According to media reports, Italy’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy Stefano Patuanelli has approved a new plan. Under the plan, financial support worth 1.5 billion euros will be provided for rooftop photovoltaics installed in the country’s agricultural sector. This differs from agricultural photovoltaics, which involve a more integrated approach to integrating photovoltaic systems with agricultural installations.

Financial details of the support for rooftop PV have not been disclosed. “The purpose of the program is to finance the installation of photovoltaic systems on buildings for productive use in the Italian agricultural, livestock and agro-industrial sectors,” Patuanelli said.

Funding for the rooftop PV project is said to come from Italy’s National Recovery and Recovery Plan (Coronavirus Recovery Plan). About 40% of the funds will be used to finance rooftop PV projects in southern Italian regions such as Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Apulia, Sardinia and Rooftop photovoltaic system deployed in Sicily.

The program will provide funding for the installation of 375MW of rooftop PV in the agricultural sector. Agricultural and industrial land will also be eligible to benefit from the program, as will facility redevelopment and modernization costs. Insulation of agricultural facilities will also be part of the support programme, which will help improve the living conditions of livestock.

Diversification of energy sources will also help reduce electricity bills in the agricultural sector, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy said. It added that information on the project will first be submitted to the European Commission, and then a tender for the project will take place. Italy’s National Recovery and Recovery Plan will provide 2.2 billion euros for the energy community and 1.1 billion euros for the agricultural sector.

According to a survey by the International Trade Association (ITA), Italy has set aside 56 billion euros to stimulate the development of the renewable energy sector between 2021 and 2026. By the end of 2020, the installed renewable energy capacity in Italy had reached 56GW, with photovoltaic systems accounting for the highest proportion (21.5GW), by hydropower facilities and wind power facilities.

Italy introduced new provisions in the DL Energia Decree in early March, simplifying net metering permits for rooftop PV systems from 50kW to 200kW, and providing funding to MSMEs that install PV systems for their own use.

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