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MET Italia Energy Solutions will support energy communities

MET Italia Energy Solutions will support energy communities

May 7, 2024
Giuseppe Rebuzzini: “We start with a 5 million-euro investment and an initial target of 20-25 communities, ready to increase the effort tenfold. The competition with Legambiente? A prize for courageous developers in a complex system.”

Source: Quotidiano Energia

MET Italia enters the Renewable Energy Community (REC) market by launching an Energy Service Company (ESCO), ready to increase the initial investments tenfold. Together with Legambiente, the company has also promoted an award dedicated to Renewable and Supportive Energy Communities, for which there is a deadline to apply until 12 May.

“RECs are the novelty par excellence of the European and national energy scene in recent years.” An innovation that is “in some respects revolutionary because it overturns the usual producer-seller-consumer paradigm, giving the latter the ability to participate in generation decisions and its sharing within a community,” stresses CEO Giuseppe Rebuzzini in an interview with Quotidiano Energia.

Precisely in the light of this “exceptionality”, explains the manager, “we thought together with Legambiente and our colleagues in the Green Assets Division” to initiate the competition, which “has two merits: on the one hand it wants to be the right prize for courageous developers of REC and on the other hand it aims to keep the focus on these initiatives that all citizens can realise”.

Why brave developers? “Because although there has been a great deal of legislative work and work by the GSE[1] (“Gestore Servizi Energetici”, Energy Services Provider) to denote the rules, it remains a complex system. So there is a lot to do, not only for the technicians, who have to build the systems, but also for the lawyers who have to structure, almost on a case-by-case basis, the communities to make function in the best possible way.”

The judgement on the measures put in place is nevertheless positive. “From the point of view of creating the legislative and regulatory structure,” comments Rebuzzini, “the objective has been achieved and also on the communication front, above all, GSE is moving in a very active, determined and, I would say, unprecedented way - in fact, I don't remember ever having seen the GSE touring Italy to sponsor initiatives.

This testifies that the mandate has been clear and that RECs are seen as an opportunity for the development of widespread self-generation, which has several goals: the development of small-scale renewable energy sources, empowering end-users, and reducing the impact on the national transport grid." The CEO of MET Italia highlights that even at the local level, there are regions "that are moving and engaging in communication about RECs, such as Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna".

In short, there is no doubt that REC “is causing a great deal of interest. Of course,” observes Rebuzzini, “it is true that many things in Italy started with a lot of buzz and then had little success. Two-three years ago, for example, there was a lot of talk about Uvams (in English[2] Mixed Enabled Virtual Units), then some were done but relatively few. Now the focus at the technical level is on the major reform of Tide[3] (“Testo Integrato del Dispacciamento Elettrico“, Integrated Text of Electricity Dispatching) and the possibility of decoupling dispatching from the provision of balancing services, which is a bit of a substitute for the Uvam but with more stringent criteria’. REC is, however, “more communicable and impactful for a large number of end-users, if we operators and citizens are able to develop technically efficient plans,” the CEO points out.

Turning to the company's objectives, “our strategy,” the manager reveals, “is to build plants with a capacity of less than one MW, and then make them available to RECs already created or in the process of being created, whose establishment and development we are willing to support. To this end, we are setting up an ESCO that will have an initial investment capacity of 5 million euro to build small-scale PV plants. We envision to build 20-25 of them for a total of 5 MW, and if all these projects result in the creation of RECs, we estimate involving 5,000 residential users in these projects.”

The ESCO, he continues, “should start up in May, will be based in Milan, and be called MET Italia Energy Solutions”. The initial targets, Rebuzzini clarifies, are “minimum targets to test the complexity of the market. If everything goes according to plan, the group intends to significantly increase, up to 10 times the initial investment and everything that follows from it."

“A successful energy transition requires consumers, regulators, and energy companies to all play their part,” says Christian Hürlimann, CEO of MET Renewables. "All stakeholders have put a lot on the table for a sustainable future in Italy. MET Group wants to actively contribute to this evolution, and our portfolio of nearly 500 MW of projects, held through two investment vehicles, will allow us to do so," he concludes.


[1] GSE is a company that plays a fundamental role in promoting sustainable development through the management of incentive mechanisms related to energy. Controlled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, it handles economic incentives for the production of energy from renewable sources and high-efficiency cogeneration plants.

[2] UVAM are groups of electricity production units classed as not significant (programmable or non-programmable), and demand units that act through an aggregator (BSP or Balancing Services Provider) as a virtual generation and consumption system.

[3] TIDE is a reform concerning the energy sector promoted by ARERA (Authority for Electricity Networks and Environment Regulation), which marks a significant turning point in the regulation of electricity dispatching in Italy, introducing changes aimed at modernizing and making the entire energy system more efficient.