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about green certificates
The mechanism of green certificates (CV) is a form of incentives for the production of electricity from renewable sources. This mechanism is based on the mandatory rule that producers and importers of electricity generated from non-renewable sources, must annually introduce into the national electricity system a minimum share of electricity produced by plants using renewable sources. In fact, the green certificate, which conventionally attests the production of 1 MWh of renewable energy is issued by the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici SpA - GSE – upon request of the holder of a IAFR- qualified plant ( a plant powered by renewable sources) and it has a negotiable value of 1 MWh.

The requirement may also be satisfied through the purchase of CV, corresponding to the amount due, proving the generation of electricity from renewable sources carried out by any other producer.

The Leg. Decree 79/99, Art. 11, states that, as of 2002, manufacturers and importers of electricity produced from non-renewable sources are required to introduce a certain share of electricity in the grid per year, generated by plants using renewable sources. This share is equal to 2% of the electricity produced or imported from non-renewable sources in the previous year, exceeding 100 GWh / year.

As of 2004 to 2006, the minimum share of electricity generated from renewable sources to be put into the grid in the following year was increased by 0.35% per annum. The 2008 Budget Law has subsequently predicted that in 2007-2012, the share were to be increased by 0.75% per annum. According to the provisions of Law 244/07, the production of electricity from renewable sources in plants which began operating or had been repowered as of 1 April 1999 until 31 December 2007 is entitled to receive a certification attesting its generation from renewable sources (green certificate) for the first twelve years of operation. The production of electricity from renewable sources in plants which began operating or had been repowered with effect as of 1 January 2008, however, is entitled to receive certification of renewable energy production for the first fifteen years of operation.

For plants that entered into service after December 31, 2007-of annual average nominal power exceeding 1 MW and 0.2 MW for wind power plants - the GSE releases CVs for 15 years, recognized by multiplying the net energy recognized at the intervention carried out for the constants, differentiated by source, Table 2 of the 2008 Budget Law, subsequently updated by Law 99 of 23/07/2009 as shown below:


Source Multiplicative Factor
1        Wind (plants with a capacity of more than 200 kW) 1.00
1 bis   Off-shore wind 1.50
3        Geothermal 0.90
4        Waves and tides 1.80
5        Hydro (other than the one indicated in the previous point) 1.00
6        Biodegradable waste and biomass (other than the one indicated in the following point)* 1.30
7        Biomass and biogases obtained from agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry on a
          short supply-line basis
8        Landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogases (other than the ones indicated in
          the previous point)

*Pursuant to art. 18, paragraph 3, of the Ministerial Decree of 6th July 2012, the biogas produced by the fermentation of the organic fraction of municipal waste falls between the sources referred to in line n. 6. As a result of the enactment of the Decree of 18 December 2008, GSE makes adjustments for eligible RES (“IAFR”) plants, i.e. issues additional Green Certificates by applying the multiplicative factors reported in the above table.

The Legislative Decree n.28  of 3 March 2011, regarding the " Implementation of Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC" there has been a reshaping of the electric energy incentive system from renewable sources , foreseeing, among other things that the present market system based on the (GC) Green Certificates be gradually replaced by a feed-in tariff system.
Among the innovations, it is envisaged that those plants powered by  renewable sources to be enforced by December 31st, 2012 with a view to protecting the investments yet to be completed, shall keep receiving GCs, whereas as of 2013, the new plants will receive a fixed tariff according to the energy being produced, on the basis of the general criteria which will have to guarantee a fair payment of operation and investment costs.
Furthermore, the duration of the incentive shall be equal to the average life of the specific plant technology.
The incentive will be constant throughout the support period and granted under private-law contracts with GSE:
  • the amount of the incentive for plants below a given threshold – different for the different sources and anyway not below 5 MW – will be differentiated by technology and equal to the one applicable upon commissioning of the plant;
  • for plants above the aforementioned threshold, the incentive will be determined through Dutch auctions (each concerning a capacity quota to be installed for each source or technology) organised by GSE.
Furthermore, the Decree envisages that- for the energy producers and importers of conventional sources- that the obligation quota percentage of energy produced by renewable sources ( art 11, paragraph 1 and 2 of legislative decree n. 79 dated March 16th, 1999) to be entered into the network, equal to 7,55% for 2012, starting from 2013 will reduce, in a linear way, up to dwindling itself up to zero by 2015.

The Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development, dated July 6th, 2012 stating " Energy incentives resulting from non photovoltaic renewable sources  " ( electrical DM FER) which made it possible the implementation of art.24  of Legislative Decree, n 28 dated March 30th, 2011, envisaged also the following:
  • For the period after 2015, the conversion into incentive of the right to GCs, as far as incentivised plants are concerned, through the acknowledgment of the GCs, according to the specific ways being defined by GSE and consequently being published on its internet website.
  • from 2013 to 2016, the offer by GSE to those liable entities, according to art.11 of Legislative Decree n.79 of 1999, of the withdrawn certificates pursuant to the same decree dated July 6th, 2012 at a price equal to the withdrawal one, and that the transactions related to such a purchase take place by means of the Market of the Green Certificates managed by GME itself.

CVs related to production prior to 2013 are released ex post or as offset in case they have been received ex ante. Producers who have requested the ex ante issue of green certificates are then always required to offset the emission and send a copy of the yearly consumption to the Customs Agency, attesting the actual production of electricity generated over the year the Green Certificates refer to, as defined in the "application Procedure for the issue, management and withdrawal of Green Certificates".
The Ministerial Decree of 6 July 2012 also provided that, as of 2013,  the issue  of Green Certificates is made according to the information provided monthly by the network Operators and therefore they are no longer under the CV ex ante terms of issue of the CV which was based on the guarantee on expected production or on the basis of the suretyship contract.
The CVs are issued on a monthly basis, subject to the obtainment by network operators of the measures of gross output and energy fed into the grid, in relation to  the RES- IAFR plants. CVs are then classified according to the year and month of reference in order to correctly identify the relevant quarter for the subsequent withdrawal.
The Green Certificates Market organised by GME provides:

liquidity: as per art. 9 of the Ministerial Decree of 24 Oct. 2005, GSE will offer its own Green Certificates in GME’s regulated market;

transparency: the prices that are set in the market are of public domain;

security: GME operates in the market as a CENTRAL COUNTERPARTY and guarantees the payment of transactions. 
The ordinary sessions usually take place on a weekly basis, through continuous trading. The dates of the sessions are published in the "How to operate" section.

GSE-dedicated sessions are held according to a schedule published by the GME published on its corporate website in the section "How to operate." The dates of the sessions will also be published on the GSE website.

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