Legislative Decree n.199/2021 implementing EU Directive 2018/2001 on renewable sources, known as Red II (Renewable Energy Directive), has been published in the Official Journal and will be effective on the 15th of December 2021.
The decree, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on the 4th of November and then signed by the President of the Republic on the 8th of November, introduces news of great importance for renewable energy market. Amongst all, the review on the “Energy Communities regulation is particularly interesting”: with an increased capacity limit for eligible plants, from 200 kW to 1 MW, and the use of primary cabins as sharing nodes, the scheme is now enhanced and could unleash the potential for local communities.
The decree also establishes: an extension of FiT for renewable energy sources with five-year scheduling of auctions and including ground mounted PV in unused agricultural areas; incentives and simplifications for the biomethane’s production; the creation by GME of a digital platform for PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements); regulations for the identification of suitable and unsuitable areas for the installation of renewable energy plants; authorisation’s simplification for the construction of charging infrastructures for electric vehicles. The decree also establishes that, from 2022, part of the annual profit from CO2 auctions will be used to cover the costs of supporting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency development.
The new legislative framework shall be implemented by means of a series of implementing decrees, namely (i) incentives for renewable electricity and biomethane, (ii) reinforcing the promotion of thermal energy use from RES, (iii) utilization of proceeds from CO2 auctions for the “virtuous” coverage of the charges in the bill (“externalities & subsidies”), (iv) further interventions aimed at bureaucratic simplification of the EIA and PAUR process, (v) the identification of areas suitable for the installation of plants (with a new way of identifying areas in “positive” instead of “negative”).
This is a complex text and at the same time one particularly long awaited by the energy sector, which could give a new acceleration to the Italian energy transition, the “effectiveness” of which will depend mainly on the timing, incisiveness and effectiveness in which the criteria introduced in RED II will be implemented.