Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


Luca Benedetti Gestore dei Servizi Energetici - GSE S.p.A.


According to the Italian National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP), the Ocean Energy total contribution (in terms of installed capacity) expected to meet the binding 2020 European Renewable Energy Sources (RES) targets will be of 3 MW in 2020. For this reason, the Italian increasing interest in the exploitation of wave and tidal technology to produce clean and renewable energy can be recognized both in Government initiatives (e.g. one of the highest incentive for such sources worldwide) and in the research and development activities carried out by public and private players. Mainly universities and companies specialized in research and innovation are involved in R&D in this field. Thanks to those efforts, Italy is indeed at the forefront of research, development and demonstration at a prototypal level. Such leadership has recently been recognized by the Chilean Government’s economic development organization CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción); Enel Green Power (EGP) from Italy and DCNS from France have been selected to set up a ground breaking global centre of marine energy R&D excellence in Chile, named Marine Energy Research and Innovation Centre (MERIC). MERIC’s applied research and development work will focus on key sources of marine renewable energy, such as tidal power and wave power.

The Ministerial Decree on renewable energy sources (DM 23 June 2016) updated the support scheme previously regulated by DM 6 July 2012. This Decree has, in turn, reviewed the preceding framework based on Feed-in Tariffs and Green Certificates for renewable plants (other than PV) in operation starting from 1 January 2013 (with capacity ≥ 1 kW).

DM 23/6/2016 (in continuity with DM 6/7/2012) identifies four different ways of access to incentives: direct access, bid auctions (Dutch Auctions), registries for new power plants, for fully reconstructed power plants, for reactivated, empowered and hybrid power plants and registries for rebuilding intervention. The Decree defines the criteria to access to the registries and the Dutch Auctions and establishes specific limits for the annual capacity eligible to incentives. These limits are set up differently for each kind of renewable energy source and for all the different ways of access to incentives (registries or bid auctions).

In general, the Decree grants a fixed tariff plus, in some cases, a specific premium, to provide incentives to net electricity fed into the grid. The fixed tariff is different according to each source, technology and capacity range considered. Power plants with a capacity > 500 kW can only receive the incentive (fixed tariff minus electricity hourly zonal price, plus premiums if foreseen). Power plants with a capacity ≤ 500 kW can receive, instead of the incentive, a Feed-in Tariff composed by the fixed tariff plus, in some cases, a specific premium. In the Dutch Auctions the maximum requested value of the tariff cannot be higher than a 2% discount of the reference value and the minimum value cannot be lower than a 40% discount of the reference value.

The incentives last for the average conventional plant life of each typology of power plant. All the support schemes are managed by GSE (the Italian Energy System Operator, the body in charge of managing all the incentives to renewable energy). New, fully reconstructed, reactivated or empowered wave and tidal energy power plants can access directly to incentives if their capacity is not greater than 60 kW, otherwise they must apply for access to registries.

*If the power plant is built by the Public Administration, the maximum capacity eligible to direct access is doubled (120 kW).

In 2016, a single initiative, with capacity of 49,5 kW, entered into operation and requested direct access to incentives. For wave and tidal energy power plants, the total annual capacity (MW) eligible to access to registries from 2013 to 2015, and so to obtain the incentives, is 6 MW. However, no plants were admitted for incentives in 2016 registries. It should be reminded that a 99 kW project was admitted in 2014 registries (under DM 6/7/2012), and it still keeps the right to be realized and to access incentives, although it has not been built yet. The Decree does not provide Dutch Auctions for wave and tidal energy power plants. For new wave and tidal energy power plants, DM 23/6/2016 confirmed the previous tariff, as follows: