The Italian government has announced a ban on large-scale solar PV on farm land.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the decision aims to “avoid desertification” of Italian agricultural land.

Minister for agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida and minister for the environment Gilberto Pichetto Fratin made the announcement on Monday 6 May following a council of ministers meeting in Rome.

Minister Lollobrigida said that he wanted to regulate the use of solar PV on land, adding that energy production must be compatible with agricultural production.

Tax provisions

"There are very advantageous tax provisions for agricultural entrepreneurs and agricultural land.

"However, if you want to deploy photovoltaic panels on the ground, you are changing the intended use of the same and therefore we do not believe that this type of practice should continue,” Lollobrigida said.

Areas where it will still be possible to continue producing energy are, according to the Italian government, in quarries, mines, state railway, areas protecting the motorway strip and areas inside industrial plants, among others.

It is understood that all projects in the process of approval will go ahead and be safeguarded by government.

“For us, legal certainty applies and therefore the rules are valid for what will happen and not for what has already happened or on which companies have legitimately entrusted their funds or investments,” Lollobrigida said.