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Italy Implements Ban on PV Solar Installations in Agricultural Zones

published: 2024-05-13 17:04

The Italian government has unveiled a fresh decree that enforces a comprehensive prohibition on solar installations within agricultural areas. Notably, this new regulation excludes projects that are currently in the midst of the approval process.

The Italian government has enacted a fresh decree barring the establishment of large-scale solar installations on active agricultural terrain. The decree’s overarching objective is to safeguard Italian agricultural land from degradation, thereby preventing desertification. Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida emphasized the need to regulate photovoltaic panel deployment, emphasizing that land designated for energy production should be conducive to agricultural activities.

Lollobrigida emphasized that solar installations are not permitted in agricultural zones. He highlighted the favorable tax incentives available to agricultural entrepreneurs and underscored that deploying photovoltaic modules alters the land’s intended purpose. Consequently, such practices are not deemed appropriate. Lollobrigida clarified that the new regulations will exempt agrivoltaic facilities from these restrictions.

The government clarified that energy production will remain permissible in quarries, mines, areas allocated to state railway concessions, areas designated for airport concessionaires, regions safeguarding motorway strips, and within industrial plant premises, among other designated locations.

Lollobrigida assured that the government will uphold all projects currently in the approval pipeline. "We prioritize legal certainty, meaning the regulations apply to future endeavors and not retroactively to projects already underway or those where companies have rightfully invested funds," he affirmed.

The latest regulations have drawn criticism from the local photovoltaic (PV) sector. Italian trade body Italia Solare expressed concerns, stating, “Based on the information gleaned from the Council of Ministers' press conference, the government’s decision to impose unwarranted restrictions on photovoltaic installations in agricultural areas appears to disregard previously ratified commitments.”

The Italian agricultural association Coldiretti has applauded the decision to curb speculation by large investment funds, which has posed a threat to agricultural production. Coldiretti has advocated for some time for the identification of appropriate areas for ground-mounted photovoltaic installations.

From PV Magazine

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