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Article Italy: New Energy Incentives Enter into Force

On December 10, 2023, Legislative Decree No. 181 of December 9, 2023 (L.D. No. 181), approving measures on energy security, the promotion of renewable energy sources, and support for energy-intensive businesses and reconstruction in territories affected by floods, entered into effect in Italy.

L.D. No. 181 contains measures to promote the self-production of renewable energy in energy-intensive sectors that are at risk of delocalization through the transfer of renewable energy at fair prices. (L.D. No. 181, art. 1.) To that effect, L.D. No. 181 adopts a series of measures, including the following:

Photovoltaic or Wind-Power Plant Projects

The legislation directs the Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate to prioritize photovoltaic or wind-power plant projects during the adjudication of energy concessions. (Art. 1(1).)

Security of the Natural Gas Supply

The legislation also approves measures to strengthen the supply of natural gas at reasonable prices and reduce the emissions of climate-changing gases, with the overall purpose of obtaining a long-term supply of domestically-produced natural gas. (Art. 2(1), replacing art. 16(1) of D.L. No. 17 of March 1, 2022, as amended.) In particular, the legislation authorizes the exploration, with existing or new concessions, of natural gas fields located in a stretch of the continental Italian sea within 9 nautical miles from the coastlines, subject to additional technical criteria. (Art. 2(1), replacing art. 16(3) of D.L. No. 17.) These criteria require that the respective deposits have a gas-mining potential for a certain reserve quantity exceeding a threshold of 500 million cubic meters, and that holders of existing or new concessions adhere to procedures for long-term procurement. (Art. 2(1), replacing art. 16(3)(a)–(b) of D.L. No. 17.)

Onshore Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals and Geothermal Concessions

To increase the flexibility of natural-gas supply sources and meet the needs of national energy security, the legislation authorizes the construction and operation of regasification terminals of onshore liquefied natural gas and related infrastructures. (Art. 2(2).)

To strengthen national energy autonomy and achieve decarbonization objectives, the legislation approves the granting of geothermal concessions, subject to multiyear investment plans, which must contemplate the reduction of emissions. (Art. 3(1)(a)(2)(b), adding art. 16-bis to L.D. No. 22 of February 11, 2010.)

Renewable Energy Plants

The legislation incentivizes the Italian regions to facilitate the construction of renewable energy plants that contribute to decarbonization and the promotion of sustainable development. In particular, the legislation allocates to the regions a portion of the proceeds from the auctions of carbon dioxide emission quotas for each of the years from 2024 to 2032. (Art. 4(1).) 

Electricity System by Non-Licensed Plants Powered by Sustainable Bioliquids

The law favors the generation of electricity by non-licensed plants powered by sustainable bioliquids, specifying the plants’ minimum number of operative hours, logistics, procurement, storage, and primary energy management. (Art. 5(1).) 

Construction Process for Air-Cooled Condensers at Existing Power Plants

To guarantee the full use of the installed capacity of water resources for electricity-generation purposes, thermoelectric power plants with thermal power exceeding 300 megawatts may install air condensation systems in systems already equipped with water cooling systems. (Art. 6(1).)

Facilitation of Authorizations for Experimental CO2 Storage Programs

The legislation includes authorizations to perform experimental CO2 geological storage programs through a single procedure. (Art. 7(1)(b)(4)(d), adding art. 11-bis to L.D. No. 162 of September 14, 2011.)

Supply Chains Relating to Floating Wind Farms at Sea

To promote national energy autonomy and investments in Southern Italy, the law creates a national strategic hub for the design, production, and assembly of floating platforms and electrical infrastructures functional to the development of shipbuilding for the production of wind energy at sea. (Art. 8(1).)

Electricity Grid Infrastructure

The law establishes a digital portal to guarantee the efficient planning of infrastructure for the national electricity transmission network in coordination with the development of energy production plants from renewable sources and energy storage systems. The digital portal must contain information on the stakeholders involved in electricity production and distribution, the requests for connection to the same network of the energy production plants from renewable sources, and data on energy storage and consumption systems. (Art. 9(1).)

Decommissioning and Managing Radioactive Waste

A program is to be established containing reward measures for the benefit of the territorial communities hosting areas designated for the management of radioactive waste for energy-generation purposes. (Art. 11(1)(b)(1)(1.2), adding e-ter to art. 26, para. 1 of L.D. No. 31 of February 15, 2010.)

Photovoltaic Technologies Registry

The National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) is to maintain a register concerning the manufacturers or distributors of products involving photovoltaic technology. (Art. 12(1).)

Protection of Domestic Customers in the Retail Electricity Market

The Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security is charged with promoting specific information campaigns through Acquirente Unico S.p.A. to prevent unjustified price increases and alterations in electricity supply as a result of competitive procedures, and to ensure adequate information for domestic customers, particularly vulnerable customers. (Art. 14(1).)

Repeal of Minimum Efficiency Requirements for Reconstruction Following Floods

For cases of private reconstruction, with the exception of demolition and reconstruction, the law repeals provisions requiring additional construction during the restoration and repair of damage caused by recent floods in the country. (Art. 16(1).)

Dante Figueroa, Law Library of Congress
February 7, 2024

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