An Italian scheme worth €1.2 billion (£1bn) to support investments in solar energy in the agricultural sector has been granted approval by the European Commission.
The scheme, which will run until 30th June 2026, will back agricultural, breeding and agro-industrial companies to invest in the use of renewable energy.
The support will take the form of direct grants covering up to 90% of the eligible investment costs, with beneficiaries suggested to invest in solar capacities that do not exceed their energy needs.
It will be entirely funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), following the Commission’s positive assessment of Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The Commission found the scheme has an “incentive effect” as it believes the beneficiaries of the funding would not carry out the investments to the same extent in the absence of the aid.
Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €1.2 billion scheme approved today will contribute to reaching Italy’s climate objectives by encouraging operators in the agricultural sector, such as farmers and processing companies, to use renewable energy.
“Not only the measure will contribute to EU Green Deal objectives but it will also support the economic development of rural areas in Italy, while limiting possible distortions of competition.”