• GL
Choose your location?
  • Global Global
  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Qatar
  • Spain
  • UAE
  • UK

Key renewable energy news: Italy

07 March 2023

The DL PNRR Simplifications was published in the Official Journal on February 24, 2023 and came into effect the following day. It will be converted into law within 60 days of publication.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Elimination of the preliminary verification of archaeological interest

Article 19 of the DL PNRR Simplifications:

  • amended Article 25 of the Environment Code, introducing paragraph 2-sexies by which the preliminary verification of archaeological interest set forth in Article 25, Legislative Decree No. 50/2016, for the purpose of adopting the EIA measure, is eliminated;
  • it has simultaneously eliminated the reference to the preliminary archaeological verification provided for in Article 23, paragraph 1, letter g-ter) of the Environmental Code regarding the documents to be attached to the EIA application.

Simplified Procedure (PAS)

PAS legal publicity  

Article 49 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 6, Legislative Decree No. 28/2011, introducing paragraph 7-bis, according to which the private party, once the 30-day period for the completion of the PAS has expired, may apply for the publication of the declaration in the Regional Official Bulletin. Therefore, the appeal periods of 60 and 120 days run from the day of publication.

Agrivoltaic Plants

Installation of Agrivoltaic Plants

Article 49 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 11 of Law Decree No. 17/2022 by providing that photovoltaic plants located in agricultural areas are freely installable, subject to the definition of eligible areas referred to in Article 20, paragraph 1, Legislative Decree No. 199/2021, provided that they meet the following characteristics:

  • the proponent is an agricultural enterprise or a joint venture company with power producers to which the business or business unit is assigned. Entrepreneurial management activities are reserved for agricultural entrepreneurs except for technical aspects of plant operation and energy transfer;
  • solar panels are placed above plantations at a height of two meters or more above the ground;
  • the implementation arrangements provide for effective compatibility and integration with agricultural activities for the purpose of implementing monitoring systems.

Single Authorization

Simplifications for the single authorization proceeding 

Article 47 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 12, paragraph 4, Legislative Decree No. 387/2003, stipulating that the Single Authorization shall be issued at the outcome of a single procedure in accordance with the procedures set forth in Law No. 241/1990.

The issuance of the Single Authorization includes the EIA measure and, where applicable, constitutes a title to build and operate the plant. The maximum time limit for completion of the single procedure is 150 days. The single procedure may also be initiated during the pendency of the proceedings for the issuance of the EIA.

Areas for the construction of plants powered by renewable sources

Photovoltaic systems and related works freely installable under certain conditions

Article 47 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Legislative Decree No. 199/2021 by introducing Article 22-bis, pursuant to which that the installation of ground-mounted photovoltaic systems and related works located in areas of industrial, commercial and artisanal use, as well as in landfills or quarries, is considered ordinary maintenance activities and is not subject to the acquisition of permits, authorizations or acts of consent however named.

If the area is under landscape constraint, notification to the relevant Superintendence is required.

Reduction of protected buffer areas under the cultural heritage code 

Article 47 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 20, Paragraph 8 (c-quater), Legislative Decree No. 199/2021, providing that areas that do not fall within the buffer zone subject to protection under the Cultural Heritage Code are considered ope legis eligible areas.

The buffer zone of protected areas has been reduced from 7 km to 3 km for wind power plants and from 1 km to 500 meters for photovoltaic plants.

Limitation on the power of the superintendence 

Article 47 of the DL PNRR Simplifications repealed Article 30, paragraph 2, Law Decree No. 77/2021 with the result that the opinion of the Superintendence is no longer required for the construction of facilities in areas pertaining to protected property.

Silence consent of superintendencies for photovoltaics on buildings and wind power up to 20KW in restricted areas 

Article 49 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 7-bis, Legislative Decree No. 28/2011, introducing paragraph 5-bis according to which no permit is required for the installation of wind power plants with total potential up to 20 kW and height not exceeding 2 meters, located outside protected areas or belonging to Natura 2000 Sites.

For photovoltaic systems on buildings or building structures and wind power systems up to 20 kW, the landscape permit shall be issued within the period of 45 days from the receipt of the application, after which, without any reasons for refusal of the application being communicated, the permit shall be deemed to be issued.

Electrochemical storage facilities

PAS for eletrochemical storage facilities associated with FER plants

Article 49 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 1, paragraph 2-quater (c), No. 7/2002 by providing that the construction of electrochemical storage plants connected to renewable energy plants can be granted permission through PAS if the plant is in operation, or authorized but not yet in operation.

Renewable energy communities 

Recognition of incentives

Article 47, paragraph 10, of the DL PNRR Simplifications provided that energy communities, whose powers are exercised by small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises, in individual or corporate form, including through their trade organizations, by agricultural cooperatives carrying out activities referred to in Article 2135 Civil Code, can access incentives under Article 8, Legislative Decree No. 199/2021, for renewable source plants, including agrivoltaic plants, even for power exceeding 1 MW and for the amount of energy shared by plants and consumption utilities not connected under the same primary cabin.

Green hydrogen production plants

Priority of green hydrogen production facilities

Article 41 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Article 8 of the Environmental Code with the result that projects concerning green or renewable hydrogen production and related renewable energy facilities take precedence and are evaluated by the EIA and VAS Technical Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment.

Via of state jurisdiction for green hydrogen production facilities

Article 41 of the DL PNRR Simplifications amended Annex II to Part II of the Environmental Code, introducing point 6-bis), according to which integrated chemical plants for the production of green or renewable hydrogen, i.e., plants for the production on an industrial scale, through chemical transformation processes, of green or renewable hydrogen, are subject to EIA under state jurisdiction.

Further Reading