Annual Report 2017
Country Reports


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


Italy prioritized and incentivized the deployment of renewable energies by adopting a set of rules and regulations, which transposed the EU 2009/28/CE Directive into the Italian national legislation. As anticipated, the principles and the objectives of such regulatory framework are summarized in the National Action Plan for Renewable Energies of 2010, followed in 2013 by the National Energy Strategy, which has recently been updated - NES 2017. The former also reports the relevant Italian legislation already in force at the time, and classifies legislative acts as to their compliance to specific indications of the transposed Directive.


The latest indications and regulatory measures for the operative implementation of the National Strategy and Plan were issued in D.M. 23/06/2016. The Decree updated the support scheme previously regulated by DM 6 July 2012. The latter reviewed the preceding framework based on Feed-in Tariffs and Green Certificates, for renewable plants (other than Photovoltaic) in operation starting from 1 January 2013.

The most recent Decree 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 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 alternatively receive 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 the Italian Energy Service Operator (Gestore Servizi Energetici - GSE), 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. The direct access to incentive was in force up to the end of 2017, but no plant has benefited from this incentive:



From 2013 to 2016, the total annual capacity (MW) eligible for access to registries, and therefore for the granting of incentives, amounted to 6 MW. To this day, only one project, with capacity of 99 kW, located in Tuscany, retains the right to access incentives, but it has not been realized yet. The Decree does not provide for Dutch Auctions in the case of wave and tidal energy power plants.

For new wave and tidal energy power plants, DM 23/6/2016 confirmed the previous tariff, as follows:



The Directive 2014/89/EU on Marine Spatial Planning is also relevant for the specific Blue Energy Sector, establishes a framework for the implementation of maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management by Member States, aimed at promoting the sustainable growth of maritime economies, the sustainable development of marine areas and the sustainable use of marine resources. The Directive has recently been transposed into the Italian legislation.

Italy relies on a public research programme aimed at maintaining and improving the national energy system, including the marine energy sector. Such programme, named Ricerca di Sistema (System Research), purses as its main objective the promotion, organization and management, of basic and industrial research, and of the related technological development, finally ensuring maximum fruition of results to all citizens and end users.

The Committee of Research Experts for the Electricity Sector (Comitato di Esperti di Ricerca per il Settore Elettrico - CERSE) plays a strategic role in orienting R&D activities towards the innovation of the electrical system, through funding under the EU principles that regulate State aid for Research and Development and Innovation. (Communication from the Commission 2014/C 198/01). The CERSE is composed of five members, appointed by the Minister of Economic Development, and is responsible for regulating public funding for research projects of general interest in the electricity sector.

The Ministry of Education, University and Research (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca – MIUR) has launched two calls for proposals to grant funding for strategic research activities, including the Blue Energy sector. In 2017, the following Directorial Decree was issued:

  • Decree N. 1735/13 July 2017, a call for proposals targeted at projects focused on industrial research and experimental development in the 12 areas of specialization individuated by the Italian National Research Programme (Programma Nazionale per la Ricerca – PNR) 2015-2020. The strategic areas include Blue Growth, and Blue Energy is explicitly mentioned as a relevant sector.