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    Italy working on incentives for offshore wind projects, Italy's energy transition


    May 12, 2022 - Saur News Bureau

     

      Highlights :

      Rome is keen to speed up the build-out of renewable energy plants to help achieve climate goals and cut its reliance on Russian gas.

      The Italian government is working on incentives to boost the roll-out of offshore wind facilities, Italy's energy transition minister said on Wednesday.

      "Incentive mechanisms are in the programming phase," Roberto Cingolani said, answering questions from members of parliament.

      Besides subsidies, Cingolani said offshore wind would also receive grants from Italy's national Recovery Fund plan.

      Rome is keen to speed up the build-out of renewable energy plants to help achieve climate goals and cut its reliance on Russian gas.

      It has introduced a series of measures aimed at simplifying the permitting process to attract investors.

      Cingolani said last year more than 60 developers had expressed interest in building offshore wind farms. These include ERG, Eni, Saipem, EDF-owned Edison and Fincantieri.

      The overall generation capacity was well above the 2030 capacity target laid out in Italy's latest energy plan.

      "There has been an openness of operators to invest (in offshore wind) that is way above expectations," he said.

      The conundrum of Italy's renewable sector continues unabatedly as it's evident from the results of a recent renewables auction, which were published in February this year. The Italian government had about 3,300 MW of renewable energy on offer. This also included the non-awarded capacity from the previous auction which also witnessed under-subscription. This time around as well, the government was able to award a mere 975 MW of utility scale projects, out of which 392 MW were onshore wind energy.

      The key reason for the failure is that the permitting system of the government disallows proper auction of the projects. Due to the delays caused by the government in permitting the new projects, a massive backlog of non-awarded renewables capacity is piling up in Italy.

      This is despite the fact that Italy's National Energy and Climate Plan promises to create 19.3 GW of wind energy by 2030; although most of which is onshore. The ambitious target requires Italy to build about 1 GW new wind farms each year till 2030. If one looks at the new EU renewables target - which is 40% of energy by 2030 - then Italy will have to raise the bar even higher.

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