• Italy’s third stimulus package for the country’s recovery from COVID-19 includes measures to support residential solar PV
  • There are tax relief measures for 110% for energy efficiency and retrofits for homes which includes installation of solar PV systems with or without storage
  • An EuPD Research observation is that this is an opportunity for Italian installers to brush up their skills for integrating solar with several other solutions

Italy’s residential solar PV rooftop segment has received a major boost from the Italian government’s €55 billion ($62 billion) stimulus package to revive the economy reeling from the COVID-19 impact. Called Decreto Rilancio (or Relaunch Decree in English) is the third major intervention from the government to rebuild the economy after its Cura Italia (Save Italy) package and the Liquidity Decree.

Refurbishment projects for homes and energy efficiency projects through energy retrofits including solar PV installations are now eligible for a 110% tax relief. A KPMG analysis of the decree says expenses of up to €48,000 ($54,209) can be deducted for PV system installations with maximum deductions of €2,400 ($2,710) per kW.

In case an integrated storage system is installed at the same time as the PV system, the 110% tax relief will be available with the maximum deduction of €1,000 ($1,129) per kWh for storage. Ernst and Young said, to avail of these measures, individuals will be able to offset 110% of qualified building renovation and energy efficiency costs incurred between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, against their tax liabilities in 5 equal installments up to certain thresholds.

“In the case of photovoltaic plants installed separately from an energy retrofit or earthquake proofing but as part of the renovation of an existing property or construction of a new one the maximum deduction allowed is €1,600 ($1,807) per kW (nominal capacity),” reads the KPMG report.

EuPD Research sees this as a challenge as well as an opportunity for residential solar PV installers as they would need to develop expertise to navigate through it all and in the process acquire new skills in this segment.

“The impact of COVID-19 is making it harder for solar companies to secure enough projects; in fact the Italian solar market is expected to stagnate in 2020. Nevertheless, the Ecobonus is a solid leverage, which can restore confidence in the market,” said analysts at EuPD. “If they want to succeed, installers will have to gain the expertise required to deal with the whole spectrum of solutions related to PV systems, including heating systems, storage systems and e-mobility. This might translate into a long-term competitive advantage, which will yield its benefits for a longer period than the duration of the policy program.”

In May 2020, Italian solar association Italia Solare lobbied the government to ease the permitting process as companies feared going out of business due to COVID-19.