National Energy Efficiency Fund
The National Energy Efficiency Fund favors the interventions necessary to achieve the national energy efficiency objectives, promoting the involvement of financial institutions, both national and EU, and private investors on the basis of adequate risk sharing.
Established at the Ministry of Economic Development (Article 15, paragraph 1, of Legislative Decree no.102 of July 4th 2014), the Fund is governed by the inter-ministerial decree of December 22th 2017.
The Fund supports energy efficiency interventions carried out by companies, including ESCOs, and by the Public Administration, on buildings, plants and production processes.
Specifically, the supported interventions must concern:
- the reduction of energy consumption in industrial processes,
- the construction and expansion of district heating networks,
- the efficiency of public services and infrastructures, including public lighting,
- the energy upgrading of buildings.
White certificates, also known as “Energy Efficiency Certificates” (TEE), are negotiable securities that certify the achievement of energy savings in the final uses of energy through interventions and projects to increase energy efficiency.
The white certificate system requires electricity and natural gas distributors to achieveprimary energy savings targets annually, expressed in saved tons of oil equivalent (TOE).
The management, assessment and certification of savings related to energy efficiency projects conducted under the white certificate mechanism are entrusted to the Energy Services Manager.
The operating rules of white certificates have been updatedwith the decrees of January 11th 2017 and May 8th 2018.
With the decree of April 30th 2019, the Operational Guide was approved to promote the identification, definition and presentation of projects within the framework of the White Certificates mechanism.
The Guide, drawn up by the GSE, contains useful information for the preparation and presentation of requests for access to incentives as well as indications on the potential for energy savings deriving from the application of the best technologies available in the main production sectors.
The decree also updates the table containing the types of projects eligible for the White Certificates mechanism. With the decree of May 9th 2019, the Operational Guide for the issue of White Certificates not deriving from energy efficiency projects was approved.
The Guide, drawn up by the GSE pursuant to the interministerial decree on White Certificates (Ministerial Decree of January 11th 2017, as amended by Ministerial Decree May 10th 2018), governs the rules and obligations that obliged subjects must follow to request this type of White Certificates, useful for the purpose of achieving the obligation. The provision, which is aimed at promoting the equilibrium of the securities trading market, completes the implementing provisions provided for by the ministerial decree updated in May 2018.
The Thermal Account encourages interventions to increase energy efficiency and the production of thermal energy from renewable sources for small plants.
The beneficiaries are mainly public administrations, but also companiesand private individuals, who will be able to access funds for 900 million euros per year, of which 200 are destined for public administrations.
With the Thermal Account buildings can be upgraded to improve their energy performance, thus reducing consumption costs and quickly recovering part of the costs incurred. Recently, the Thermal Account has been renewedwith respect to the one introduced by the DM 28/12/2012 through the DM 16/02/2016. In addition to an expansion of the methods of access and of the subjects admitted (in-house companies and cooperatives of inhabitants are also included among the PAs), new energy efficiency measures are planned.
The size of admissible implants was also revisedand the direct access procedure for devices with already approved and certified characteristics was streamlined (Catalog).
HIGH EFFICIENCY COGENERATION
Cogeneration is the combined production, in a single process, electricity – or mechanical – and heat. A cogeneration unit is defined as high efficiency if the resulting value of primary energy savings (PES) is at least 10% or, in the case of micro-cogeneration units (<50 kWe) or small cogeneration (<1 MWe), if it assumes any positive value.
The GSE annually provides for the final recognition of the CAR operation and, for the cogeneration units that request it, the subsequent recognition of the CB number to which they are entitled. The GSE also examines requests for preliminary (preventive) evaluation for units not yet in operation, aimed at subsequent access to the White Certificates.
The main benefits that current legislation recognizes to High Efficiency Cogeneration are:
- the priority, in the context of dispatching, of electricity produced from cogeneration over that produced from conventional sources;
- tax concessions on the excise duty of methane gas used for cogeneration;
- the possibility of accessing the on-site Exchange service of the electricity produced by High Efficiency Cogeneration plants with nominal power up to 200 kW;
- the possibility of applying simplified technical-economic conditions for connection to the electricity grid;
- the possibility of obtaining tariff concessions for plants powered by Renewable Energy Sources;
- • the possibility of incentives for electricity produced in High Efficiency Cogeneration, net and fed into the grid by plants fueled by biomethane;
Net Meteringis a particular form of self-consumption that allows to offset the electricity produced and fed into the grid at a certain time with that taken and consumed at a time different from that in which production takes place.
In net metering, the electrical system is therefore used as a tool for the virtual storage of electricity produced but not contextually self-consumed. A necessary condition for the provision of the service is the presence of plants for the consumption and production of electricity underlying a single connection point with the public grid.
Dedicated Withdrawal is a simplified method available to producers for the marketing of the electricity produced and fed into the grid, effective from January 1st 2008.
It consists in the sale to the GSE of the electricity fed into the grid by the plants that can access it, at the request of the producer and as an alternative to the free market, according to principles of procedural simplicity and applying economic market conditions.
The GSE in fact pays the producer a certain price for each kWh fed into the grid.
The revenues deriving to producers from the sale of electricity to the GSE are therefore added to those earned from any incentive mechanisms, except in the case in which all-inclusive fixed prices, inclusive of the incentive, are applied for the withdrawal of the electricity injected into network.
In continuity with the DM 06/07/2012 and the DM 23/06/2016, from which it inherits part of the structure, the DM 04/07/2019 has the purpose of promoting, through economic support, the dissemination of production plants of electricity from small, medium and large renewable sources.
The plants that can benefit from the incentives provided for by the Decree are newly built photovoltaic, onshore wind energy, hydroelectric and finally those with purification gas.
Only plants found to be in a useful position in the rankings of one of the seven competition procedures in the Register or Reduced Auction on the value of the incentive, drawn up by GSE on the basis of specific priority criteria, may submit a request for access to the incentives.
Registration in the Registers or Auctions can be made for a single plant or for multiple plants in aggregate form, provided that they are all newly built.
The Ministerial Decree 04/07/2019 divides the plants that can access the incentives into four groups based on the type, the renewable energy source and the category of intervention:
Group A includes the plants:
- On-shore wind farms of new construction, full reconstruction, reactivation or enhancement
- Newly built photovoltaic systems
Group A includes the plants:
- newly built photovoltaic, whose modules are installed to replace roof buildings and rural buildings on which the complete removal of Eretnit or asbestos is operated
Group B includes the plants:
- hydroelectric plants of new construction, complete reconstruction (excluding plants on the aqueduct), reactivation or upgrading
- to gas residues from purification processes of new construction, reactivation or upgrading
Group C includes plants subject to total or partial reconstruction:
- “on-shore” wind farms
- gas residues from purification processes