Cura Italia Decree: new measures concerning hydroelectric concessions

Prepared by the Energy Team

The text of the Conversion Draft Law (the “Draft Law“) of Decree Law no. 18 of March 17, 2020, better known as “Cura Italia”, approved by the Senate on 9 April 2020, contains relevant news, also in relation to the hydroelectric sector.

Specifically, the Draft Law proposes to further extend the deadline granted to the Regions for the adoption of measures concerning the methods and procedures for the award of hydroelectric concessions, also in response to the need, expressed by various industry associations, to avoid any changes to the regulatory framework during the current emergency, in order to protect the operators.

According to these associations, already opposed to the prospect of a regionally differentiated regulation in this strategic sector, the immediate introduction of local regulations, in the current context, would increase the risk of producing uncoordinated and discriminatory implementations.

In addition, the entry into force of regional regulations could entail a number of additional economic and procedural burdens for the concessionaires of major hydroelectric branches that are difficult to sustain even under normal conditions, concessionaires who, like other electrical operators, are currently making remarkable efforts to ensure the supply of a key service.

In order to meet the requests of Italian trade associations, the Government, when converting Cura Italia, has added to Article 125 of Cura Italia Decree further provisions aimed at guaranteeing the permanence of the current regulatory framework. Specifically, as mentioned above, the deadline originally set for the issuance by the Regions of the regulation concerning the modalities and procedures for the award of major hydroelectric branches has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 31 October 2020. In addition, for all the Regions involved in the 2020 regional elections (e.g. Veneto, Campania, Liguria, Tuscany, Apulia, Emilia-Romagna, Calabria, Marche and Valle d’Aosta), this deadline has been further extended by 7 months, starting from the date of assignment (data di insediamento) of the new Regional Council.

Moreover, when approving the Draft Law, the Senate has also expressed its opinion on the extension of three terms provided for by Legislative Decree no. 79 of 16 March 1999 on the Implementation of Directive 96/92/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity (Legislative Decree 79/1999).

In particular, it is expected:

  • the extension to 31 July 2022 of the deadline of 31 December 2021 provided for in paragraph 1-quater, second sentence, of Article 12 of Legislative Decree 79/1999 in relation to the adoption of the ministerial decree for the identification of the methods and types of procedures for the assignment of major hydroelectric branches in the event of failure to comply with the start-up deadline, set at two years from the entry into force of the relevant regional law;
  • the extension to 31 October 2020 of the deadline of 31 March 2020 provided for in paragraph 1-sexies of Article 12 of Legislative Decree 79/1999, which was assigned to the Regions to regulate the terms, conditions, quantification of the additional fees and any other resulting obligation to be borne by the outgoing concessionaire for the continuation, on behalf of the Regions themselves, of the operation of the derivations, works and facilities beyond the expiration of the concession and for the time required to complete the award procedures, at the time scheduled for 31 July 2024.
  • that this last deadline will apply both to major hydroelectric branches expiring on 31 December 2023 and to concessions expiring before 31 July 2024.

At this point, we are still waiting for the final approval of the Draft Law.

Let’s Talk

For a deeper discussion, please contact:

Tommaso Tomaiuolo

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti


Federica De Luca

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti

Senior Manager

Daniele Archilletti

PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti