Overall assessment

The revision to Italy’s recovery and resilience plan, which includes the addition of the new REPowerEU chapter, focuses more on positive initiatives aimed at addressing climate change and supporting the decarbonisation process. For example, more than half of the newly allocated funds (EUR 19.6 billion of the Repower EU) are allocated to measures which will contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

  • three of the foreseen policy reforms are positive for the energy transition process: a gradual rationalization and suppression of subsidies for fossil fuels, a unified act on RES production, the setup of guarantee mechanisms for PPA contracts.

  • EUR 4 billion in new funds has been allocated through the Superbonus scheme, which aims to help citizens, especially vulnerable consumers, adopt energy efficiency measures in their homes.

    There are however certain negative aspects and inconsistencies in the revised Italian recovery and resilience plan, including:

The Italian government approved an updated version of the National Energy and Climate Plan in June 2023, just one month before the release of the updated version of the recovery and resilience plan which includes the Repower EU chapter, nonetheless the two documents are not well aligned on some aspects. For example, the new recovery and resilience plan envisages the approval of a unified act on RES production, which is not foreseen in the NECP.

  • The updated recovery and resilience plan and REPowerEU includes the financing of 2 new gas infrastructures (EUR 420 million), which were not previously included in the recovery and resilience plan and which are not appropriately substantiated (in terms of need and security of supply) to justify the use of public money for their realization.

  • The withdrawal of funding for some measures included in the initial recovery and resilience plan (to set aside funds for different/new measures of the updated recovery and resilience plan) affected a significant amount of the measures specifically addressing municipalities, like the funds for urban regeneration (EUR 3.3 billion) and the funds for resilience, territorial development and energy efficiency (EUR 6 billion). This has been justified on the grounds of the perceived incapability of local administrations to efficiently absorb the funds. However, instead of ameliorating this lack of local capacity, the Italian government chose to recentralise the investments.

  • The consultation process for the updated recovery and resilience plan and REPowerEU was not very transparent, especially with reference to the proposed new gas infrastructures