Commission OKs 5.7 bn in Italian State aid for renewables

The European Commission said Wednesday that it has approved a 5.7-billion-euro Italian State aid scheme to support renewable-energy communities and self-consumers.

Energy communities are legal entities that empower citizens, small businesses and local authorities to produce, manage and consume their own energy.

They can cover various parts of the energy value chain, including production, distribution, supply, consumption, and aggregation.

The scheme will be partly funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF’) as part of Italy’s post-Covid National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), a huge programme that seeks to make the Italian economy Greener and more modern with projects funded with the help of almost 200 billion euros in EU grants and low-interest loans.

The scheme supports the construction of renewable power generation installations, as well as the expansion of existing ones.

Beneficiaries are small projects, with capacity of up to 1 MW, which can access the scheme on a first come, first served basis.

Environment and Energy Security Minister Gilberto Pichetto hailed the decision as a “historic turning point in the relationship between citizens and energy.

“Now the renewable-energy communities will be able to become a widespread reality in our country, developing renewable-energy sources and finally making the national territory a lead player in future of the nation’s energy,” he continued.

“Each citizen will be able to contribute to the production of renewable energy, and enjoy the economic benefits of self-consumption, thanks to the energy communities”.