Starting from the 1st of January important new rules have been implemented for the "Ritiro dedicato" system. In order to fully understand the changes it is necessary to briefly recall the system that applied until December 2013.

  1. During all 2013 the "Ritiro dedicato" system remained very close to its original characteristics of 2008, that provided:
  • for all renewable energy sources plants, with nominal power up to 1 MW: minimum granted price, different for each production range (in the last years also for source) and yearly updated by the Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (hereinafter "AEEG");
  • for all other plants (fossil fuels and renewable ones greater than 1MW) and also for all the electricity produced – greater than the 2 million kWh limit – by renewable energy sources plants up to 1 MW: zone timetable price (prezzo zonale di mercato).
  1. Through RESOLUTION 618/2013/R/EFR, 19 DECEMBER 2013, (hereinafter "AEEG Resolution") the AEEG has provided some important changes on the minimum granted price for renewable energy sources plants up to 1 MW. 

According to AEEG Resolution the minimum granted price, for 2014, shall be equal to the effective operating costs, increased with an additional 10% and differenced by source. Through this system the previous logic based on market prices is overcome. The new prices shall be applied only to the first 1,5 million kWh yearly produced; greater than this limit and to other sources like biogas, biomasses and bioliquids (for which the limit remains 2 kWh), shall be applied the zone timetable price.

  1. Later, LAW DECREE "DESTINAZIONE ITALIA" N. 145, 23 DECEMBER 2013 (hereinafter "Decree") disposes that starting from 2014 the minimum granted price – within the "Ritiro dedicato" system – shall be equal, for ALL renewable plants that benefit from feed-in-tariffs, to the zone timetable price. Therefore, the Decree provision does not fully correspond to the AEEG Resolution. 
  2. During the enactment of the Decree, the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) introduced two important amendments, providing that the zone timetable price shall apply to all plants that benefit from feed-in-tariffs, with the exclusion of photovoltaic plants up to 100 kW and hydroelectric plants up to 500 kW, to which shall be applied the minimum granted price (minimum granted price as redefined by the AEEG Resolution). To all other renewable plants that benefit from feed-in-tariffs shall be applied, with no reference to their nominal power, the zone timetable price.

Summarizing, from the combined lecture of the AEEG Resolution and the Decree, we obtain the following framework:

  • to plants up to 1MW (and with a yearly production up to 1,5 million kWh) that do not benefit from feed-in-tariffs shall be applied the new minimum granted price as redefined by the AEEG Resolution.
  • to plants greater than 1MW (and with a yearly production up to 1,5 million kWh) that do not benefit from feed-in-tariffs shall be applied the zone timetable price (as disposed by the AEEG Resolution).
  • to plants that benefit from feed-in-tariffs, but with no reference to their nominal power and no reference to their source shall be applied the zone timetable price (as disposed by the Decree), with the exclusion of photovoltaic plants up to 100 kW and hydroelectric plants up to 500 kW, even if they benefit from feed-in-tariffs to which shall be applied the minimum granted price as redefined by the AEEG Resolution (following the recent amendment introduced by the Chamber of Deputies).

All the introduced changes to the "Ritiro dedicato" system determine an undeniable – and retrospect – worsening of the situation for all investors that invested in renewable energies; the zone timetable prices are depending, in fact, from the market. Therefore, the previous preferential treatment granted to these systems, has been frustrated.     

Anyhow, the Decree is now being analyzed – as second step of its enactment – by the Senate of the Republic (il Senato) that may introduce further amendments. Hoping that these eventual changes would be able to limit the negative effects of the actual wording of Article 1 of the Decree.