by way of single authorisation issued by the Ministry of Economic Development based on Legislative Decree 7/2002.
  3. Pursuant to letter (c), storage systems serving renewable energy plants with a capacity higher than 300MWt are authorised by way of single authorisation as per Legislative Decree 387/2003.
  4. Pursuant to letter (d), however, storage systems located with a capacity lower than 10MW are not subject to any formal building authorisation for construction and operation. However, it is in any case necessary to acquire any ancillary clearance or way of leave in accordance with the environmental, landscape, cultural heritage, safety, fire prevention and other regulation applicable to the project.

No specific incentives are provided for storage systems, although remuneration opportunities can arise from the participation of the same to the Capacity Market.

The Capacity Market has been established to allow producers to offer Terna their power at a future date upon remuneration from Terna, thereby providing a further element of flexibility to the electricity system that could count also on additional power capacity made available besides the Dispatching Service Market or Ancillary Services Market sources.

ii The regulatory and consenting framework

The main sources of law and regulation for renewable energy are represented by law and legislative decrees passed by the parliament and the government, any implementing decrees adopted by the Ministry of Economic Development that is often tasked with detailing certain aspects of the framework, decrees by the President of the Republic and regulations by other authorities tasked with further regulatory powers or management of certain activities.

That said, the main regulatory framework includes, among others:

  1. Legislative Decree 387/2003 of 29 December 2003, setting the reference framework for the authorisation of renewable energy plants and interconnection works (Legislative Decree 387/2003);
  2. Legislative Decree 152/2006 of 3 April 2006 (Environmental Code), defining the environmental procedures;
  3. Legislative Decree 28/2011 of 3 March 2011 (Romani Decree) integrating the renewable energy plants authorisation regime; and
  4. Annex A to ARERA Resolution No. ARG/elt 99/08 issued on 24 July 2008 as further amended and integrated, namely the Consolidated Text for connection to the grid (TICA).

Other rules can be found in various laws, royal decrees, ministerial decrees and other pieces of legislation, as well as all the specific regulations introduced by parliament, the government and the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment.

In this respect, the main authorities involved in the energy sector regulation are:

  1. The Lawmaker (i.e., parliament and government) which has the power to amend the existing laws and introduce new ones affecting the functioning of the electricity sector.
  2. Ministry of Economic Development (MISE). The MISE oversees Italy's energy policy and has regulatory powers to implement any relevant legislation passed by the Italian parliament from time to time.
  3. Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA) tasked with regulatory and supervisory activities in the sectors of electricity, natural gas, water services, waste cycle and district heating.
  4. The Energy Services Manager (GSE). This is a state-owned company, tasked with the management of the existing support schemes (from admission procedures to payments and plants inspections and controls).
  5. The Electricity Market Operator (GME). This is a company fully owned by the GSE tasked with the organisation and management of the electricity market (the IPEX).

With regard to the consenting framework, as noted above, to date, except for distribution activity (carried out under concession) and the activities of transport and dispatching (carried out by the national grid operator), production, import, export, purchase and sale of electricity are free.

Thus, electricity generation remains a non-regulated activity, although construction and operation permits and licences need to be sought from different authorities.

Based on Legislative Decree 387/2003 and Romani Decree, the construction and operation of renewable energy plants as well as modifications, repowering, revamping and reactivation interventions are subject to the following authorisations (to be granted by the relevant competent entity).

Single Authorisation

This is the main authorisation for renewable energy plants and it is issued after a one-stop proceeding involving all interested entities as a result of a steering committee convened for examining the project. All interested entities participate at the meeting and issue their opinion, permit or way of leave during the same meeting. The Single Authorisation is adopted by the relevant region or the province where the plant will be built. The Single Authorisation applies to renewable energy plants beyond the power thresholds specified in Annex A to Legislative Decree 387/2003 (varying according to the kind of plant) or 1MW (in case the relevant region has extended the PAS threshold – see below). The Single Authorisation covers not only the construction and operation of the plant, but also the construction and operation of the relevant interconnection facilities. Therefore, plants authorised this way do not require separate authorisation for construction and operation of electrical lines. The Single Authorisation procedure has a duration of up to 90 days from the formal start notice.

Simplified Procedure (PAS)

The PAS consists of a declaration concerning the plant installation to be filed with the municipality at least 30 days before the start of the works. Within the subsequent 30 days, the municipality shall verify the documentation and, should it find that one or more of the conditions provided for are not met, will notify the interested party of an order not to carry out the intervention. Otherwise, if there is no response from the municipality within 30 days after the submission of the request, the PAS shall be considered as effective and the works approved. When it is necessary to acquire further permits, way of leave or other authorisations not falling within the municipality competence and not attached to the PAS, the municipality shall convene for this purpose a steering committee procedure inviting the interested entities. In such a case, the 30-day term for the effectiveness of the PAS is calculated from the day the final measure concluding the proceeding is issued. The PAS applies to renewable energy plants up to the thresholds specified in Annex A to Legislative Decree 387/2003 (varying according to the kind of plant) or 1MW (in case the relevant region extended the threshold for the PAS application).

Certified works declaration (DILA)

A declaration certified by a technician to be filed with the municipality, which allows the applicant to start the works without waiting for the expiry of any term. DILA has been introduced by the Simplifications Decree for the purpose of providing a simplified authorisation in relation to certain kinds of interventions considered as non-substantial on renewable energy plants (even plants under construction) or the construction of a certain kind of renewable energy plant. In the case that the DILA applies, no further environmental and landscape authorisations are required.

Notice to the municipality

This applies to some types of small plants for the production of electricity, heat and cold from renewable energy plants. Works can be started upon filing of the communication.

From an environmental perspective, renewable energy projects must also undergo an environmental assessment procedure aimed at excluding negative impacts on the environment. Pursuant to the Environmental Code, two main environmental procedures may apply:

  1. screening procedure: any renewable energy plants having a power capacity higher than 1MW are subject to screening assessment, to verify whether the environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required in relation to the interactions and impact of the project with the area where it is located, also considering the surrounding context in terms of environmental and landscape value. The screening procedure has a duration of 90 days from the start of the proceeding (up to 150 in case integrations are required).
  2. EIA procedure: reserved to renewable energy plants located in protected areas or any plants having a power capacity higher than 1MW deferred to EIA procedure as a result of the screening assessment. The EIA procedure has a duration of about 150 days (without taking into account the time for possible integrations and modifications to the project) from the publication on the competent authority website of the EIA application.

Both the screening and the EIA proceeding are concluded with an express measure adopted by the competent authority (usually the region or the province).

If the project interferes with protected areas under the Habitats Directive (formally known as Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora) and the Birds Directive (formally known as Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds), the project is subject to the 'VINCA', aimed at determining any negative effect on this protected area. The VINCA procedure is regulated under Presidential Decree No. 345/1997 and if the project is also subject to EIA, it is comprised within the EIA procedure.

With regard to cultural heritage aspects and landscape aspects, reference shall be made to Legislative Decree No. 42/2004 (the Cultural Heritage Code).

If a project interferes with any landscape constrained areas or cultural heritage items listed under the Cultural Heritage Code, a specific authorisation must be obtained by the competent authority (usually the region or the delegated municipality) upon favourable opinion of the local cultural heritage department.

In addition to the above, for the purpose of streamlining authorisation procedures, the new Article 27 bis of the Environmental Code introduced the Single Regional Authorisation (PAUR), which is a one-stop procedure involving all interested entities resulting in the issue of a final measure covering both the environmental assessment and the construction and operation of the plant authorisations. The PAUR can be requested when a project is subject to the EIA procedure. The PAUR is different and separate from the Single Authorisation mentioned above. In the case where the plant is subject to PAUR, the Single Authorisation will be one of the permits comprised in the PAUR, that also covers environmental aspects, while if the plant is not subject to PAUR, then it will be authorised for construction and operation purposes under Single Authorisation or one of the authorisation titles mentioned above, by way of screening or EIA decree (as applicable). Thus, there will be two different authorisation measures.

For authorisation and environmental aspects, reference shall also be made to any regional law approved by the region where the project is located, as the energy matter is a shared competence between state and regions; thus, the regions hold regulatory powers in this respect, although they cannot depart from the main principles established at national level.

Before starting the authorisation procedure, it is necessary that the producer has secured the availability of the areas interested by the project (except for interconnection works areas that can be acquired by way of expropriation). In case the expropriation of lands is required (where an agreement with the owners of the land concerned by the interconnection works could not be reached), the electricity operator shall request the competent authority to issue an expropriation decree over the interested plots of land.

In addition, the producer must also secure beforehand the connection capacity with the grid operator by obtaining and accepting the estimate of connection under the TICA. The connection procedure is managed by Enel as local distribution grid operator for plants in which respect the energy injection capacity is lower than 10MW, while Terna SpA is the national transmission grid operator in case the plant energy injection capacity is equal to or higher than 10MW.

Finally, depending on the characteristics of the project, or where they are to be located, additional permits and authorisations may be needed. For instance, when public domain is affected, a specific authorisation or concession by the competent public authority must be obtained.

Renewable energy project development

i Project finance transaction structures

Project financing in Italy is implemented by means of a non-recourse or limited recourse banking loan facility.

In both the energy and in the infrastructure sectors, finance parties and sponsors can draw on established practice for the structuring and implementation of a non-recourse or limited recourse banking facility.

More recently, because of a change in law that has made this viable from a tax point of view, the capital markets have become an alternative to standard project financing, through project bonds or mini bonds for the energy sector. In some cases, hybrid solutions with a traditional banking facility and capital market tranches have also been applied.

The main parties in a project financing transaction depend on the structure of the transaction (whether there is limited or non-recourse financing, or bond issuance) and the risks relating to the project.

Usually, the main parties are:

  1. the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that owns the main assets relating to the project (e.g., authorisations, permits, real estate rights). The SPV acts as borrower under the facility agreement. The SPV is usually a limited liability company or joint stock company;
  2. the lenders that also normally act as hedging banks;
  3. the sponsors and shareholders of the SPV, which are usually required to make equity contributions. The shareholders usually grant a first ranking pledge over the shares or quotas representing the entire corporate capital of the borrower; and
  4. the counterparties of the borrower under the project contracts (engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), and operation and maintenance (O&M) contractors).

The typical finance documents include:

  1. facility agreement executed by the borrower and the lenders;
  2. equity contribution agreement executed between the shareholders of the borrower and the finance parties, among others. This contains subordination undertakings by the shareholders and, based on the risks relating to the project arising from the due diligence phase, additional equity injection undertakings;
  3. inter-creditor agreement to be executed by the finance parties to regulate, among other things, the enforcement of the securities.
  4. hedging agreements (master agreement, schedule and confirmation letter); and
  5. security documents, which usually include the following:
    • first ranking mortgage;
    • pledge over shares/quotas or receivables;
    • special privilege over the relevant asset;
    • pledge over the project accounts; and
    • assignment of the receivables arising from the project contracts and hedging agreements.

ii Power purchase

Generally, energy generated by renewable energy plants can be sold either (1) on the market through power purchase agreements or directly on the Italian Power Exchange (IPEX) exchange, or (2) to the GSE as a buyer of last resort under the off-take regime.

For the most part, PPAs executed in Italy are 'physical' PPAs, whereby a party purchases (and acquires the related right to the) energy generated by a specific power plant delivered by the grid operator through the grid to the interested consumption units.

However, recently, financial PPAs have started to be introduced. These contracts are conceived as derivatives to make the energy sale contract more appealing from a bankability perspective. Indeed, under a financial PPA, the seller and the buyer agree to a strike price that will be paid for each unit of energy generated over an agreed period of time. The energy generated is sold on the open market, and the buyer purchases power from the open market. If the market price rises above the strike price, then the developer pays the difference to the off-taker. Conversely, the off-taker compensates the developer in the event that the market price falls below the strike price.

Corporate PPAs (i.e., direct sale of energy to private companies or subject) are limited only in relation to certain kinds of private energy distribution systems (i.e., a consumption and production system composed by production plants serving consumption units within a limited area). To date, it is no longer necessary to obtain a formal qualification to be considered as such, although the private energy distribution system configuration must be indicated to the grid operator during the plant connection procedure and it is necessary to comply with ARERA configuration requirements for each kind of private distribution system.

The PPA market is developing, but the number of PPAs concluded accounts for less than 400MW of capacity and usually concerns large-scale plants (there are not many).12

Most PPAs are short-term agreements with a duration between one and three years, which is a result of the fact that the traders are not keen to undertake the energy price risk.

However, recently one of the market major players, ERG SpA executed with TIM (the Italian National Telephone Company) a 10-year PPA for the supply of 3.4TWh of 100 per cent renewable energy deriving from ERG wind farms over the period 2022–2031. The PPA structure is based partially on baseload and partially on 'pay as produced'.13

In general, PPAs are considered as over-the-counter agreements and as such shall be registered on the 'OTC Registration Platform' (PCE), an online record keeping track of agreements concluded outside the IPEX established under ARERA Resolution No. 111/06 and managed by the GME. A separate qualification is required to operate on this market pursuant to the PCE regulation issued by the GME that keeps a list of qualified operators available on its website and regularly updated.

The FER Decree introduced a venue for the negotiation of regulated long-term PPAs, which, however, is limited to plants that qualify for accessing the online ad hoc platform managed by the GME and meet all the following features:

  1. newly built, fully rebuilt or reactivated or subject to renovation or repowered plants as per Ministerial Decree 23 June 2016;
  2. entry into operation after 1 January 2017; and
  3. not benefiting from any public incentive.

Moreover, plants admitted to the long-term negotiation platform cannot access the auction and registration procedures under the FER Decree.

Sales on the IPEX are subject to the rules and regulations of the energy exchange and accessible only to those parties that have been certified as qualified operators by the GME. Selling on the IPEX is different from and does not entail the conclusion of a PPA, as all transactions take place in the online trading centre of the GME under the terms and conditions established under the regulation of the relevant market.

Most transactions take place on the Day-Ahead Market (MGP). In the MGP, participants submit offers for buying and selling electricity, specifying the quantity and the minimum or maximum price at which they are willing to sell or purchase as well as the energy injection and withdrawal programmes for the day after that of the market session. Offers are accepted after the closure of the market session in an order based on their economic merit and taking into account transmission capacity limits between geographical zones. The MGP market is an auction-based market and not a continuous-trading market. GME acts as a central counterparty.

Transactions are valued at the market price (which, simplifying, is the result of the interactions between energy demand and supply on the day the transaction occurs). Any plants can participate in the IPEX, notwithstanding the size, power or type.

Any bilateral agreement for the sale and purchase of energy executed outside the GME trading venue is considered as an over-the-counter agreement and it is subject to registration on the above-mentioned PCE.

Other energy markets are outlined below.

The Intraday Market (MI)

MI is the venue where market participants can modify the programmes defined in the MGP market by submitting additional supply offers or demand bids. Supply offers and demand bids are selected under the same criteria as for the MGP. Unlike in the MGP market, accepted demand bids are valued at the zonal price. GME acts as a central counterparty.

Daily Products Market

This is the venue for the trading of daily products with the obligation of energy delivery. GME acts as a central counterparty.

Dispatching Service Market or Ancillary Services Market (MSD)

This is the venue where Terna SpA (i.e., the TSO) obtains the resources required to ensure balance between electricity production and consumption, thereby guaranteeing the correct and constant functioning and safety of the overall network, so as to avoid any energy loss (in case of energy surplus) or blackouts as a result of overconsumption. The resources are acquired from operators owning qualified generation or consumption units (i.e., units able, because of their technical features, to guarantee the system needs, by providing, storing or absorbing the required energy amount upon short notice). In the MSD, accepted offers and bids are valued at the offered price. In this market, Terna SpA acts as a central counterparty.

Forward Electricity Market (MTE)

This is where forward electricity contracts with delivery and withdrawal obligations are traded. Trading in the MTE takes place on a continuous basis. GME acts as a central counterparty.

With regard to the off-take regime, all the energy produced by a specific plant, net of any energy used for self-consumption, is purchased by the GSE in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the agreement entered into by the GSE and the producer.

The agreement has a standard form; therefore, its terms and conditions are not subject to negotiation by the parties. The agreement governs all the commercial and technical aspects of the withdrawal of energy, except for the interconnections and the metering of the energy.

This agreement has a term of one calendar year, and tacitly renews for an additional period of one year at a time. The producer, however, can withdraw from the agreement at any time, by giving 60 days' written notice to the GSE via registered mail.

The off-take regime is open to any renewable energy plant powered with wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal and hydraulic energy (limited to flowing water plants), without limitation of capacity. Any other plant can access the regime only if the power capacity is lower than 10MW. The energy produced by plants is paid to the producer as follows:

  1. Plants up to 1MW not benefiting from any incentives, incentivised PV plants up to 100kW and incentivised hydroelectric plants up to 500kW: the producer receives the 'minimum guaranteed prices' annually established by the ARERA and published on its website. The current minimum guaranteed price for PV plants is equal to €40 per MWh.14
  2. All other plans different from those under point (a), whether below or beyond 1MW, the energy is valued at the hourly zone price. The hourly zone prices relating to each month of any calendar year are published on the GSE website.

The agreement with the GSE is automatically terminated if the producer is deemed to be involved in an organised criminal association in accordance with the specific Italian anti-mafia laws. The GSE may terminate the agreement in case of breach by the producer, variations to the plant or to the relevant authorisations, challenges to the authorisation, or resolution by a public authority affecting the operation and production of the plant. The agreement would be also terminated if the plant ceases to be eligible for the off-take regime.

iii Non-project finance development

Apart from project finance, the construction of plants is also financed through financial lease agreements and traditional financing agreements.

Under a financial lease agreement, the owner of an asset sells the same to the leasing company that leases the asset to the user, that can redeem the same upon expiry by paying a redemption fee.

Parties to a leasing agreement are:

  1. the lessee (i.e., the SPV interested in developing the plant and managing the same);
  2. the lessor, corresponding to the bank or credit institution granting the financing required to build or refinancing the asset to be repaid over an established period in the form of lease fee; and
  3. the provider: the party that sells the asset to be leased, chosen by the lessee, to the lessor. Usually, the provider corresponds to the SPV holding the relevant rights to the project or the EPC contractor that builds the plant.

Traditional financing agreements are medium to long-term loans assisted by traditional securities such as mortgage, assignment of receivables or pledge over shares.

The parties to a loan agreement are the relevant SPVs, holding the renewable energy assets and the lenders.

Recently, bond issues have been included among the possible non-project finance solutions.

With regard to the structure, the parties to the bond issue are:

  1. the issuer, responsible for issuing and selling the bond in the bond market to fund the operations of the organisations. The issuer is usually the holding company controlling the SPVs owning the relevant assets generating the cash flow necessary to repay the bond;
  2. the SPVs, holding the relevant assets that will receive the revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions to be used for debt refinancing and repayment, or development of new projects; and
  3. the bondholders, those who have subscribed the bond. This category usually includes financial investors, such as investment funds, investment banks and other institutional investors.

In terms of a security package, the bond is usually assisted by the same securities applicable in a project financing. In some cases, bonds are used in combination with bank financing (thus creating a hybrid structure).

Currently, the largest corporate green bond at European level, is the one issued by Enel Finance International NV and guaranteed by Enel SpA for a total value of €1.25 billion, with annual coupons equal to 1.00 per cent of the nominal value and maturity on 16 September 2024, listed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange.

Other notable bonds issued include:

  1. Falck Renewables: green senior unsecured equity-linked bond placed on the STAR segment of the Italian Stock Exchange for the equivalent of €200 million. The bond, issued on and expiring in 2025, will not accrue interest and will be priced at 101.25 per cent of the nominal value with a gross annual yield of –0.25 per cent. The revenues deriving from bond subscriptions will be used to finance new or already existing renewable energy assets.15
  2. CEF 3 Wind Energy SpA: fixed bond placed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange for an amount of €170 million, issued on and expiring on 30 June 2025. The revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions will be used to refinance the wind plants portfolio equivalent to about 245MW.16
  3. Antin Solar Investments: fixed or floating bond placed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange for an amount of €85 million, issued on 1 December 2014 and expiring on 31 December 2028. The revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions will be used to refinance the PV plant portfolio equivalent to about 77MW.17
  4. Etrion: senior floating bond placed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange for an amount of €35 million, issued on 1 December 2015 and expiring on 31 December 2029. The revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions will be used by the issuer to make capital contributions to the various SPVs and to advance shareholder loans to the SPVs. Each SPV will in turn use this capital to repay its respective financial debt. The Italian pv plant portfolio is equivalent to about 53.5MW.18
  5. TS Energy Italy: fixed senior secured bond placed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange for an amount of €40 million, issued on July 2016 and expiring on 30 June 2032.The revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions will be used to refinance the PV plant portfolio equivalent to about 43MW and to develop new projects.19
  6. Sonnedix Italia SpA: floating bond placed on the ExtraMOT PRO of the Italian Stock Exchange for an amount of €95million, issued on 1 December 2016 and expiring on 28 February 2030. The revenues deriving from the bond subscriptions will be used to repay the debts of 18 Italian subsidiaries owning 26 PV plants located in eight different regions equivalent to 66MW.20

Distributed and residential renewable energy

Distributed generation (GD) by renewable energy sources (RES) in Italy has developed significantly in the past 10 years, in terms of both number of plants and capacity installed.

According to the data provided by ARERA,21 as of 2018 the number of plants connected to the grid was 837,228 for a total gross efficient power of about 32,479MW (about 27.5 per cent of the gross efficient power of the plants comprising the network of distributed generation).

In particular, 3,915 hydroelectric plants were installed for a gross efficient capacity of 3,541MW and production of almost 12TWh (17.7 per cent of the GD production), 5,737 thermoelectric plants for a capacity of 6,879 MW and production of approximately 29TWh (42.9 per cent of GD production), two geothermal plants for a gross efficient capacity of 21MW and production of approximately 0.2TWh (0.3 per cent of GD production), 5,388 wind power plants with a gross efficient capacity of 3,217MW and production of approximately 5.4TWh (8 per cent of production from GD) and 822,186 photovoltaic plants with a capacity of 18,821MW and production of approximately 21TWh (31.1 per cent of production from GD).

Small-scale generation (i.e., plants up to 1MW based on the definition provided by Legislative Decree 20/2007) represents a large share of the GD, with 834,196 plants installed for a total gross efficient power of about 18,971MW.

Photovoltaic plants are the main kind of installation, with 821,163 plants installed, for a gross efficient power equal to 15,862MW and a production equal to about 17,365GWh (56.5 per cent of the overall small-scale generation).

Out of 834,196 plants, 721,112 pv plants are installed in the domestic sector (houses and residential buildings).22

This has been made possible thanks to policies incentivising energy efficiency solutions in existing buildings through tax deductions, energy efficiency certificates (EECs) and the obligation for new buildings to integrate energy efficiency solutions.

The main actors of residential installations are:

  1. households and condominiums – requiring the performance of energy efficiency solutions, usually involving the installation of a rooftop-mounted PV plant serving the building. Households and condominiums usually own the plant once built, although the possibility of leasing the same from the EPC contractor is not precluded; and
  2. the EPC contractor, usually a company specialised in energy services, offering an all-inclusive service including design, installation, connection to the distribution grid and testing and maintenance of the plant. In some cases, the EPC contract may also be a qualified energy service company (ESCo) that can also manage the procedure to qualify for energy efficiency certificates that would represent a further source of income (from the sale of the EECs on the EEC market regulated by the GME). However, since 2017 newly built PV plants are no longer eligible for EECs.

Recently, new opportunities have arisen in connection with the progressive implementation of regulation aimed at favouring energy communities under the 'RED II Directive' (Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources). Energy communities are groups of users acting collectively to produce and share renewable energy for their consumption located in the same building or connected to the same low voltage network (thus beyond the single building).

Companies specialised in installing renewable energy plants may serve as configuration developers by searching and aggregating the interested users and providing a full service on the installation and maintenance of the plant.

According to a study performed by Politecnico University of Milan, the development of energy communities would generate potential revenues of €460 million for the companies specialised in supplying these technologies, and they could also share with the self-consumption group the benefits deriving from the incentives awarded by GSE to the group of users (the receivables deriving from the incentives can in fact be assigned to third parties).23

Renewable energy supply chains

The renewable energy supply chain is characterised by a variety of enterprises, mainly SMEs, although there are also some large companies.

The main companies active in the production of components for renewable energy plants and related technology operate in the wind and photovoltaic sector where technology research and evolution has been more rapid and boosted by the development deriving from the support policies that originally targeted these two sectors.

With regard to solar systems components, the main Italian companies active in the supply chain (by number of known resellers) are:

  1. Panels:24 Futura Sun Srl; Sunerg Solar Srl; Peimar; Solar Day SpA; Solbian Energie Alternative Srl; Day4Europe Srl; EXE Srl; Eclipse Italia Srl; Azimut Srl; Abba Srl.
  2. Trackers:25
    • Convert Italia SpA: one of the world leaders in the production of trackers, the systems for orienting solar panels according to the sun. Among the various patents, the outstanding one is a modular single-axis tracker easily integrated with the most widely used technologies in the industry, which allows for an increase in the performance of photovoltaic parks;
    • ATEC Robotics: dual-axis tracker;
    • COMAL Impianti Srl: single-axis tracker;
    • Enertronica Santerno SpA: dual and single-axis tracker;
    • Rem Tec Srl: dual and single-axis tracker; and
    • Soltigua: single-axis tracker.
  3. Inverters:26 Fimer SpA; AROS Solar Technology (RPS SpA); Enertronica Santerno SpA; Zucchetti Centro Sistemi SpA; Peimar; Siel SpA; Western Co Srl.

In relation to wind plants' manufacturing,27 there are 10 manufacturing companies covering 88 per cent of the demand of wind turbines globally. Five of these companies are headquartered in the EU: Vestas, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Enercon, Nordex SE and GE Renewable Energy. In addition, Europe is home to two of the top five offshore wind turbine manufacturers: MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

The above-mentioned players, among which Vestas, Nordex SE and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy are also active in Italy and often supply wind farm components (e.g., tower, blades, etc.) get together with O&M services as part of the contractual package.

Currently, there are 17 operating manufacturing facilities in Italy producing blades, forging, castings, converters and towers. Italy exports wind plant components to the rest of the EU for an overall market value of €46 million and to other non-EU countries for a turnover equal to €1 million.

Under the NRRP, the government has undertaken to strengthen and promote the creation of a national supply chain, committing around €4 billion. In particular, with regard to new generation photovoltaic panels, the investment objective is to increase the national production from the current 200MW per year to at least 2GW per year in 2025 and to 3GW per year in the following years.

With regard to wind turbines, the investment will support the creation of intellectual property and the acquisition of missing technologies and skills for the production of high-efficiency turbines, with the creation of a prototype production plant.28

Other key considerations

In connection with the development of renewable energy plants, O&M services have also developed. According to the Energy&Stratgy Group Renewable Energy Report 201929, in the last three years the O&M service prices for PV plants have dropped by more than 30 per cent while those for wind plants by 25 per cent. No substantial changes occurred with regard to hydroelectric plants.

The decreasing trend has been made possible by an increase in the number of companies active in the O&M sector (that leading to a reduction of prices because of competition between players) as well as technology maturity. For wind plants, the increase of the turbine average size has been one of the drivers of a decrease in costs at unit level.

The approach to O&M services has also diversified.

There are more technology suppliers that also do multi-brand O&M (i.e., they offer services also for technological equipment produced by their competitors), alongside pure O&M companies and energy producers that have internalised O&M activities, which sometimes also offer these services to their competitors.

In the PV utility scale sector, given the presence of a large number of operators who manage a small portfolio of plants, the preferred approach is full-service, which has led to the formation of companies specialising in O&M with a competition that has favoured a general decrease of prices in recent years.

However, large groups, while currently preferring a full-service approach, have started a process of partial internalisation: routine maintenance activities are carried out internally, while extraordinary maintenance, which requires few interventions but is of great economic value and often complex, is outsourced.

In the wind sector, the traditional full-service approach to O&M is the most common; however, also in this sector the full-internalisation and hybrid approach can be found. Investment funds tend to prefer a full-service approach because it reduces the risks.

The sector is also experimenting a great deal of digitalisation to minimise and improve on field intervention through, for example, the use of drones and augmented reality.30

The O&M market has undergone a consolidation and concentration process in the last few years, with a few key players sharing a 5GWp market.31 Among the key players are LT Rinnovabili that manages about 500MWp, Esapro (660MWp), DSM (100MWp), Belectric (150MWp), BayWa re (840MWp), Alectris (90MWp).32

Most of the plants installed in Italy (especially solar and wind plants) have been operating for almost half of their operating life. In this context, to maintain the current trend of renewable energy production and meet the 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation objectives, it will be necessary to preserve as well as upgrade the existing plants.

Therefore, revamping and repowering services are going to play a key role in the future.

In this respect, to support the renovation and upgrading of the existing renewable energy plants, incentives are provided in connection with revamping or repowering intervention under the FER Decree.

From a regulatory perspective, revamping and repowering entails a variation to the authorised project. Consequently, it is subject to the current authorisation framework outlined in Section III, specifically based on Article 5, paragraph 3 Romani Decree and, depending on the extent of the variation and on the material or non-material nature of the envisaged change, such projects could be subject to Single Authorisation, PAS or DILA, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

From a GSE perspective, both interventions are allowed on incentivised plants as long as the same are communicated to GSE and do not affect the requirements to maintain the incentives granted. In this respect, pursuant to the GSE technical rules concerning interventions on incentivised plants, repowering entailing an increase of installed power beyond certain thresholds is treated as non-incentivised energy. In this case the operator can ask for the off-take regime application, provided separate meters are installed to keep separate counting of incentivised and non-incentivised energy.

Some O&M providers are proposing a sort of progressive repowering (i.e., the possibility through preventive maintenance to schedule the repowering activities of components, thereby avoiding replacement).33

On a related note, to foster the integration of renewables in the electricity market, renewable energy plants could participate in the Capacity Market, through the creation of Virtual Qualified Mixed Units (UVAM). That is, a group of generation, storage and consumption units managed by a balancing service provider (BSP) that would provide and be remunerated for congestion resolution, rotating tertiary reserve, replacement tertiary reserve, balancing services. The UVAM is currently at an experimental stage, thus the participation is limited to operators that qualify under Terna calls for tender.

Conclusions and outlook

Renewable energy policies represent a core element of Italy's energy and economic policy. The incentives system have proved to be effective in allowing the country to reach its 2020 objectives long before the deadline.

In light of the 2030 renewable energy targets, the installation of further renewable energy plants is mandatory and will likely continue. Under the NRRP, the government is working on streamlining the authorisation procedures and timing to ensure full expansion of plant installation. Also, with regard to ground mounted plants, in combination with agricultural sustainable solutions ('agro-voltaic') to reduce soil consumption and depletion.

It will also be necessary to address the issue of the identification of unsuitable areas for renewable energy plants to adopt a uniform approach, and guidelines to avoid pointless opposition from the regions and local entities.

In a scenario where incentives are being phased out, financial PPAs could play an important role to ensure the bankability of projects.

Renewable energy communities could also represent a further element capable of increasing renewable energy generation presence across territory and make consumers participants to the electricity system.

Future technology development would see an increasing role for storage systems that, combined with renewable energy plants, could contribute to stabilising the plant production and let the same play an active role in the balancing of the system. The same storage system could also play well as a stand-alone solution. Installations will be favoured by the trend of decreasing technology costs (down 80 per cent from 2013 to 2020).

Hydrogen is the power of the future, although to make that possible it is necessary for several factors to occur:

  1. technology costs decrease;
  2. a wide choice of renewable energy at low price;
  3. adequate demand;
  4. high prices of CO2; and
  5. a clear and straightforward authorisation framework.

With regard to existing plants, revamping and repowering activities will be crucial to ensure their performance and not to lose the targets reached, which would offer great opportunities to O&M service providers and also make them attractive for potential investments even in the absence of incentives (after the natural expiry of the current support period), in which respect, long-term PPAs could play a role.

Footnotes

1 Cristina Martorana is a partner and Alberto Tedeschi is a senior associate at Legance – Avvocati Associati.

2 Gestore Servizi Energetici – GSE SpA is the entity tasked with the management of incentive schemes from admittance to verifications.

3 Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment tasked with regulatory and supervisory activities in the sectors of electricity, natural gas, water services, waste cycle and district heating.

4 Ministry of Economic Development.

6 See GSE, 'Rapporto Satitstico Fonti Rinnovabili', 2020, available at www.gse.it/dati-e-scenari/statistiche.

7 Avvenire newspaper, 'Idrogeno, progetto pilota Enel/Eni', available at www.avvenire.it/economia/pagine/idrogeno-progetto-pilota-enel-eni.

8 Althesys, press release 'Irex 2021. Rinnovabili, il covid non ferma la crescita degli investimenti. Il PNRR spinge le nuove tecnologie', 12 May 2021, available at www.althesys.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/CS-Irex-Report-2021-05-12.pdf.

11 GSE Renewable Energy Statistical Report 2021 – Year 2019, available at www.gse.it/dati-e-scenari/statistiche.

12 See SolareB2B, 'PPA, un volano per il solare', January/February 2020, available at www.solareb2b.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ppa.pdf.

13 See Qualenergia, Nuovo piano Erg, 1,9 miliardi in rinnovabili (e un PPA con Tim), available at www.qualenergia.it/pro/articoli/erg-rinnovabili-nuovo-piano-industriale/.

14 See ARERA website dedicated section: https://www.arera.it/it/elettricita/prezziminimi.htm.

21 See ARERA report on distributed generation published on 4 August 2020 available at
www.arera.it/it/docs/20/320-20.htm.

23 Politecnico University, Energy&Strategy Group, Electricity Market Report, November 2020, p. 468.

26 ibid.

27 See WindEurope Report 'Wind energy and economic recovery in Europe' available at https://windeurope.org/intelligence-platform/product/wind-energy-and-economic-recovery-in-europe/.

28 See Italy National Recovery and Resilience Plan, p. 82 available at www.mef.gov.it/en/focus/The-Recovery-and-Resilience-Plan-Next-Generation-Italia/.

29 See QualEnergia, 'O&M fotovoltaico ed eolico, i prezzi e le tendenze in atto', 5 June 2019, available at www.qualenergia.it/pro/articoli/om-fotovoltaico-ed-eolico-i-prezzi-e-le-tendenze-in-atto/.

30 See Solare B2B, 'La digitalizzazione trasforma l'O&M', February 2021, available at www.solareb2b.it/newsletter/O&M_2021.pdf.

31 See Solare B2B, 'O&M Più servizi, più opportunità', April 2020, available at www.solareb2b.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/OM.pdf.

32 See Solare B2B, 'La digitalizzazione trasforma l'O&M', February 2021, available at www.solareb2b.it/newsletter/O&M_2021.pdf.

33 See footnote 27.

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