The Minister of Energy Transition Roberto Cingolani, scientific director of the prestigious Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa since 2005, says that there is nothing else to do but work belly to earth to actively pursue the three main points concerning renewable energy in our country: 1. Strengthening the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC). 2. Simplification of authorization procedures 3. Overcoming regional and institutional disputes regarding large-scale renewable plants.

During the “Our Italy” event organized by Legambiente on March 30, 2021, Cingolani talked about these issues by addressing a series of discussion proposals on how to make the Pniec more functional.
The minister also highlighted the need to align the projects that will be presented with the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) to those of the Pniec as it would be impossible to implement the investments envisaged by the Recovery Fund on the basis of the projects currently contained in the Pniec, which have become obsolete.
Regarding the timing and difficulties of the authorization procedures for large renewable energy plants, Roberto Cingolani argues that it is actually a “funnel”, “it is a serious problem” says the minister because if the authorization procedures slow down, investors run away and go to spend elsewhere, while the targets are not reached with great harm to the environment and the economy in general.

The minister believes that there is also a regulatory problem regarding the procurement code for “large purchases”. “Purchases are complex, in short, we have to get our hands heavily on the methods, on the procedures,” he said. “I deeply hope that it is an opportunity to put them back in place in a lasting way and not specifically only for the NRP, because always working on the emergency or on the contingent situation does not help”; “it would be ideal to take advantage of this situation to be able to make some more radical and lasting changes”, he added.
Regarding the social “acceptance” of large renewable plants, Cingolani said that “we have a problem within the problem”, as territorial consultations are part of the authorization process.

“We need to strengthen consultations, but also make sure that the agreements are clear, so as not to end up in the administrative courts to unblock the authorizations”, “We need a pact between all the parties involved, a pact of acceptance of a situation that we must necessarily carry on ”.
A simpler and more linear development of projects will depend on the ability of developers and industrial subjects to know how to convey to the territory what are the advantages of the works to be built. “We all agree in wanting to enhance consultations in such a way that they become an instrument of progress and not an instrument of blocking, of regression, but this can only be done if we associate it with an appropriate dissemination work”, underlined Cingolani. “Perhaps some things need to be explained better, to make it clear, even before the consultation, that a compromise is needed between installing a system and de-carbonizing the environment and this must be clear and must be understood very well”.
The minister then underlined the importance of the incentive policy, which must lead Italy “towards 70-72% of renewables”, in addition to the need to develop energy storage systems produced from renewable sources.

With regard to the coexistence between agriculture and ground photovoltaics, the negative position of the Minister of the 5 Star Movement Stefano Patuanelli, current Minister of Agricultural Policies and before that at the head of the Ministry of Economic Development with the government of Giuseppe Conte, is recorded.
Patuanelli’s orientation is in contradiction with the orientation of increasing and strengthening the Pniec. “I believe that we must abandon the path of photovoltaics on the ground that affects agricultural production too much,” said Patuanelli. “Through the Crea (Council for research in agriculture and the analysis of the agricultural economy) solutions are being studied for suspended photovoltaic systems, under which it is possible to grow some crops that benefit from the shade created by the plants. But it is still a very expensive technology that needs to be developed”.