Company Quick10K Filing
Ellomay Capital
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-04-07
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-03-29
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-29
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-03-31
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-03-23
20-F 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-04-30
20-F 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-03-31
20-F 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-03-25
20-F 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-04-05
20-F 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-04-14
20-F 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-03-10

ELLO 20F Annual Report

Item 17 £ Item 18 £
Item 6: Directors, Senior Management and Employees 86 Directors and Senior Management 86 Compensation 88 Board Practices 93 Employees 104 Share Ownership 105
Item 9: The Offer and Listing 114 Offer and Listing Details 114 Markets 116
Part I
Item 1: Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2: Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3: Key Information
Item 4: Information on Ellomay
Item 4A: Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6: Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7: Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 8: Financial Information
Item 9: The Offer and Listing
Item 10: Additional Information
Item 11: Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12: Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities
Part II
Item 13: Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14: Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15: Controls and Procedures
Item 16: [Reserved]
Item 16A: Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B: Code of Ethics
Item 16C: Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D: Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E: Purchase of Equity Securities By The Company and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F: Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountants
Item 16G: Corporate Governance
Item 16H: Mine Safety Disclosure
Part III
Item 17: Financial Statements
Item 18: Financial Statements
Note 1 - General
Note 2 - Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2 - Significant Accounting Policies (Cont'D)
Note 3 - Cash and Cash Equivalents
Note 4 - Restricted Cash, Deposits and Marketable Securities
Note 5 - Other Receivables
Note 6 - Investee Companies and Other Investments
Note 6 - Investee Companies and Other Investments (Cont'D)
Note 7 - Fixed Assets
Note 7 - Fixed Assets (Cont'D)
Note 8 - Other Payables
Note 9 - Loans and Borrowings
Note 10 - Finance Lease Obligation
Note 10 - Finance Lease Obligation (Cont'D)
Note 11 - Long-Term Loans
Note 11 - Long-Term Loans (Cont'D)
Note 12 - Debentures
Note 12 - Debentures (Cont'D)
Note 13 - Other Long-Term Liabilities
Note 14 - Commitments and Contingent Liabilities
Note 14 - Commitments and Contingent Liabilities (Cont'D)
Note 15 - Transactions and Balances with Related Parties
Note 15 - Transactions and Balances with Related Parties (Cont'D)
Note 16 - Equity
Note 16 - Equity (Cont'D)
Note 17 - Share-Based Payment
Note 17 - Share-Based Payment (Cont'D)
Note 18 - Details of The Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Note 18 - Details of The Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) (Cont'D)
Note 19 - Taxes on Income
Note 19 - Taxes on Income (Cont'D)
Note 20 - Earnings per Share
Note 21 - Financial Instruments
Note 21 - Financial Instruments (Cont'D)
Note 22 - Segments Information
Note 23 - Subsequent Events
Note 1 - General
Note 1 - General (Cont'D)
Note 2 - Basis of Preparation
Note 2 - Basis of Preparation (Cont'D)
Note 3 - Significant Accounting Policies
Note 3 - Significant Accounting Policies (Cont'D)
Note 4 - Cash and Cash Equivalents
Note 5 - Other Receivable
Note 6 - Pledged Deposits
Note 7 - Derivative Financial Instruments
Note 7 - Derivative Financial Instruments (Cont'D)
Note 8 - Fixed Assets
Note 8 - Fixed Assets (Cont'D)
Note 9 - Loans From Banks
Note 10 - Other Payables
Note 11 - Loans From Related Parties
Note 12 - Income Tax
Note 12 - Income Tax (Cont'D)
Note 13 - Contingent Liabilities, Commitments and Guarantees
Note 13 - Contingent Liabilities, Commitments and Guarantees (Cont'D)
Note 14 - Share Capital
Note 15 - General and Administrative Expenses
Note 16 - Financing Income and Expenses, Net
Note 17 - Financial Instruments
Note 17 - Financial Instruments (Cont'D)
Note 18 - Related and Interested Parties
Note 18 - Related and Interested Parties (Cont'D)
EX-8 exhibit_8.htm
EX-12.1 exhibit_12-1.htm
EX-12.2 exhibit_12-2.htm
EX-13 exhibit_13.htm
EX-15.1 exhibit_15-1.htm
EX-15.2 exhibit_15-2.htm
EX-15.3 exhibit_15-3.htm
EX-15.4 exhibit_15-4.htm
EX-15.5 exhibit_15-5.htm
EX-15.6 exhibit_15-6.htm

Ellomay Capital Earnings 2015-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 zk1618230.htm 20-F zk1618230.htm


  UNITED STATES
  SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549 

 
FORM 20-F
 
(Mark One)
 
¨
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR
 
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
 
OR
 
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR
 
¨
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
Date of event requiring this shell company report……
 
 
For the transition period from __________________ to __________________
 
Commission File Number 001-35284

ELLOMAY CAPITAL LTD.
(Exact Name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
ISRAEL
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
9 Rothschild Boulevard, 2nd floor
Tel Aviv 6688112, Israel
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
Kalia Weintraub, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +972-3-797-1111; Facsimile: +972-3-797-1122
9 Rothschild Boulevard, 2nd floor
Tel Aviv 6688112, Israel
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Ordinary Shares, par value NIS 10.00 per share
NYSE MKT
 
 
 

 
 
    Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
None 

Title of Class
 
    Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
 
None
Title of Class
 
    Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:  10,678,8881 ordinary shares, NIS 10.00 par value per share.

    Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
 
Yes £       No x
 
    If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
 
Yes £       No x
  
    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
 
Yes x        No £

    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
 
Yes £       No £

    Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
 
Large accelerated filer £                                           Accelerated filer £                                Non-accelerated filer x
 
    Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP £            International Financial Reporting Standards as issued x                 Other £
by the International Accounting Standards Board
 
    If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
 
Item 17 £      Item 18 £

    If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act):
 
Yes £        No x



 
 
 
 
ii

 
 
 Table of Contents
 
Page
 
 
   Part I
 
  7
       
 
  7
       
 
  7
  Selected Financial Data
7
  Capitalization and Indebtedness
9
  Risk Factors
9
 
Item 4:                   Information on Ellomay
 25
                             History and Development of Ellomay
25
                             Business Overview
26
                             Organizational Structure
 67
                             Property, Plants and Equipment
 67
   
Item 4A:                Unresolved Staff Comments  69
 
    69
  Operating Results
69
  Liquidity and Capital Resources
76
  Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.
84
  Trend Information
84
  Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
85
  Contractual Obligations
85
 
    86
  Directors and Senior Management
 
86
  Compensation   88
  Board Practices   93
  Employees   104
  Share Ownership   105
 
 
1

 
 
 
109
 
Major Shareholders
109
 
Related Party Transactions
112
     
113
 
Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
114
 
Significant Changes
 
114
 
114
 
Offer and Listing Details
114
 
Markets
116
     
116
 
Share Capital
  116
 
Memorandum of Association and Second Amended and Restated Articles
  116
  Material Contracts 124
  Exchange Controls
126
  Taxation
124
 
Dividends and Paying Agents
  126
 
Statement by Experts
126
  Documents on Display 132
 
2

 
 
Part II
  136
  136
Item 15:                 Controls and Procedures
  136
  137
Item 16B:              Code of Ethics
  137
138
  138
  139
 139
Item 16G:              Corporate Governance
140
Item 16H:              Mine Safety Disclosure
 140
 
Part III
 
Item 17:                 Financial Statements  142
Item 18:                 Financial Statements  142
Item 19:                 Exhibits  143
 
3

 



INTRODUCTION
 
    The following is the Report on Form 20-F of Ellomay Capital Ltd., or the Report. Unless the context in which such terms are used would require a different meaning, all references to “Ellomay,” “us,” “we,” “our” or the “Company” refer to Ellomay Capital Ltd. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
 
    All references to “$,” “dollar,” “US$” or “U.S. dollar” are to the legal currency of the United States of America, references to “NIS” or “New Israeli Shekel” are to the legal currency of Israel and references to “€,” “Euro” or “EUR” are to the legal currency of the European Union.
 
    We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, or IASB.
 
    All trademarks, service marks, trade names and registered marks used in this report are trademarks, trade names or registered marks of their respective owners.
 
    Statements made in this Report concerning the contents of any agreement, contract or other document are summaries of such agreements, contracts or documents and are not complete description of all of their terms. If we filed any of these agreements, contracts or documents as exhibits to this Report or to any previous filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, you may read the document itself for a complete understanding of its terms.
 
 
4

 
 
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
       In addition to historical information, this report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements. Some of the statements under “Item 3.D: Risk Factors,” “Item 4: Information on Ellomay,” “Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and elsewhere in this report, constitute forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or other future financial performance, and are identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “scheduled,” “plan,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “aim,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of those terms or other comparable terminology, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
 
       The forward-looking statements contained in this report are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and the potential effects on our business. There can be no assurance that future developments actually affecting us will be those anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the following:

·
Amendments, including retroactive amendments, to the regulations governing the photovoltaic markets in which we operate or to which we may in the future enter;
 
·
the market, economic and political factors in Italy, in Spain, in Luxemburg and generally in Europe, in Israel and worldwide;
 
·
our contractors’ technical, professional and financial ability to deliver on and comply with their operation and maintenance undertakings in connection with the operation of our photovoltaic plants;
 
·
our ability to  maintain expertise in the photovoltaic market and the energy market, and to track, monitor and manage the projects which we have undertaken;
 
·
our ability to meet our undertakings under various financing agreements, including to our debenture holders, and our ability to raise additional equity or debt financing in the future;
 
·
the risks we are exposed to due to our holdings in U. Dori Energy Infrastructures Ltd. and Dorad Energy Ltd.;
 
·
fluctuations in the value of currency;
 
·
the price and market liquidity of our ordinary shares;
 
·
the fact that we may be deemed to be an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act of 1940 under certain circumstances (including as a result of the investments of assets following the sale of our business), and the risk that we may be required to take certain actions with respect to the investment of our assets or the distribution of cash to shareholders in order to avoid being deemed an “investment company”;
 
 
5

 
 
·
our plans with respect to the management of our financial and other assets and our ability to identify, evaluate and consummate additional suitable business opportunities and strategic alternatives; and
 
·
the possibility of future litigation.
 
       Assumptions relating to the foregoing involve judgment with respect to, among other things, future economic, competitive and market conditions, and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond our control. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking information included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that our objectives or plans will be achieved. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations or projections include the risks and uncertainties relating to our business described in this report under “Item 3.D: Risk Factors,” “Item 4: Information on Ellomay,” “Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and elsewhere in this report. In addition, new factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s analysis as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date hereof, except as required by applicable law. In addition to the disclosure contained herein, readers should carefully review any disclosure of risks and uncertainties contained in other documents that we file from time to time with the SEC.

       To the extent that this Report contains forward-looking statements (as distinct from historical information), we desire to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and we are therefore including this statement for the express purpose of availing ourselves of the protections of the safe harbor with respect to all forward-looking statements.
 
 
6

 
 
PART I

ITEM 1: Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

Not Applicable.

ITEM 2: Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

Not Applicable.

ITEM 3: Key Information

 
A.
Selected Financial Data

For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, we have prepared our consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS, as issued by the IASB.

The financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 were audited by Somekh Chaikin, an independent registered public accounting firm and a member of KPMG International. The consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, and for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2015, and the report thereon, are included elsewhere in this annual report.

 We currently own twelve operating photovoltaic plants in Italy, with an aggregate installed capacity of approximately 22.6 megawatt peak, or MWp and four operating photovoltaic plants in Spain, with an aggregate installed capacity of approximately 7.9 MWp, or, each, a PV Plant and, together, the PV Plants, and indirectly hold approximately 9.2% of the equity of Dorad Energy Ltd., or Dorad (and an option to increase such holdings to 9.375%). See “Item 4.A: History and Development of Ellomay” and “Item 4.B: Business Overview” for more information.

The selected consolidated financial data set forth below should be read in conjunction with and is qualified by reference to our consolidated financial statements and the related notes, as well as “Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”

The tables below set forth selected consolidated financial data under IFRS as issued by the IASB for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. The information included in the tables has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. The audited consolidated financial statements at December 31, 2015 and 2014 and for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, appear at the end of this report.
 
 
7

 

Consolidated Statements of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
(in thousands of U.S. Dollars except per share and share data)

   
For Year ended December 31,
 
   
2015
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
 
Revenues
  $ 13,817     $ 15,782     $ 12,982     $ 8,890     $ 6,114  
Operating expenses
    2,854       3,087       2,381       1,954       1,391  
Depreciation expenses
    4,912       5,452       4,021       2,717       1,777  
Gross profit
    6,051       7,243       6,580       4,219       2,946  
General and administrative expenses
    3,745       4,253       3,449       3,110       3,102  
Share of profits (losses) of equity accounted investee
    2,446       1,819       (540 )     (232 )     (596 )
Other income (expense), net
    21       1,438       (42 )     146       -  
Gain on bargain purchase
    -       3,995       10,237       -       -  
Capital loss, net
    -       -       -       (394 )     -  
                                         
Operating profit (loss)
    4,773       10,242       12,786       629       (752 )
Financing income
    2,347       2,245       204       550       1,971  
Financing income (expenses) in connection with derivatives, net
    3,485       (1,048 )     1,543       (2,277 )     (2,601 )
Financing expenses
    (5,240 )     (4,592 )     (4,201 )     (2,046 )     (608 )
Financing income (expenses), net
    592       (3,395 )     (2,454 )     (3,773 )     (1,238 )
                                         
Profit (loss) before taxes on income
    5,365       6,847       10,332       (3,144 )     (1,990 )
Tax benefit (taxes on income)
    1,933       (201 )     (245 )     1,011       1,018  
                                         
Profit (loss) for the year
    7,298       6,646       10,087       (2,133 )     (972 )
                                         
Profit (Loss) attributable to:
                                       
Owners of the Company
    7,553       6,658       10,068       (2,110 )     (972 )
Non-controlling interests
    (255 )     (12 )     19       (23 )     -  
Profit (loss) for the year
    7,298       6,646       10,087       (2,133 )     (972 )
                                         
Other comprehensive income (loss) items
                                       
    that after initial recognition in comprehensive income (loss) were or will be transferred to profit or loss:
                                       
    Foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations
    (141 )     (3,199 )     6,038       1,620       (3,698 )
                                         
Other comprehensive income items that will not be transferred to profit or loss:
                                       
    Presentation currency translation adjustments
    (6,947 )     (9,082 )     -       -       -  
Total other comprehensive income (loss)
    (7,088 )     (12,281 )     6,038       1,620       (3,698 )
Total comprehensive income (loss) for the year
    210       (5,635 )     16,125     $ 513     $ (4,670 )
                                         
Basic earnings (loss) per share
  $ 0.7     $ 0.62     $ 0.94     $ (0.2 )   $ (0.09 )
                                         
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
  $ 0.7     $ 0.62     $ 0.94     $ (0.2 )   $ (0.09 )
Weighted average number of shares used for computing basic earnings (loss) per share
    10,715,634       10,692,371       10,692,371       10,709,294       10,775,458  
Weighted average number of shares used for computing diluted earnings (loss) per share
   
10,758,370
      10,808,288       10,752,808       10,709,294       10,775,458  
 
Other financial data (in thousands of U.S. Dollars)
   
For Year ended December 31,
 
   
2015
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
 
EBITDA (1) 
  $ 9,685     $ 15,694     $ 16,807     $ 3,346     $ 1,025  

________________________________
(1)
EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure and is defined as earnings before financial expenses, net, taxes, depreciation and amortization. We present this measure to enhance the understanding of our historical financial performance and to enable comparability between periods. While we consider EBITDA to be an important measure of comparative operating performance, EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income or other statement of operations or cash flow data prepared in accordance with IFRS as a measure of profitability or liquidity. EBITDA does not take into account our commitments, including capital expenditures and restricted cash and, accordingly, is not necessarily indicative of amounts that may be available for discretionary uses. Not all companies calculate EBITDA in the same manner, and the measure as presented may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures presented by other companies. Our EBITDA may not be indicative of our historic operating results; nor is it meant to be predictive of potential future results.
 
 
8

 
 
Reconciliation of Net income (loss) to EBITDA
 
   
For Year ended December 31,
 
   
2015
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
 
Net income (loss) for the year
  $ 7,298     $ 6,646     $ 10,087     $ (2,133 )   $ (972 )
Financing expenses (income), net
    592       3,395       2,454       3,773       1,238  
Tax benefit (taxes on income)
    1,933       201       245       (1,011 )     (1,018 )
Depreciation and amortization
    4,912       5,452       4,021       2,717       1,777  
EBITDA
  $ 9,685     $ 15,694     $ 16,807     $ 3,346     $ 1,025  

Consolidated Statements of Financial Position Data (in thousands of U.S. Dollars except share data)

   
At December 31,
 
   
2015
   
2014
   
2013
   
2012
   
2011
 
Working capital (deficiency)
  $
23,410
    $ 18,890     $ (4,384 )   $ 27,977     $ 31,856  
Total assets
  $ 160,327     $ 159,087     $ 146,930     $ 128,740     $ 126,392  
Total liabilities
  $ 66,262     $ 64,961     $ 47,169     $ 45,626     $ 42,331  
Total equity
  $ 94,065     $ 94,126     $ 99,761     $ 83,114     $ 84,061  
Capital stock
  $ 102,348 (1)   $ 102,590 (2)   $ 102,590 (2)   $ 102,068 (2)   $ 102,534 (3)
Ordinary shares outstanding
    10,678,888 (1)     10,692,371 (2)     10,692,371 (2)     10,692,371 (2)     10,769,326 (3)
 
 
(1)
Net of 254,666 treasury shares that were purchased during 2011, 2012 and 2015 according to a share buyback program that was authorized by our Board of Directors.
 
(2)
Net of 85,655 treasury shares that were purchased during 2011 and 2012 according to a share buyback program that was authorized by our Board of Directors.
 
(3)
Net of 8,700 treasury shares that were purchased during 2011 according to a share buyback program authorized by our Board of Directors.

B.           Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not Applicable.

C.           Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not Applicable.

D.           Risk Factors
 
Investing in our securities involves significant risk and uncertainty. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below as well as the other information contained in this report before making an investment decision with respect to our securities. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition, prospects, results of operations and cash flows could be harmed and could therefore have a negative effect on the trading price of our securities.
 
The risks described below are the material risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations in the future.
 
 
9

 
 
Risks Related to our Business
 
Risks Related to the PV Plants
 
Our PV Plants are located in Italy and in Spain and therefore the revenues derived from them mainly depend on payments received from Italian and Spanish governmental entities. The economic crisis in the European Union, specifically in Italy and in Spain, and measures taken in order to improve Italy’s and Spain’s financial position, may adversely affect the results of our operations.  The global financial crisis that began in 2007 directly affected Italy’s and Spain’s growth and economy. The situation worsened during 2011 due to the debt crisis in various European Union countries in general and specifically in Italy, whose current debt is one of the highest in the euro zone and in Spain, which has a high unemployment rate. The financial crisis also caused the Italian and Spanish governments to adopt various spending cuts and tax increases aimed at bolstering growth and increasing revenues for the repayment of debt. For example, during 2011, Spain implemented changes to its incentive scheme, including the reduction of subsidies through 2013, and in late 2012 the Spanish government adopted a law that imposes a new revenue tax on electricity generating power plants. Although the economies of both has improved, especially in Spain, both countries remain in a state of financial crisis and commenced during 2013 and 2014 several legislation processes that revise or affect the remuneration scheme for photovoltaic plants and may do so again in the future. For example, the incentive scheme in Italy is based on end-users’ payments and not directly on the Italian government’s budget, however, in an attempt to revive the Italian economy and decrease electricity expenses, the Italian parliament adopted a new law in August 2014 that decreased the Feed in Tariff, or FiT, that was previously guaranteed to Italian photovoltaic plants for a period of twenty years. As a result of this new law, the FiT for our Italian PV Plants decreased by approximately 8% commencing January 1, 2015. For more information see “Item 4.B: Business Overview” below and our financial statements included in this Report.  We cannot assure you that the continued economic crisis will not cause additional changes to the Italian government’s photovoltaic energy incentive schemes or that no additional changes will be made to Spain’s photovoltaic energy incentive scheme that may directly or indirectly affect the payments we receive and, therefore, our operations and revenues.

Our business depends to a large extent on the availability of financial incentives. The reduction or elimination of government subsidies and economic incentives could reduce our profitability and adversely impact our revenues and growth prospects.  Many countries, such as Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Japan, offer substantial incentives to offset the cost of photovoltaic power systems in the form of FiT or other incentives to promote the use of solar energy and to reduce dependence on other forms of energy. These government incentives could potentially be reduced or eliminated altogether. For example, on June 6, 2013, the Italian Authority for Electricity and Gas, or AEEG, announced that the overall annual expense cap of €6.7 billion for incentive payments payable to PV has been reached. As a consequence, the latest FiT regulation—the Conto Energia V—ceased to apply on July 6, 2013, thus terminating the applicability of the FiT payments for new photovoltaic plants. In addition, on December 19, 2013, AEEG announced the replacement, commencing January 1, 2014, of the minimum guaranteed prices currently foreseen under the Italian mandatory purchase regime with the zonal hourly prices set out for each specific area for PV plants exceeding 100KWp. As set forth in the previous risk factor, in August 2014 the Italian parliament amended the FiT scheme in connection with existing photovoltaic plants decreasing the guaranteed FiT. In Spain, which also has a subsidy system for the photovoltaic industry, retroactive cuts were adopted from early 2011 by limiting the number of production hours that are eligible to receive the governmental FiT and imposing taxes on the sale of electricity. Since July 2013, a new Spanish remunerative regime for photovoltaic plants is in force pursuant to RDL 9/2013 that provides the owner of a renewable installation with a defined yield to be calculated based on the yield of 10-year government bonds plus 300 basis points. For more information see “Item 4.B: Business Overview” below and our financial statements included in this Report. If the Italian or Spanish governments elect to further revise the incentive scheme, as both governments have done in the past, this may adversely affect the profitability from our PV Plants and from any new photovoltaic plant acquired by us in these countries, and may prevent us from continuing to acquire photovoltaic plants in Italy or in Spain. In general, uncertainty about the introduction of, reduction in, or elimination of, incentives or delays or interruptions in the implementation of favorable laws could substantially affect our profitability and adversely affect our ability to continue and develop new photovoltaic plants.
 
 
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We may seek to primarily invest in photovoltaic plants that have already been connected to the national grid and are eligible to receive the applicable FiT. These constructed and connected PV plants may not be available for acquisition on terms beneficial to us or at all and, if available, may still be subject to retroactive changes through regulatory action.  Acquisitions of photovoltaic plants that have already been constructed and are connected to the national grid currently provide relatively more certainty as to their economic potential compared to plants that are still in the planning or construction stage. It may be difficult for us to locate suitable acquisition opportunities with attractive returns, and, even if we do locate them, the acquisition of an operating photovoltaic plant may be less attractive as the PV market matures and as operating plants are generally more expensive. Our inability to locate and acquire additional photovoltaic plants and the higher cost of such photovoltaic plants may adversely affect our business and results of operations. Even if we do locate and acquire existing photovoltaic plants, changes in the regulation could be applied retroactively to existing plants and to the existing remuneration scheme, as has already happened in both Spain and Italy, which could also adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Existing regulations, and changes to such regulations, may present technical, regulatory and economic barriers and restrictions to the construction and operation of our photovoltaic power plants, which may adversely affect our operations.  The installation and operation of photovoltaic power systems is subject to oversight and regulation in accordance with international, European, national and local ordinances, building codes, zoning, environmental protection regulation, utility interconnection requirements and other rules and regulations. For example, various governmental, municipal and other regulatory entities require the issuance and continued effectiveness of relevant permits, licenses and authorizations for the operation of photovoltaic plants. If such permits, licenses and authorizations are not issued on a timely basis, this could result in the interruption, cessation or abandonment of a newly constructed PV Plant, or may require making significant changes to such PV Plant, any of which may cause severe losses. In addition, if issued, these licenses and permits may be revoked by the authorities following their issuance in the event the authorities discover irregularities or deviations from the scope of the license or permit. Any revocation of existing licenses may obligate us to cease operating the relevant PV Plant for the period required in order to renew the relevant license or indefinitely and therefore will adversely affect our business and results of operations.
 
 
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Success of the PV Plants, from their construction through their commissioning and ongoing commercial operation, depends to a large extent on the cooperation, reliability, solvency, and proper performance of the contractors we engage for the construction, operation and maintenance of our PV Plants, or the Contractors, and of the other third parties involved, including subcontractors, local advisors, financing entities, land owners, suppliers of parts and equipment, the energy grid regulator, governmental agencies and other potential purchasers of electricity.  The construction and operation of a photovoltaic plant requires timely input, often of a highly specialized technical nature, from several parties, including without limitation, the solar panel suppliers and plant operators, other suppliers of relevant parts and materials (including replacement parts), land owners, subcontractors, electricity brokers, financing entities and governmental and related agencies (as subsidizers and as regulators). In addition, our PV Plants’ performance depends on the quality of the solar panels installed. Degradation in the performance of the solar panels above a certain level is guaranteed by the panel suppliers and we generally receive undertakings from the Contractor with respect to minimum performances. Therefore, one of the critical factors in the success of our PV Plants is the existence of reliable solar panel suppliers, who guarantee the performance and quality of the solar panels supplied and their ability to provide us with replacement and spare parts that are of sufficient quality. In addition, as we use Contractors in order to operate and maintain our PV Plants, we depend on the Contractors’ expertise and experience, representations, warranties and undertakings regarding, inter alia: the operation, maintenance and performance of each of the PV Plants, the use of high-quality materials, strict compliance with applicable legal requirements and the Contractors’ financial stability. If the Contractors’ representations or warranties are inaccurate or untrue, or if any of the Contractors or other entities fail to perform their obligations properly, this could result in the interruption, cessation or abandonment of the relevant PV Plant, or may require significant expenses to mitigate the damages or repair them, any of which may cause us severe losses.

We are exposed to the possibility of damages to, or theft of, the various components of our PV Plants. Such occurrences may cause disruptions in the production of electricity and additional costs.  Some of our PV Plants suffered damages and disruption in the production of electricity as a result of theft of panels and other components, or due to bad weather and land conditions. Although such damages and theft are generally covered by the PV Plants’ insurance policies, in certain circumstances such occurrences, may not be covered in part by the insurance and may cause an increase in the premiums paid to our insurance companies, all of which may adversely affect our results of operations and profitability.

As a substantial part of our business is currently located in Europe, we are subject to a variety of additional risks that may negatively impact our operations.  We currently have substantial operations in Italy and in Spain, which are held by our Luxembourg subsidiary, and may make additional investments in projects located outside of Israel or the United States. Due to these operations and any additional future investments, we are subject to special considerations or risks associated with companies operating in other jurisdictions, including rules and regulations, cross currency movements, different payment cycles, tax issues, such as tax law changes and variations in tax laws as compared to Israel and the United States, cultural and language differences, crime, strikes, riots, civil disturbances, terrorist attacks and wars and deterioration of political relations with Israel. The PV Plants subject us to a number of these risks, as well as the requirement to comply with Italian, Spanish and European Union law. We cannot assure you that we would be able to adequately address some or all of these additional risks. If we were unable to do so, our operations might suffer.
 
 
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In the event we will be unable to continuously comply with the obligations and undertakings, including with respect to financial covenants, which we undertook in connection with the project financing of the PV Plants, our results of operations may be adversely affected.  In connection with the financing of several of our PV Plants, we have long-term agreements with an Italian bank and a leasing company. The agreements that govern the provision of financing include, inter alia, undertakings and financial covenants that we are required to maintain for the duration of such financing agreements, the majority of which are based on the ongoing income derived from the relevant PV Plant, which may be adversely affected by the various risks detailed herein. In the event we fail to comply with any of these undertakings and covenants, we may be subject to penalties, future financing requirements, and, finally, to the acceleration of the repayment of debt. These occurrences may have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations and on our ability to obtain outside financing for other projects.
 
 A drop in the price of electricity may negatively impact our results of operations.  The revenue from the sale of electricity produced by the PV Plants includes mainly the incentives in the form of FiTs and in addition proceeds from the sale of electricity produced in the electricity market at market price. A decrease in the price of electricity in Italy or in Spain may negatively impact our profitability and our ability or interest to expand our photovoltaic business.
 
An increase in the prices of solar panels and other components of the system may adversely affect our future growth and our business. Photovoltaic power plant installations have substantially increased over the past few years. The increased demand for solar panels resulted in substantial investments in solar panels production facilities, creating oversupply and a sharp continuing decrease in the prices of solar panels. A future reversal in the trend and an increase in the prices of solar panels and other components of the system (such as invertors and related electric components), may increase the costs of replacing components in our existing PV Plants and impact the profitability of constructing new photovoltaic plants and our ability to expand our business. Additionally, if there is a shortage of key components necessary for the production of the solar panels, that may constrain our revenue growth. In addition, silicon is a dominant component of the solar panels, and although manufacturing abilities have increased over-time, any shortage of silicon, or any other material component necessary for the manufacture of the solar panels, may adversely affect our business.

Our ability to produce solar power is dependent upon the magnitude and duration of sunlight as well as other meteorological and geographic factors.  Solar power production has a seasonal cycle, and adverse meteorological conditions can materially impact the output of photovoltaic plants and result in production of electricity below expected output, which in turn could adversely affect our profitability. In addition, floods, storms, seismic turbulence and earth movements may damage our PV Plants and the insurance coverage we have for such risks may not cover the damage in full because these circumstances are sometimes deemed “acts of god.” Future expenses due to the need to replace damaged components or the lower electricity output due to changes in meteorological conditions and other geographic factors may adversely affect our profitability.

As electric power accounts for a growing share of overall energy use, the market for solar energy is intensely competitive and rapidly evolving. The market for solar energy attracts many initiatives and therefore is intensely competitive. Our competitors who strive to construct new photovoltaic power plants and acquire existing plants may have established more prominent market positions and may have more experience in this field. Extensive competition may adversely affect our ability to continue to acquire and develop new photovoltaic plants.
 
 
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Risks Related to Our Investment in Dori Energy
 
We have joint control in U. Dori Energy Infrastructures Ltd., or Dori Energy, who, in turn, holds a minority stake in Dorad.  Therefore, we do not control the operations and actions of Dorad. We currently hold 49% (and an option to increase our holdings under certain conditions to 50%) of the equity of Dori Energy who, in turn, holds 18.75% of Dorad. Although we entered into a shareholders’ agreement with Dori Energy and the other shareholder of Dori Energy, U. Dori Group Ltd., or the Dori SHA and the Dori Group, respectively, providing us with joint control of Dori Energy, should differences of opinion as to the management, prospects and operations of Dori Energy arise, such differences may limit our ability to direct the operations of Dori Energy. During early 2016, the controlling shareholder of the Dori Group sold its holdings in the Dori Group to a new controlling shareholder, who nominated new board members and senior management in the Dori Group. Moreover, Dori Energy holds a minority stake in Dorad and as of the date hereof is entitled to nominate only one director in Dorad, which, according to the Dori SHA, we are entitled to nominate. As we have one representative on the Dorad board of directors, which has a total of nine directors, we do not control Dorad’s operations. In July 2015, Dori Energy filed a petition for approval of a derivative action on behalf of Dorad against several parties, including another shareholder of Dorad and in January 2016 Dori Energy requested to add another shareholder of Dorad to the list of the respondents to such request.  In addition, following the filing of this petition, other shareholders of Dorad have requested Dorad to act against Dori Group, Dori Energy and us, as more fully described under “Item 4.B: Business Overview” below. These circumstances reflect our limited control over Dori Energy and Dorad and the fact that we may not be able to prevent certain developments that may adversely affect their business and results of operations. In addition, to the extent our interest in Dori Energy is deemed an investment security, as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, or the Investment Company Act, we could be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act, depending on the value of our other assets. Please see “We may be deemed to be an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, which could subject us to material adverse consequences” below.
 
The Dori Energy Shareholders Agreement contains restrictions on our right to transfer our holdings in Dori Energy, which may make it difficult for us to terminate our involvement with Dori Energy. The Dori SHA contains several restrictions on our ability to transfer our holdings in Dori Energy, including a right of first refusal. The aforesaid restrictions may make it difficult for us to terminate our involvement with Dori Energy should we elect to do so and may adversely affect the return on our investment in Dori Energy.
 
 
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Dorad, which is currently the only substantial asset held by Dori Energy, operates the Dorad Power Plant, whose successful operations and profitability is dependent on a variety of factors, many of which are not within Dorad’s control.  Dorad’s only substantial asset is a combined cycle power plant based on natural gas, with a production capacity of approximately 850 MW, or the Dorad Power Plant, on the premises of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company, or EAPC, located south of Ashkelon, Israel. The Dorad Power Plant is subject to various complex agreements with third parties (the Israeli Electric Company, or IEC, the operations and maintenance contractor, suppliers, private customers, etc.) and to regulatory restrictions and guidelines in connection with, among other issues, the tariffs to be paid by the IEC to Dorad for the energy produced. Various factors and events may materially adversely affect Dorad’s results of operations and profitability and, in turn, have a material adverse effect on Dori Energy’s and our results of operations and profitability. These factors and events include:
 
 
·
The Dorad Power Plant is exposed to various risks, including noncompliance or breach by the contractor involved in the construction of its obligations during the warranty period causing delays and inability to provide electricity to Dorad’s customers, which may result, inter alia, in fines and penalties being imposed on Dorad or in higher operating expenses, or outside events and delays in supply of equipment or replacement parts required for the continued operations of the Dorad Power Plant, all of which may have a material adverse effect on Dorad’s results of operations and profitability;
 
 
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The operation of the Dorad Power Plant is highly complex and dependent upon the continued ability: (i) to operate the various turbines, and (ii) to turn the turbines on and shut them down quickly based on demand. The profitability of Dorad also depends on the accuracy of the proprietary forecasting system used by Dorad. Any defects or disruptions, or inaccuracies in forecasts, may result in an inability to provide the amount of electricity required by Dorad’s customers or in over-production, both of which could have a material adverse effect on Dorad’s operations and profitability. Any cessation or limitation of operations may cause Dorad to incur additional expenses or result in the enforcement of guarantees provided to certain customers, all of which may have a material adverse effect on Dorad’s results of operations and profitability.
 
 
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Dorad’s operations are dependent upon the expertise and success of its operations and maintenance contractor, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Dorad Power Plant. In the event the services provided by such contractor will cause delays in the production of energy or any other damage to the Dorad Power Plant or to Dorad’s customers, Dorad may be subject to claims for damages and to additional expenses and losses and therefore Dorad’s profitability could be adversely affected.
 
 
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Significant equipment failures may limit Dorad’s production of energy. Although such damages are generally covered by insurance policies, any such failures may cause disruption in the production, may not all be covered by the insurance and the correction of such failures may involve a considerable amount of resources and investment and could therefore adversely affect Dorad’s profitability.
 
 
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The electricity sector in Israel is highly centralized and is dominated by the IEC, which controls and operates the electricity system in Israel, including the delivery and transmission of electricity, and also manufactures the substantial majority of electricity in Israel. In addition, the electricity sector is subject to various laws and regulations, such as in connection with the tariffs charged by the IEC, including the resolution from May 2013 to charge private manufacturers for the IEC’s system operation services, and the licensing requirement. The prices paid by Dorad to the IEC for system operation services provided to Dorad and the fees received by Dorad from the IEC for electricity sold to the IEC and for providing the IEC with energy availability are all based on tariffs determined by the Israeli regulator. These tariffs are subject to change due to ongoing attempts to reform the electricity market in Israel in light of the IEC’s financial situation and the entrance of private energy manufacturers, including Dorad, into the Israeli electricity market. The updates and changes to the regulation and tariffs may not necessarily involve negotiations or consultations with Dorad and may be unilaterally imposed on it. In addition, the employees of the IEC, who object to certain reforms in the Israeli electricity sector, have in the past applied sanctions to prevent the connection, and at a later stage threatened to disconnect, the Dorad Power Plant from the Israeli national grid as part of their efforts to prevent implementation of these reforms and may in the future do so again. Any changes in the tariffs, system charges or applicable regulations, failure by Dorad to maintain the required license, the inability of the IEC to pay Dorad or unilateral actions on the part of IEC’s employees may adversely affect Dorad’s plan of operations and could have a material adverse effect on Dorad’s profitability.
 
 
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Dorad’s operations are mainly financed by a consortium of financing entities pursuant to a long-term credit facility and such credit facility provides for pre-approval by the consortium of certain of Dorad’s actions and contracts with third parties. Changes in the credit ratings of Dorad and its shareholders, non-compliance with financing and other covenants, delays in provision of required pre-approvals or disagreements with the financial entities and additional factors may adversely affect Dorad’s operations and profitability.
 
 
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The Dorad Power Plant is located in Ashkelon, a town in the southern part of Israel, in proximity to the Gaza Strip. The location of the Dorad Power Plant is within range of missile strikes from the Gaza Strip. In recent years, there has been an escalation in violence and missile attacks from the Gaza Strip, including an eight day period in November 2012 in which more than 1,500 missiles were fired from Gaza Strip to Southern and Central Israel and a fifty day period in July and August of 2014 in which more than 4,500 missiles, rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip to Southern and Central Israel. The attacks during 2012 disrupted the work on the Dorad Power Plant, which resumed after the missile strikes ceased and the Dorad Power Plant continued its operations during the 2014 attacks. Although measures were taken to protect the Dorad Power Plant from missile attacks, any such further attacks to the area or any direct damage to the location of the Dorad Power Plant may damage Dorad’s facilities and disrupt the operations of the Dorad Power Plant and thereafter its operations, and may cause losses and delays.
 
 
 
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Dorad entered into a long-term natural gas supply agreement with the partners in the “Tamar” license, or Tamar, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel. This agreement includes a “take or pay” mechanism, subject to certain restrictions and conditions, that may result in Dorad paying for natural gas not actually required for its operations. In the event Dorad will be required to pay for natural gas that it does not need, Dorad’s results of operations and profitability could be adversely affected. Tamar is currently Dorad’s sole supplier of natural gas and has undertaken to supply natural gas to various customers and is permitted to export a certain amount of the natural gas to customers outside of Israel. Dorad’s operations will depend on the timely, continuous and uninterrupted supply of natural gas from Tamar and on the existence of sufficient reserves throughout the term of the agreement with Tamar. In addition, the price of the natural gas under the supply agreement with Tamar is linked to production tariffs determined by the IPUA but cannot be lower than the “final floor price” included in the agreement. Due to the reduction in fuel and energy prices and the resulting reduction in the production tariff during 2015, the price for natural gas under the agreement with Tamar is expected to reach the final floor price in March 2016 and will not be further reduced in the event of future reductions in the fuel and energy prices and the production tariff. Any delays, disruptions, increases in the price of natural gas under the agreement, or shortages in the gas supply from Tamar will adversely affect Dorad’s results of operations. In addition, as future reductions in the production tariff will not affect the price of natural gas under the agreement with Tamar, Dorad’s profitability may be adversely affected. The Dorad power plant is subject to environmental regulations, aimed at increasing the protection of the environment and reducing environmental hazards, including by way of imposing restrictions regarding noise, harmful emissions to the environment and handling of hazardous materials. Currently the costs of compliance with the foregoing requirements are not material. Any breach or other noncompliance with the applicable laws may cause Dorad to incur additional costs due to penalties and fines and expenses incurred in order to regain compliance with the applicable laws, all of which may have an adverse effect on Dorad’s profitability and results of operations.
 
 
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As a result of the agreements with contractors of the Dorad Power Plant and the indexation included in the gas supply agreement, Dorad is exposed to changes in exchange rates of the U.S. dollar against the NIS. To minimize this exposure Dorad executed forward transactions to purchase U.S. dollars against the NIS. As the hedging performed by Dorad does not completely eliminate such exposure, Dorad’s profitability might be adversely affected due to future changes in exchange rates. In addition, due to the indexing to the Israeli consumer price index under Dorad’s credit facility, it is exposed to fluctuations in the Israeli CPI, which may adversely affect its results of operations and profitability.
 
Risks Related to our Other Activities
 
Our ability to leverage our investments and increase our operations depends, inter alia, on our ability to obtain attractive project and corporate financing from financial entities.  Due to the crisis in the European financial markets in general, and in the Italian and Spanish financial markets specifically, obtaining financing from local banks is more difficult, and the terms on which such financing can be obtained are less favorable to the borrowers.  Our ability to obtain attractive financing and the terms of such financing, including interest rates, equity to debt ratio requirement and timing of debt availability will significantly impact our ability to leverage our investments and increase our operations. Due to the financial crisis in the European Union in general, and in countries like Greece, Spain and Italy specifically, the local Italian and Spanish banks have limited the scope of financing available to commercial firms and the financing that is provided involves terms less favorable than terms provided prior to the financial crisis. In addition, obtaining financing for our PV Plants from financial institutions that are not located in Spain or in Italy is difficult due to such institutions’ lack of familiarity with these markets and the underlying assets. Although we have financing agreements with respect to four of our PV Plants and raised significant funds in Israel during 2014 by the issuance of our Series A Debentures, there is no assurance that we will be able to procure additional project financing for our remaining PV Plants or any operations we will acquire in the future or additional corporate financing, on terms favorable to us or at all. Our inability to obtain additional financing on favorable terms, or at all, may adversely affect our ability to leverage our investments and increase our operations.

Our ability to freely operate our business is limited as a result of certain restrictive covenants contained in the deed of trust of our Series A Debentures. The deed of trust governing the Series A Debentures, or the Series A Deed of Trust, contains a number of restrictive covenants that limit our operating and financial flexibility. These covenants include, among other things, a “negative pledge” with respect to a floating pledge on all of our assets and an obligation to pay additional interest in the event of certain rating downgrades. The Series A Deed of Trust also contains covenants regarding maintaining certain levels of financial ratios and criteria, including as a condition to the distribution of dividends, and other customary immediate repayment conditions, including, under certain circumstances, in the event of a change of control, a change in our operations or a disposition of a substantial amount of assets. Our ability to continue to comply with these and other obligations depends in part on the future performance of our business. Such obligations may hinder our ability to finance our future operations or the manner in which we operate our business. In particular, any non-compliance with performance-related covenants and other undertakings of the Series A Debentures could result in demand for immediate repayment of the outstanding amount under the Series A Debentures and restrict our ability to obtain additional funds, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
 
 
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Our debt increases our exposure to market risks, may limit our ability to incur additional debt that may be necessary to fund our operations and could adversely affect our financial stability. As of December 31, 2015, our total indebtedness was approximately Euro 63.3 million (approximately $68.9 million), including principal and interest expected repayments, financing related swap transactions and excluding any related capitalized costs. The trust deed governing the Series A Debentures permits us to incur additional indebtedness, subject to maintaining certain financial ratios and covenants. Our debt and any additional debt we may incur, could adversely affect our financial condition by, among other things:
 
 
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increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic, industry or business conditions and cross currency movements;
 
 
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limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our industry and the economy in general;
 
 
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requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to service our debt, thus reducing the funds available for operations and future business development; and
 
 
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limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to operate, develop and expand our business.
 
Our business results may be affected by currency and interest rate fluctuations and the hedging transactions we enter into in order to manage currency and interest rate related risks.  We hold cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, short-term deposits and marketable securities in various currencies, including US$, Euro and NIS. Our investments in the Italian and Spanish PV Plants and in Dori Energy are denominated in Euro and NIS. Our Series A Debentures are denominated in NIS and the interest and principal payments are to be made in NIS. The financing we have obtained in connection with four of our PV Plants bears interest that is based on EURIBOR rate. Therefore our repayment obligations and undertakings may be affected by adverse movements in the exchange and interest rates. Although we attempt to manage these risks by entering into various swap transactions as more fully explained in “Item 11: Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” below and as described in our financial statements included in this report, we cannot ensure that we will manage to eliminate these risks in their entirety. These swap transactions may also impact the results of our operations due to fluctuations in their value based on changes in the relevant exchange or interest rate.
 
 
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The energy sector around the world is highly regulated, is subject to governmental master plans and policy considerations and requires permits and licenses from various authorities. Our inability to obtain or maintain licenses or permits or changes in the regulatory scheme and governmental preferences could materially adversely affect our existing projects and our willingness and ability to enter into new projects. The energy sector is typically regulated and supervised by various local governmental agencies. Participation in each stage of the energy production and delivery process typically requires governmental approvals and permits that are issued for definite periods and that may be revoked or revised by the relevant governmental authority due to various reasons that may not necessarily be within the control of the permit-holder. In addition, the receipt of a permit or license is sometimes subject to the approval, renewal or update of a governmental master plan regulating the energy sector or the specific energy production method, a complex and lengthy process. For example, our potential involvement in the pumped-storage project in the Manara Cliff in Israel, or the Manara Project, is subject to the issuance of a conditional, and thereafter permanent, license by the IPUA, and the issuance of such license will be subject to the quota set forth by the IPUA for pumped-storage projects in Israel. Our ability to commence development of the Manara Project, or any other regulated energy project in Israel and around the world, will depend on the projects’ compliance with governmental master plans and the obtainment and maintenance of the required licenses and permits. In the event we are unable to obtain or maintain required permits, our ability to commence or continue developing and operating energy projects will be adversely affected.

If we do not conduct an adequate due diligence investigation of a target project , we may be required to subsequently take write-downs or write-offs, restructuring, and impairment or other charges that could have a significant negative effect on our financial condition, results of operations and our stock price.  We must conduct a due diligence investigation of target projects that we would intend to acquire or purchase an interest in. Intensive due diligence is time consuming and expensive due to the technical, accounting, finance and legal professionals who must be involved in the due diligence process. Even if we conduct extensive due diligence on a target business, we cannot assure you that this due diligence will reveal all material issues that may affect a particular target project, or that factors outside the control of the target project and outside of our control will not later arise. If our due diligence review fails to identify issues specific to a target project, industry or the environment in which the target project operates, we may be forced to later write-down or write-off assets, restructure our operations, or incur impairment or other charges that could result in losses. Even though these charges may be non-cash items and may not have an immediate impact on our liquidity, the fact that we report charges of this nature could contribute to negative market perceptions about us or our ordinary shares.

The current general economic and business conditions around the world and any subsequent economic downturn may adversely affect our ability to consummate new acquisitions, to procure financing for our PV Plants, the prospects of any project we may acquire and the trading price of our ordinary shares.   Since mid-2008, due to the severity of the crisis affecting financial institutions throughout the world, the rising costs of various commodities, the limited growth and economic development throughout the world, as well as the recession, the general economic and business conditions in many countries around the world worsened, affecting, among other things, credit ratings of borrowers, the perceived and actual credit risks faced by lenders and purchasers of debt securities, the solvency of trade partners, market entities’ appetite for risk, the spending habits of consumers and the ability to procure financing. This crisis disproportionately affected Europe during 2011 and 2012 and many European economies, including Italy and Spain. Despite the signs of economic recovery since 2013, there is no assurance that this financial crisis will improve or be resolved over the short, medium or long term, or that the recession will be overcome in its entirety in the near or far future, or that any of the trends associated with such recession will be reversed in whole or in part. Furthermore, if any further economic downturns ensue, this may adversely affect our ability to procure financing required for the acquisition of new projects, the value of new projects we acquire and our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if further economic downturns will occur, it may also affect the trading prices of securities in various capital markets around the world and may significantly and adversely affect the trading price of our ordinary shares.
 
 
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We may be deemed to be an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, which could subject us to material adverse consequences.  We could be deemed to be an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act if we invest more than 40% of our assets in “investment securities,” as defined in the Investment Company Act. Investments in securities of majority owned subsidiaries (defined for these purposes as companies in which we control 50% or more of the voting securities) are not “investment securities” for purposes of this definition. As our interest in Dori Energy is not considered an investment in majority owned securities, unless we maintain the required portion of our assets under our control, limit the nature of the requisite portion of our investments of our cash assets to cash and cash equivalents (which are generally not “investment securities”), succeed in making additional strategic “controlling” investments and continue to monitor our investment in Dori Energy, we may be deemed to be an “investment company.” We do not believe that our holdings in the PV Plants would be considered “investment securities,” as we control the PV Plants via wholly-owned subsidiaries and we do not believe that the current fair value of our holdings in Dori Energy (all as more fully set forth under “Item 4.A: History and Development of Ellomay” and “Item 4.B: Business Overview” below) and other relevant assets, all of which may be deemed to be “investment securities,” would result in our being deemed to be an “investment company.” However, as described in these sections, the increase in our holdings in Dori Energy from 40% to 49% may increase the likelihood we are deemed an “investment company” in the future. If we were deemed to be an “investment company,” we would not be permitted to register under the Investment Company Act without an order from the SEC permitting us to register because we are incorporated outside of the United States and, prior to being permitted to register, we would not be permitted to publicly offer or promote our securities in the United States. Even if we were permitted to register, it would subject us to additional commitments and regulatory compliance. Investments in cash and cash equivalents might not be as favorable to us as other investments we might make if we were not potentially subject to regulation under the Investment Company Act. We seek to conduct our operations, including by way of investing our cash and cash equivalents, to the extent possible, so as not to become subject to regulation under the Investment Company Act. In addition, because we are actively engaged in exploring and considering strategic investments and business opportunities, and in fact the majority of our investments to date (mainly in the Italian and Spanish photovoltaic power plants markets) were made through a controlling investment, we do not believe that we are currently engaged in “investment company” activities or business.
 
 
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Our ability to successfully effect acquisitions and to be successful thereafter will be significantly dependent upon the efforts of our key personnel. Several of our key personnel allocate their time to other businesses.  Our ability to successfully effect acquisitions is dependent upon the efforts of our key personnel, including Shlomo Nehama, our chairman of the board, Ran Fridrich, a director and our Chief Executive Officer and Menahem Raphael, a member of our board. We entered into a Management Services Agreement with entities affiliated with these board members and they have allocated a significant portion of their time to our company since the execution of the Management Services Agreement. However, they are not required to commit their full time to our affairs, which could create a conflict of interest when allocating their time between our operations and their other commitments. If their other business affairs require them to devote more substantial amounts of time to such affairs, it could limit their ability to devote time to our affairs and could have a negative impact on our ability to consummate acquisitions.

We may be characterized as a passive foreign investment company.  Our U.S. shareholders may suffer adverse tax consequences.  Under the PFIC rules, for any taxable year that our passive income or our assets that produce passive income exceed specified levels, we will be characterized as a passive foreign investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This characterization could result in adverse U.S. tax consequences for our U.S. shareholders, which may include having certain distributions on our ordinary shares and gains realized on the sale of our ordinary shares treated as ordinary income, rather than as capital gains income, and having potentially punitive interest charges apply to the proceeds of sales of our ordinary shares and certain distributions.

Certain elections may be made to reduce or eliminate the adverse impact of the PFIC rules for holders of our shares, but these elections may be detrimental to the shareholder under certain circumstances. The PFIC rules are extremely complex and U.S. investors are urged to consult independent tax advisers regarding the potential consequences to them of our classification as a PFIC.

Based on our income and/or assets, we believe that we were a PFIC with respect to any U.S. shareholder that held our shares in 2008 through 2012.  We also believe, based on our income and assets, that it is likely that we were not a PFIC with respect to U.S. shareholders that initially acquired our ordinary shares in 2013, 2014 and 2015. However, the Internal Revenue Service may disagree with our determinations regarding our prior or present PFIC status and, depending on future events, we could become a PFIC in future years.

For a more detailed discussion of the consequences of our being classified as a PFIC, see “Item 10.E: Taxation” below under the caption “U.S. Tax Considerations Regarding Ordinary Shares.”

Risks Relating to our Ordinary Shares

You may have difficulty enforcing U.S. judgments against us in Israel.  We are organized under the laws of Israel and our headquarters are in Israel. All of our officers and directors reside outside of the United States. Therefore, it may be difficult to effect service of process upon us or any of these persons within the United States. In addition, you may not be able to enforce any judgment obtained in the U.S. against us or any of such persons in Israel and in any event will be required to file a request with an Israeli court for recognition or enforcement of any non-Israeli judgment. Subject to certain time limitations, executory judgments of a United States court for liquidated damages in civil matters may be enforced by an Israeli court, provided that: (i) the judgment was obtained after due process before a court of competent jurisdiction, that recognizes and enforces similar judgments of Israeli courts and according to the rules of private international law currently prevailing in Israel, (ii) adequate service of process was effected and the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to be heard, (iii) the judgment and its enforcement are not contrary to the law, public policy, security or sovereignty of the State of Israel, (iv) the judgment was not obtained by fraud and does not conflict with any other valid judgment in the same matter between the same parties, (v) the judgment is no longer appealable, and (vi) an action between the same parties in the same matter is not pending in any Israeli court at the time the lawsuit is instituted in the foreign court. If a foreign judgment is enforced by an Israeli court, it will be payable in Israeli currency. You may not be able to enforce civil actions under U.S. securities laws if you file a lawsuit in Israel.
 
 
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We may rely on certain Israeli “home country” corporate governance practices which may not afford shareholders the same protection afforded to stockholders of U.S. companies. As a foreign private issuer for purposes of U.S. securities laws, NYSE MKT rules allow us to follow certain Israeli “home country” corporate governance practices in lieu of the corresponding NYSE MKT corporate governance rules. Such home country practices may not afford shareholders the same level of rights or protections in certain matters as those of stockholders of U.S. domestic companies. To the extent we are entitled to elect to follow Israeli law and practice rather than corresponding U.S. law or practice, such as with regard to the requirement for shareholder approval of changes to option plans, our shareholders may not be afforded the same level of rights they would have under U.S. practice.

The rights and responsibilities of our shareholders are governed by Israeli law and differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders under U.S. law. We are incorporated under Israeli law. The rights and responsibilities of holders of our ordinary shares are governed by our memorandum and articles of association and Israeli law. These rights and responsibilities differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders in typical U.S. corporations. In particular, each shareholder of an Israeli company has a duty to act in good faith in exercising his or her rights and fulfilling his or her obligations toward the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing his power in the company, including, among other things, in voting at the general meeting of shareholders on certain matters.  Israeli law provides that these duties are applicable in shareholder votes on, among other things, amendments to a company’s articles of association, increases in a company’s authorized share capital, mergers and interested party transactions requiring shareholder approval. In addition, a controlling shareholder of an Israeli company or a shareholder who knows that it possesses the power to determine the outcome of a shareholder vote or who has the power to appoint or prevent the appointment of a director or officer in the company has a duty of fairness toward the company. However, Israeli law does not define the substance of this duty of fairness. Because Israeli corporate law has undergone extensive revisions in recent years, there is little case law available to assist in understanding the implications of these provisions that govern shareholder behavior.

We have undergone, and will in the future undergo, tax audits and may have to make material payments to tax authorities at the conclusion of these audits.  We conduct our business globally (currently in Israel, Luxemburg, Italy and Spain). Our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of revenues and expenses in different jurisdictions and the timing of recognizing revenues and expenses. Additionally, the amount of income taxes paid is subject to our interpretation of applicable laws in the jurisdictions in which we file. Not all of the tax returns of our operations in other countries and in Israel are final and we may be subject to further audit and assessment by the applicable tax authorities. While we believe we comply with applicable tax laws, there can be no assurance that a governing tax authority will not have a different interpretation of the law and assess us with additional taxes, as a result of which our future results may be adversely affected.
 
 
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We are controlled by a small number of shareholders, who may make decisions with which you may disagree and which may also prevent a change of control via purchases in the market.  Currently, a group of investors comprised of Kanir Joint Investments (2005) Limited Partnership, or Kanir, and S. Nechama Investments (2008) Ltd., or Nechama Investments, hold an aggregate of 59.4% of our outstanding ordinary shares. Shlomo Nehama, our Chairman of the Board who controls Nechama Investments holds directly an additional 4.4% of our outstanding ordinary shares, Ran Fridrich, our CEO and a member of our Board of Directors, holds directly an additional 1.1% of our outstanding ordinary shares and Menahem Raphael, a member of our Board of Directors who, together with Ran Fridrich, controls the general partner of Kanir, directly and indirectly holds an additional 4.3% of our outstanding ordinary shares. Therefore, acting together, these shareholders could exercise significant influence over our business, including with respect to the election of our directors and the approval of change in control and other material transactions. This concentration of control may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control or changes in management, or limiting the ability of our other shareholders to approve transactions that they may deem to be in their best interest. In addition, as a result of this concentration of control, we are deemed a “controlled company” for purposes of NYSE MKT rules and as such we are not subject to certain NYSE MKT corporate governance rules. Moreover, our Second Amended and Restated Articles includes the casting vote provided to our Chairman of the Board under certain circumstances and the ability of members of our Board to demand that certain issues be approved by our shareholders, requiring a special majority, all as more fully described in “Item 10.B: Memorandum of Association and Second Amended and Restated Articles” below may have the effect of delaying or preventing certain changes and corporate actions that would otherwise benefit our shareholders.

Our ordinary shares are listed in two markets and this may result in price variations that could affect the trading price of our ordinary shares. Our ordinary shares have been listed on the NYSE MKT under the symbol “ELLO” since August 22, 2011 and on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, or TASE, under the symbol “ELLO” since October 27, 2013. Trading in our ordinary shares on these markets is made in different currencies (U.S. dollars on the NYSE MKT and New Israeli Shekels on the TASE), and at different times (due to the different time zones, different trading days and different public holidays in the United States and Israel). The trading prices of our ordinary shares on these two markets may differ due to these and other factors. Any decrease in the trading price of our ordinary shares on one of these markets could cause a decrease in the trading price of our ordinary shares on the other market.

Our non-compliance with the continued listing requirements of the NYSE MKT could cause the delisting of our ordinary shares.  The NYSE MKT requires listed companies to comply with continued listing requirements, including with respect to stockholders’ equity, distribution of shares and low selling price. There can be no assurance that we will continue to qualify for listing on the NYSE MKT. If our ordinary shares are delisted from the NYSE MKT, trading in our ordinary shares in the United States could be conducted on an electronic bulletin board such as the OTC Bulletin Board, which could affect the liquidity of our ordinary shares and the ability of the shareholders to sell their ordinary shares in the secondary market, which, in turn, may adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares. Also, as our shares are now traded on the TASE, to the extent our shares are delisted from the NYSE MKT we could decide to cease being a reporting company under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which may make it more difficult for investors to find up to date information about us, in English or at all. Moreover, in the event our ordinary shares are delisted from the NYSE MKT but are still listed on the TASE, we will be required to start filing and publishing reports in Hebrew with the Israeli authorities in a similar manner to the Israeli public companies whose shares are not listed on an exchange recognized by the Israeli regulator, which will subject us to additional substantial expenses and to additional regulatory requirements that may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
 
 
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We have not paid any cash dividends until the year 2016 and have only recently adopted a dividend distribution policy.  On March 18, 2015, our Board of Directors adopted a dividend distribution policy, which applies to the payment of dividends and the repurchase of our shares and in May 2015, our Board of Directors approved a $3 million share buyback plan. On March 23, 2016, we announced the decision to distribute a cash dividend in the amount of $0.225 per share (an aggregate distribution of approximately $2.4 million). The declaration of future dividends or the approval of future share buyback plans will depend on our revenues and earnings, if any, capital requirements, general financial condition and applicable legal and contractual constraints in connection with distribution of profits and will be within the discretion of our then-board of directors. There can be no assurance that any additional dividends will be paid or share buyback programs adopted, as to the timing or the amount of the dividends or share buyback programs, or as to whether our Board of Directors will elect to distribute our profits by means of share repurchases or a distribution of a cash or other dividend. In addition, the terms of the deed of trust governing our Series A Debentures restrict our ability to distribute dividends (for more information see “Item 5.B: Liquidity and Capital Resources” and “Item 8.A: Financial Information; Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information; Dividends” below.
 
Our stock price has been very volatile in the past and may continue to be volatile, which could adversely affect the market liquidity of our ordinary shares and our ability to raise additional funds. The market liquidity and analyst coverage of our ordinary shares is limited. Our ordinary shares have experienced substantial price volatility, particularly as there is still very limited volume of trading in our ordinary shares and every transaction performed significantly influences the market price. Although our ordinary shares have been listed on the NYSE MKT since August 22, 2011 and on the TASE since October 27, 2013, there is still limited liquidity and limited media and analyst coverage of our business and prospects, and these circumstances, combined with the general economic and political conditions, cause the market price for our ordinary shares to continue to be volatile. The continuance of such factors and other factors relating to our business may materially adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares in the future and could result in lower prices for our ordinary shares than might otherwise prevail and in larger spreads between the bid and asked prices for our ordinary shares. These issues could materially impair our ability to raise funds through the issuance of our ordinary shares in the securities markets.

Provisions of Israeli law may delay, prevent or make difficult an acquisition of Ellomay or a controlling position in Ellomay, which could prevent a change of control and, therefore, depress the price of our shares.  Israeli corporate law regulates mergers, requires tender offers for acquisitions of shares above specified thresholds, requires special approvals for transactions involving directors, officers or significant shareholders and regulates other matters that may be relevant to these types of transactions. Furthermore, Israeli tax considerations may make potential transactions unappealing to us or to some of our shareholders. These provisions of Israeli law may delay, prevent or make difficult an acquisition of Ellomay, which could prevent a change of control and therefore depress the price of our shares.

 
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ITEM 4: Information on Ellomay

A.           History and Development of Ellomay

Our legal and commercial name is Ellomay Capital Ltd. Our office is located at 9 Rothschild Boulevard, 2nd floor, Tel-Aviv 6688112, Israel, and our telephone number is +972-3-7971111. Our registered agent in the United States is CT Corporation System, 111 Eight Avenue, New York, New York 10011.

We were incorporated as an Israeli corporation under the name Nur Advertisement Industries 1987 Ltd. on July 29, 1987. On August 1, 1993, we changed our name to NUR Advanced Technologies Ltd., on November 16, 1997 we again changed our name to NUR Macroprinters Ltd. and on April 7, 2008, in connection with the closing of the sale of our business to HP, we again changed our name to Ellomay Capital Ltd. Our corporate governance is controlled by the Israeli Companies Law, 1999, as amended, or the Companies Law.

Our ordinary shares are currently listed on the NYSE MKT and are also listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “ELLO” under the Israeli regulatory “dual listing” regime that provides companies whose securities are listed both in the NYSE MKT and the TASE certain reporting leniencies.

Recent Developments

The Dorad Power Plant

In July 2013, the Dorad Power Plant constructed by Dorad Energy, a private Israeli company in which we indirectly hold 9.2% (and an option to increase such holdings to 9.375%), was energized and connected to the Israeli national grid. In November 2013, the Natural Gas Authority of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources approved the connection of the Dorad Power Plant to the national gas pipeline network. In May 2014, the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources approved the twenty-year generation license and the one-year supply license for the Dorad Power Plant and it commenced commercial operation and in July 2015 a nineteen-year supply license was approved.

In May 2015, we exercised the option to acquire additional 9% of the share capital of Dori Energy. Following the exercise of this option, our holdings in Dori Energy increased from 40% to 49% and our indirect ownership of Dorad increased from 7.5% to 9.1875%. The aggregate amount we paid in connection with the exercise of this option amounted to approximately NIS 28.2 million (approximately $7.4 million), which includes the exercise price of NIS 21.6 million (approximately $5.6 million) and the amount of approximately NIS 6.6 million (approximately $1.7 million) required in order to realign the shareholders loans provided to Dori Energy by its shareholders with the new ownership structure. For more information see “Item 4.B: Dori Energy and the Dorad Power Plant.”
 
 
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Acquisition of Minority Interest in Ellomay Spain S.L.

In July 2015, we acquired an additional 15% interest in Ellomay Spain S.L., which owns a photovoltaic plant in Spain with an installed capacity of approximately 2.3 MWp, for approximately EUR 0.8 million (approximately $0.9 million), thereby increasing our ownership in Ellomay Spain S.L. from 85% to 100%.

Pumped Storage project in the Manara Cliff in Israel

On August 28, 2015, after the Manara Project received a feasibility study from IEC, we submitted a request to the IPUA for an updated conditional license with a capacity of 340 MW. For more information see “Item 4.B: Pumped Storage project in the Manara Cliff in Israel.” The conditional license has not been issued yet. Based on the status of the conditional license and other relevant factors and circumstances, we will assess from time to time, whether, when at to what extent we will undertake further activities in order to advance the Manara Project.

Principal Capital Expenditures and Divestitures
 
        From 2013 through March 1, 2016, we made capital expenditures of an aggregate amount of approximately Euro 30.4 million ($33 million, based on the U.S. Dollar/NIS exchange rate as at March 1, 2016) in connection with our Italian and Spanish PV Plants. Our aggregate capital expenditure in connection with the acquisition of shares in U. Dori Energy Infrastructure Ltd., including the exercise of an option to acquire additional shares of U. Dori Energy during 2015, which increased our percentage holding to 49%, is approximately $33.8 million.

For further information on our financing activities please refer to “Item 4.B: Business Overview” and “Item 5: Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”

B.           Business Overview

We are in the business of energy and infrastructure and our operations currently mainly include production of renewable and clean energy. We own sixteen photovoltaic plants, or PV Plants, that are connected to their respective national grids and operating as follows: (i) twelve photovoltaic plants in Italy with an aggregate installed capacity of approximately 22.6 MWp and (ii) four photovoltaic plants in Spain with an aggregate installed capacity of approximately 7.9 MWp. In addition, we indirectly own approximately 9.2% of Dorad and hold an option to increase our indirect holdings in Dorad under certain conditions to 9.375%.
 
PV Plants
 
Photovoltaic Industry Background

Clean electricity generation accounts for a growing share of Electric power. While a majority of the world’s current electricity supply is still generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, these traditional energy sources face a number of challenges including fluctuating prices, security concerns over dependence on imports from a limited number of countries, and growing environmental concerns over the climate change risks associated with power generation using fossil fuels. As a result of these and other challenges facing traditional energy sources, governments, businesses and consumers are increasingly supporting the development of alternative energy sources, including solar energy, the fastest-growing source of renewable energy.
 
 
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By extracting energy directly from the sun and converting it into an immediately usable form, either as heat or electricity, intermediate steps are eliminated.

Global trends in the industry

According to SolarPower Europe, the new EPIA (European Photovoltaic Industry Association), the solar power market has grown significantly in the past decade. In 2015, solar grew by 15% in Europe connecting 8 GW of solar power to the grid. Global grid-connected solar increased by 25% to an estimated 50.1 GW in 2015, from 40.2 GW in 2014. On a global level, new solar power capacity increased by 25%, adding 50 GW in 2015. An estimated 228 GW of solar power are now installed in the world, up from 178 GW in 2014. The two biggest markets are again located in Asia - China and Japan, the US ranked third.

European PV markets have experienced a slowdown that in a number of European countries can be explained by governmental retrospective measures that have adversely affected investors’ confidence, as further explained in “Item 4.B: Material Effects of Government Regulations on the PV Plants.” 2015 was a successful year for solar power industry after three consecutive years of decline in Europe. The base for Europe's solar power demand in 2015 derived from mainly three countries - UK, Germany and France. These top three markets counted for 75% of the connections. With nearly 100 GW of installed capacity, Europe is still the most solarised continent– with, on average, nearly 4% of electricity consumption and in its most mature markets, such as Germany, Greece and Italy, around 8%.
 
Anatomy of a Solar Power Plant

Solar power systems convert the energy in sunlight directly into electrical energy within solar cells based on the photovoltaic effect. Multiple solar cells, which produce DC power, are electrically interconnected into solar panels. A typical solar panel may have several dozens of individual solar cells. Multiple solar panels are electrically wired together and are electrically wired to an inverter, which converts the power from DC to AC and interconnects with the utility grid.

Solar electric cells convert light energy into electricity at the atomic level. The conversion efficiency of a solar electric cell is defined as the ratio of the sunlight energy that hits the cell divided by the electrical energy that is produced by the cell. In recent years effort in the industry has been directed towards the development of solar cell technology that reduces per watt costs and increases conversion efficiency. Solar electric cells today are getting better at converting sunlight to electricity, but commercial panels still harvest only part of the radiation they’re exposed to. Scientists are working to improve solar panels' efficiency using various methods.
 
 
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Solar electric panels are composed of multiple solar cells, along with the necessary internal wiring, aluminum and glass framework, and external electrical connections.

Inverters convert the DC power from solar panels to the AC power used in buildings. Grid-tie inverters synchronize to utility voltage and frequency and only operate when utility power is stable (in the case of a power failure these grid-tie inverters shut down to safeguard utility personnel from possible harm during repairs). Inverters also operate to maximize the power extracted from the solar panels, regulating the voltage and current output of the solar array based on sun intensity.

Monitoring. There are two basic approaches to access information on the performance of a solar power system. The most accurate and reliable approach is to collect the solar power performance data locally from the counters and the inverter with a hard-wired connection and then transmit that data via the internet to a centralized database. Data on the performance of a system can then be accessed from any device with a web browser, including personal computers and cell phones. As an alternative to web-based remote monitoring, most commercial inverters have a digital display on the inverter itself that shows performance data and can also display this data on a nearby personal computer with a hard-wired or wireless connection.

Tracker Technology vs. Fixed Technology

As described above, some of our PV Plants use fixed solar panels while others use panels equipped with single or dual axis tracking technology. Tracking technology is used to minimize the angle of incidence between the incoming light and a photovoltaic panel. As photovoltaic panels accept direct and diffuse light energy and panels using tracking technology always gather the available direct light, the amount of energy produced by such panels, compared to panels with a fixed amount of installed power generating capacity, is higher. As the double axis trackers allow the photovoltaic production to stay closer to maximum capacity for many additional hours, an increase of approximately 20% (single) - 30% (dual) of the photovoltaic modules plane irradiation can be estimated. On the other hand, tracker technology requires more complex and expensive operations and maintenance and, as this is a more sophisticated technology, it is exposed to more defects.

Solar Power Benefits

The direct conversion of light into energy offers the following benefits compared to conventional energy sources:

 
·
Reliability - Solar energy production does not require fossil fuels and is therefore less dependent on this limited natural resource with volatile prices. Although there is variability in the amount and timing of sunlight over the day, season and year, a properly sized and configured system can be designed to be highly reliable while providing long-term, fixed price electricity supply.
 
 
·
Convenience - Solar power systems can be installed on a wide range of sites, including small residential roofs, the ground, covered parking structures and large industrial buildings. Most solar power systems also have few, if any, moving parts and are generally guaranteed to operate for 20-25 years, resulting in low maintenance and operating costs and reliability compared to other forms of power generation.
 
 
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·
Cost-effectiveness - There are continual advancements in solar panel technology which are increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of production, thus making the production of solar energy even more cost effective.
 
 
·
Environmental - Solar power is one of the cleanest electric generation sources, capable of generating electricity without air or water emissions, noise, vibration, habitat impact or waste generation. In particular, solar power does not generate greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change or other air pollutants, as power generation based on fossil fuel combustion does, and does not generate radioactive or other wastes as nuclear power and coal combustion do. It is anticipated that environmental protection agencies will limit the use of fossil fuel based electric generation and increase the attractiveness of solar power as a renewable electricity source.
 
 
·
Security - Producing solar power improves energy security both on an international level (by reducing fossil energy purchases from hostile countries) and a local level (by reducing power strains on local electrical transmission and distribution systems).

These benefits have impacted our decision to enter into the solar photovoltaic market. We believe the fluctuations in fuel costs, environmental concerns and energy security make it likely that the demand for solar power production will continue to grow. Many countries, including Italy and Spain, have put incentive programs in place to spur the installation of grid-tied solar power systems. For further information please see “Item 4.B: Material Effects of Government Regulations on the PV Plants.”
 
There are several risk factors associated with the photovoltaic market. See “Item 3.D: Risk Factors - Risks Relating to the PV Plants.”
 
 
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Our Photovoltaic Plants


 
 
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The following table includes information concerning our PV Plants:
 
PV Plant Title
 
Installed Capacity1
 
Location
 
Technology of Panels
 
Connection to Grid
 
FiT (€/kWh) 2
 
Revenue in the year ended December 31, 2014 (in thousands)3
 
Revenue in the year ended December 31, 2015 (in thousands)3
 
“Troia 8”
995.67 kWp
Province of Foggia, Municipality of Troia, Puglia region, Italy
Fix
January 14, 2011
 
0.318
$719
$584
“Troia 9”
995.67 kWp
Province of Foggia, Municipality of Troia, Puglia region, Italy
Fix
January 14, 2011
 
0.318
$739
$599
“Del Bianco”
734.40 kWp
Province of Macerata, Municipality of Cingoli, Marche region, Italy
Fix
April 1, 2011
 
0.3215
$479
$390
“Giaché”
730.01 kWp
Province of Ancona, Municipality of Filotrano, Marche region, Italy
Duel Axes Tracker
April 14, 2011
 
0.3215
$549
$394
 
“Costantini”
734.40 kWp
Province of Ancona, Municipality of Senigallia, Marche region, Italy
Fix
April 27, 2011
 
0.3215
$512
$414
“Massaccesi”
749.7 kWp
Province of Ancona, Municipality of Arcevia,  Marche region, Italy
Duel Axes Tracker
April 29, 2011
 
0.3215
$601
$381
“Galatina”
994.43 kWp
Province of Lecce, Municipality of Galatina, Puglia region, Italy
Fix
May 25, 2011
0.318
$675
$560
“Pedale (Corato)”
2,993 kWp
Province of Bari, Municipality of Corato, Puglia region, Italy
Single Axes Tracker
May 31, 2011
0.2659
$2,295
$1,838
“Acquafresca”
947.6 kWp
Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, Municipality of Minervino Murge, Puglia region, Italy
Fix
June 2011
0.2677
$572
$457
“D’Angella”
930.5 kWp
Province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, Municipality of Minervino Murge, Puglia region, Italy
Fix
June 2011
0.2677
$572
$458
“Soleco”
5,923.5 kWp
Province of Rovigo, Municipality of Canaro, Veneto region, Italy
Fix
August 2011
0.2189
$2,819
$2,292
“Tecnoenergy”
5,899.5 kWp
Province of Rovigo, Municipality of Canaro, Veneto region, Italy
Fix
August 2011
0.2189
$2,727
$2,253
“Rinconada II”4
2,275 kWp
Municipality of Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain
Fix
July 2010
N/A 5
$1,021
$894
“Rodríguez I”
1,675 kWp
Province of Murcia, Spain
Fix
November 2011
N/A5
$4346
$6666
“Rodríguez II”
2,691 kWp
Province of Murcia, Spain
Fix
November 2011
N/A5
$7156
$1,1066
“Fuente Librilla”
1,248 kWp
Province of Murcia, Spain
Fix
June 2011
N/A5
$3536
$5316
_________________________________
1. The actual capacity of a photovoltaic plant is generally subject to a degradation of 0.5%-0.7% per year, depending on climate conditions and quality of the solar panels.
 
 
31

 
 
2. In addition to the FiT payment, our Italian PV Plants are eligible to receive the price paid for the electricity generated by the plant (“ritiro dedicato”) equal to the applicable electricity market price. Until December 31, 2013, Italian PV plants with a capacity under 1 MW were eligible to receive a minimum market price guarantee, as a function of supply and demand, on an hourly basis for different zones within Italy. Resolution no. 618/2013/R/EFR dated December 19, 2013 set a replacement, starting January 1, 2014, of the minimum guaranteed prices with the zonal hourly prices set out for each specific area (so called prezzi zonali orari, i.e. the average monthly price, correspondent to each hour, as resulting from the electric market price on the area where the PV plant is located). In addition, in connection with the regulatory changes in Italy, principally Law 116/2014, which generally provides for a decrease in the FiT guaranteed to existing photovoltaic plants commencing January 1, 2015, we elected to implement the option that entails a decrease of approximately 8% in the FiT. The FiT set forth in the table above represents the updated FiT after this decrease.
 
3.  Due to the decrease in the FiT in years commencing on January 1, 2015 as described in footnote (2) above, the 2014 results are not indicative of our results in future periods. The 2014 and 2015 results are also not indicative of future results due to other various factors, including changes in the climate and the degradation of the solar panels. For more information concerning the regulatory changes see note 6 to our financial statements included in this Report.
 
4.  This PV Plant was 85% owned by us until July 2015, when we acquired the remaining 15% minority interest.
 
5.  Due to regulatory changes in Spain, principally RDL 9/2013, which replaced the remunerative regime for owners of a renewable installation, these results are not indicative of our results in future periods. For more information concerning these regulatory changes see “Material Effects of Government Regulations on the Italian PV Plants” below and note 6 to our financial statements included in this annual report.
 
6.  The acquisition of these PV Plants was consummated on July 1, 2014 and therefore revenues for the period prior to consummation of the acquisition are not reflected herein.

Photovoltaic Plants

The construction and operation of photovoltaic plants entail the engagement of Contractors, in order to build, assemble, install, test, commission, operate and maintain the photovoltaic power plants, for the benefit of our wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Each of the PV Plants is constructed and operates on the basis of the following main agreements:

 
·
an Engineering Procurement & Construction projects Contract, or an EPC Contract, which governs the installation, testing and commissioning of a photovoltaic plant by the respective Contractor;

 
·
an Operation and Maintenance, or O&M, Agreement, which governs the operation and maintenance of the photovoltaic plant by the respective Contractor;

 
·
a number of ancillary agreements, including:
 
 
o
one or more “surface rights agreements” or “lease agreements” with the land owners, which provide the terms and conditions for the lease of land on which the photovoltaic plants are constructed and operated;
 
 
o
with respect to our Italian PV Plants –

 
32

 
 
 
·
standard “incentive agreements” with Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici, or GSE, Italy’s energy regulation agency responsible, inter alia, for incentivizing and developing renewable energy sources in Italy and purchasing energy and re-selling it on the electricity market. Under such agreements, it is anticipated that GSE will grant the applicable FiT governing the purchase of electricity (FiTs are further detailed in “Item 4.B: Material Effects of Government Regulations on the Italian PV Plants”);
 
 
·
one or more “power purchase agreements” with GSE, specifying the power output to be purchased by GSE for resale and the consideration in respect thereof  or, alternatively, a “power purchase agreements” with a private energy broker, specifying the power output to be purchased for resale and the consideration in respect thereof; and

 
·
one or more “interconnection agreements” with the Enel Distribuzione S.p.A, or ENEL, the Italian national electricity grid operator, which provide the terms and conditions for the connection to the Italian national grid.
 
 
o
with respect to our Spanish PV Plant –
 
 
·
Standard “power distribution agreements” with the applicable Spanish power distribution grid company such as Endesa Distribución Eléctrica, S.L.U., or Endesa, or Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica, S.A.U., or Iberdrola, regarding the rights and obligations of each party, concerning, inter alia, the evacuation of the power generated in the facility to the grid; and
 
 
 
·
Standard “representation agreements” with an entity that will act as the energy sales agent of the PV Principals in the energy market, in accordance with Spanish Royal Decree 436/2004.

 
·
optionally, one or more “project financing agreements” with financing entities, as were already executed with respect to several of the PV Plants and as more fully described below, and as may be executed in the future with respect to one or more of the remaining PV Plants; and

 
·
a stock purchase agreement in the event we acquire an existing company that owns a photovoltaic plant that is under construction or is already constructed.

Our aggregate capital expenditures to date in connection with our PV Plants is approximately Euro 76.4 million.

As all of our PV Plants are operational, the summaries below describe the material terms of the O&M Agreements executed in connection with such PV Plants. Certain of the EPC Contracts and forms of O&M Agreements were filed as exhibits to previously filed annual reports on Form 20-F.
 
 
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Operation and Maintenance Agreements

General

As mentioned above, each of the PV Plants is operated and maintained by a local contractor pursuant to an O&M Agreement executed between such Contractor and our subsidiary that owns the PV Plant, or the PV Principal. Each O&M Agreement sets out the terms under which each of the Contractors is to operate and maintain the PV Plant once it becomes operational.

A technical adviser, appointed by the PV Principal or the Financing Entity, is responsible for monitoring the performance of the services, or the Technical Adviser. Our current Technical Adviser in Italy is a leading technical firm in Italy which appears in the Italian banks’ white list.

Currently many EPC companies provide O&M services to photovoltaic plants and we expect that, if required, we will be able to replace some or all of our current O&M Contractors with other contractors and service providers. However, we cannot ensure that if such replacement shall take place we will be able to receive the same terms and warranties from the new contractor. In addition, to the extent the relevant PV Plant received financing from a bank or other financing institution, the applicable financing agreement will generally require that we obtain the financing institution’s approval for the replacement of an O&M contractor.

The former Contractor of four of our photovoltaic plants (Del Bianco, Giache, Constantini and Massaccesi) entered into insolvency proceedings during 2012 that are subject to an arrangement with its creditors. We therefore entered into new O&M agreements with another leading Contractor with effect from February 2014. This leading Contractor also started providing O&M services for two additional Italian PV Plants (Soleco and Tecnoenergy) from September 2014. In connection with the insolvency proceedings of our former Contractor, we enforced the bonds received from the contractor as part of its obligations under the EPC agreements and received an amount of approximately $0.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2013.

The Services

Each O&M Agreement governs the provision of the following services: (i) Subscription Services, which include Preventive Maintenance Services (maintenance services such as cleaning of panels and taking care of vegetation, surveillance, remote supervision of operation and full operational status of the PV Plant) and Corrective Maintenance Services (services to correct incidents arising at the PV Plant or to remedy any anomaly in the operation of the PV Plant), and (ii) Non-Subscription Services, which are all services that are outside the scope of the Subscription Services. In some cases, certain engagement agreements are executed by us directly with service providers (such as internet, security services, etc.).
 
 
34

 

The Consideration

Based on the range of services offered by the Contractor, the annual consideration for the Subscription Services varies from Euro 19,000 to Euro 45,000 per MWp (reduced to approximately Euro 19,000 to Euro 36,000 with effect from 2015) (linked to the Italian inflation rate or the Spanish Consumer Price Index) for each of the PV Plants, paid in the majority of the PV Plants on a quarterly basis. The Subscription Services fee is fixed and the Contractor is not entitled to request an increase in the price due to the occurrence of unforeseen circumstances. This annual consideration does not include the price of the insurance policies to be obtained by the PV Principal, including all risk insurance policies.

Contractor’s Obligations, Representations and Warranties

The Contractor’s obligations under the O&M Agreement include, inter alia, the duty to diligently perform the operation and maintenance services in compliance with the applicable law and permits in a workmanlike manner and using the most advanced technologies, to manage the spare parts and replenish the inventory as needed, and to assist the PV Principal and the Financing Entity in dealing with the authorities by providing the necessary information required by such authorities. The Contractor represents and warrants, inter alia, that it holds the necessary permits and authorizations, and that it has the necessary skills and experience to perform the services contemplated by the O&M Agreement.

Termination

Each party may terminate the O&M Agreement (to the extent applicable, after obtaining the approval of the financing entity) if the other is in breach of any of its obligations that remains uncured for 30 days following written notice thereof.

The O&M Agreement is terminated if the Contractor is liquidated or becomes bankrupt or insolvent, and on other similar grounds, unless the PV Principal is willing to continue the O&M Agreement.

The O&M Agreements also provide the parties the option to withdraw from the agreement other than in the event of a breach by the other party, subject to certain advance notice requirements.

Competition

Our competitors are mostly other entities that seek land and contractors to construct new power plants on their behalf or seek to purchase existing photovoltaic power plants due to the changing regulatory regime relating to newly built photovoltaic plants. The market for solar energy is intensely competitive and rapidly evolving, and many of our competitors who strive to construct new solar power plants have established more prominent market positions and are more experienced in this field. Our competitors in this market include Etrion Corporation (TSX, TO:ETX), Sunflower Sustainable Investments Ltd. (TASE:SNFL), Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd. (TASE:ENLT), Energixs Renewable Energies Ltd. (TASE:ENRG), Allerion Clean Power S.p.A. (ARN.MI), NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE:NEP), NRG Yield (NASD:NYLD), TransAlta Renewables (TSX:RNW), Pattern Energy Group (NASD:PEGI), Abengoa Yield PLC (NASD:ABY), NextEnergy Solar Fund Limited (LSE:NESF), Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited (LSE:BSIF), Infinis Energy PLC (LSE:INFI), The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited (LSE:TRIG) and TerraForm Power, Inc. (NASD:TERP). If we fail to attract and retain ongoing relationships with solar plants developers, we will be unable to reach additional agreements for the development and operation of additional solar plants, should we wish to do so.
 
 
35

 

Seasonality

Solar power production has a seasonal cycle due to its dependency on the direct and indirect sunlight and the effect the amount of sunlight has on the output of energy produced. Although we received the technical calculation of the average production recorded in the area of each of our PV Plants from our technical advisors and incorporated such data into our financial models, adverse meteorological conditions can have a material impact on the PV Plants’ output and could result in production of electricity below expected output.

Sources and Availability of Components of the Solar Power Plant

As noted above, the construction of our PV Plants entails the assembly of solar panels and inverters that are purchased from third party suppliers. One of the critical factors in the success of our PV Plants is the existence of reliable panel suppliers, who guaranty the performance and quality of the panels supplied. Degradation in such performance above a certain minimum level, generally 90% during the initial ten year period and 80% during the following ten-fifteen year period, is guaranteed by the panel suppliers. However, if any of the suppliers is unreliable or becomes insolvent, it may default on warranty obligations.

There are currently sufficient numbers of solar panel manufacturers at sufficient quality and we are not currently dependent on one or more specific suppliers.

In addition, silicon is a dominant component of the solar panels, and although manufacturing abilities have increased over-time, any shortage of silicon, or any other material component necessary for the manufacture of the solar panels, may adversely affect our business.

Material Effects of Government Regulations on the PV Plants

The construction and operation of the PV Plants is subject to complex legislation covering, inter alia, building permits, licenses and the governmental long-term incentive scheme. The following is a brief summary of the regulations applicable to our PV Plants.

Material Effects of Government Regulations on the Italian PV Plants

The regulatory framework surrounding the Italian PV Plants consists of legislation at the Italian national and local level. Relevant European legislation has been incorporated into Italian legislation, as described below.

 
36

 
 
National Legislation

(i)           Construction Authorizations

Construction of the PV Plants is subject to receipt of appropriate construction authorizations, pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 380 of 2001, or Decree 380, and Legislative Decree 29 December 2003 no. 387, or Decree 387, the latter of which implements European Directive no. 77 of 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market.

Decree 387 aims to promote renewable energies, inter alia by simplifying the procedures required to commence constructions. In particular, it regulates the so-called Autorizzazione Unica, or AU, in relation to renewable energy plants. The AU is an authorization issued by the Region in which the construction is to take place, or by other local competent authorities, and which joins together all permits, authorizations and opinions that would otherwise be necessary to begin construction (such as, building licenses, landscape authorizations, permits for the interconnection facilities, etc.). The only authorization not included in the AU is the environmental impact assessment (valutazione di impatto ambientale, or VIA, see below), which needs to be obtained before the AU procedure is started. The AU is issued following a procedure called Conferenza di Servizi in which all relevant entities and authorities participate. Such procedure is expected to be completed within 180 days of the filing of the relevant application, but such term is not mandatory and cannot entirely be relied upon.

Decree 380, which is the general law on building administrative procedures, provides another track for obtaining the construction permit. Pursuant to this decree, the construction authorization can be obtained through a permesso di costruire, or the Building Permit, which is an express authorization granted by the competent municipality. Upon positive outcome of the municipality’s review, the Building Permit is granted. Works must start, under penalty of forfeiture of the Building Permit, within one year following the date of issuance, and must be completed within the following three years.

Decree 380 also regulates the so-called Dichiarazione di inizio attività, or DIA, procedure. DIA is a self-certification process whereby the applicant declares that the project in question complies with all relevant requirements and conditions. The competent authority can deny the authorization within 30 days of receipt of DIA; should such a denial not be issued within such term - which is mandatory - the authorization shall be deemed granted and the applicant is allowed to start the works. The DIA procedure can be used in relation to plants whose power is lower than 20 kW. Since the expected power output of the PV Plants exceeds 20kW, the DIA is not available for the PV Plants. With the entry into force of the Romani Decree on March 29, 2011, which implemented European applicable directives (in particular, directive no. 28 of 2009), the DIA procedure has been replaced, with respect to plants fed by renewable energy sources, by the so called procedura abilitativa semplificata, or PAS, according to which, very similarly to the DIA procedure, an applicant can start construction of a plant after 30 days of the filing of the application with the competent Municipality provided that the latter has in such time not raised objections and/or requested integrations. With respect to photovoltaic plants, under the Romani Decree the PAS applies to plants with a power up to 20 kWp, and regions can increase such threshold up to 1 MWp.
 
     The Italian PV Plants rely on three AUs, three DIAs and six Building Permits.
 
 
 
37

 
 
 (ii)           Connection to the National Grid
 
The procedures for the connection to the national grid are provided by the Authority for Electric Energy and Gas, or AEEGSI. Currently, the procedure to be followed for the connection is regulated by the AEEGSI Resolution no. 99 of 2008 (Testo Integrato delle Connessioni Attive, or TICA) which replaces previous legislation and has subsequently been integrated and partially amended by AEEGSI Resolutions no. 124/2010 and 125/2010. According to TICA, an application for connection must be filed with the competent local grid operator, after which the latter notifies the applicant the estimated time for connection, or STMC. The STMC shall be accepted within 45 days of issuance. However, in order for the authorization to the connection to become definitive, all relevant authorization procedures (such as easements, ministerial nulla osta, etc.) must be successfully completed.
 
There are three alternative modalities to sell electricity:

 
·
by way of sale on the electricity market (Italian Power Exchange IPEX), the so called “Borsa Elettrica”;

 
·
through bilateral contracts with wholesale dealers; and

 
·
via the so-called “Dedicated Withdrawal” introduced by AEEGSI Resolution no. 280/07 and subsequent amendments. This is the most common way of selling electricity, as it affords direct and quick negotiations with the national energy handler (GSE), which will in turn deal with energy buyers on the market. We sell electricity though this method.

The Incentive Tariff System for Photovoltaic Plants

The Italian government promotes renewable energies by providing certain incentives. In particular, with Ministerial Decree 19.2.2007, or the Second Conto Energia, the production of renewable electric energy from photovoltaic sources has been promoted by granting a fixed FiT for a period of 20 years from connection of PV plants. The FiT is determined with reference to the nominal power of the plant, the characteristics of the plant (plants are divided into non-integrated; partially integrated and architecturally integrated) and the year on which the plant has been connected to the grid. The FiT provided for by the Second Conto Energia are as follows:

Nominal Power kWp
Non-Integrated
Partially Integrated
Arch. Integrated
1 kW ≤ P ≤ 3 kW
0.40 Euro/kWh
0.44 Euro/kWh
0.49 Euro/kWh
3 kW < P ≤ 20 kW
0.38 Euro/kWh
0.42 Euro/kWh
0.46 Euro/kWh
P > 20 kW
0.36 Euro/kWh1
0.40 Euro/kWh
0.44 Euro/kWh
__________________________
1 With regard to the Italian PV Plants under the Second Conto Energia the tariffs equal to € 0.346/kWh.

The figures above refer to plants which started operation within December 31, 2010. For plants which commenced operations between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, the FiT will be reduced by 2% for each calendar year following 2008.
 
 
38

 

Pursuant to Ministerial Decree dated August 6, 2010, or the Third Conto Energia, a fixed FiT is granted for a period of 20 years from the date on which the plant is connected to the grid in relation to plants that entered into operation from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013. The FiT provided for by the Third Conto Energia are as follows:

 
A
B
C
Nominal Power
Plants entered in operation after December 31, 2010 and by April 30, 2011
Plants entered in operation after April 30, 2011 and by August 31, 2011
Plants entered in operation after August 31, 2011 and by December 31, 2011
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
[kW]
[€ /kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
1 ≤ P ≤ 3
0.402
0.362
0.391
0.347
0.380
0.333
3< P ≤20
0.377
0.339
0.360
0.322
0.342
0.304
20< P ≤200
0.358
0.321
0.341
0.309
0.323
0.285
200< P ≤1000
0.355
0.314
0.335
0.303
0.314
0.266
1000<P≤5000
0.351
0.313
0.327
0.2892
0.302
0.264
P>5000
0.333
0.297
0.311
0.275
0.287
0.251
______________________
3 With regard to the Italian PV Plant under the Third Conto Energia the tariff is equal to € 0.289/kWh.

The plants that entered into operation in 2012 and 2013 were granted the tariff referred to in column C above deducted by 6% each year.
 
        The FiT is payable by GSE upon the grant of an incentive agreement between the producer and GSE. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the first payment of the FiT to the producer is made retroactively, 6 months following connection to the national grid.
 
However, the Romani Decree provides that the Third Conto Energia shall apply only to photovoltaic plants whose grid connection has been achieved by May 31, 2011.

The Romani Decree provides that, starting from its entry into force, ground mounted PV plants installed on agricultural lands, will benefit from incentives, provided that:
 
a)
the power capacity of the plant is not higher than 1 MW and - in the case of lands owned by the same owner - the PV plants are installed at a distance of at least 2 km; and
 
b)
the installation of the PV plants does not cover more than 10% of the surface of agricultural land which is available to the applicant.
 
Such provisions do not apply to ground mounted PV plants installed on agricultural lands provided either that they have been admitted to incentives within the date of entry into force of the Romani Decree, or the authorization for the construction of the PV plant was obtained, or the application there for submitted, by January 1, 2011; and provided that in any case the PV plant commences operations within one year from the date of entry into force of the Romani Decree. However, all PV Plants have already been connected to the national grid and have already been awarded the incentives agreed under the relevant EPC Contract.
 
 
39

 

As an implementation to the Romani Decree, a new Decree was issued on May 5, 2011, or the Fourth Conto Energia, setting out the new FiT for PV plants that entered into operations after May 31, 2011.
 
        The three following tables provide the FiT that applied to PV plants entering into operations from June 1, 2011 until December 31, 2012 on the basis of the Fourth Conto Energia:
 
 
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
 
PV plants on buildings
Other plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
 
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
1≤P≤3
0.387
0.344
0.379
0.337
0.368
0.327
3<P≤20
0.356
0.319
0.349
0.312
0.339
0.303
20<P≤200
0.338
0.306
0.331
0.300
0.321
0.291
200<P≤1000
0.325
0.2914
0.315
0.276
0.303
0.263
1000<P≤5000
0.314
0.277
0.298
0.264
0.280
0.250
P>5000
0.299
0.264
0.284
0.251
0.269
0.238
_______________________________
5 With regard to the Italian PV Plant under the Forth Conto Energia the tariff is equal to € 0.291/kWh.
 
 
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
 
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
 
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
1≤P≤3
0.361
0.316
0.345
0.302
0.320
0.281
0.298
0.261
3<P≤20
0.325
0.289
0.310
0.276
0.288
0.256
0.268
0.238
20<P≤200
0.307
0.271
0.293
0.258
0.272
0.240
0.253
0.224
200<P≤1000
0.298
0.245
0.285
0.233.
0.265
0.210
0.246
0.189
1000<P≤5000
0.278
0.243
0.256
0.223
0.233
0.201
0.212
0.181
P>5000
0.264
0.231
0.243
0.212
0.221
0.191
0.199
0.172

 
40

 

 
January – June 2012
July – December 2012
 
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
PV plants on buildings
Other PV plants
 
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
1≤P≤3
0.274
0.240
0.252
0.221
3<P≤20
0.247
0.219
0.227
0.202
20<P≤200
0.233
0.206
0.214
0.189
200<P≤1000
0.224
0.172
0.202
0.155
1000<P≤5000
0.182
0.156
0.164
0.140
P>5000
0.171
0.148
0.154
0.133

The following table provides the FiT and the relevant reduction, which applied to PV plants which entered into operation after December 31, 2012 on the basis of the Fourth Conto Energia.

 
PV plants on building
Other PV plants
 
Omni-comprehensive tariff
Auto-consumption premium
Omni-comprehensive tariff
Auto-consumption premium
 
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
[€/kWh]
1≤P≤3
0.375
0.230
0.346
0.201
3<P≤20
0.352
0.207
0.329
0.184
20<P≤200
0.299
0.195
0.276
0.172
200<P≤1000
0.281
0.183
0.239
0.141
1000<P≤5000
0.227
0.149
0.205
0.127
P>5000
0.218
0.140
0.199
0.121
 
In the first quarter of 2012, the Liberalizzazioni Decree was adopted. Article 65 of the Liberalizzazioni Decree, inter alia, provides that ground based PV plants located in agricultural areas cannot be granted the FiT provided by the Romani Decree, unless they: (i) obtained the authorization for the construction of the PV plant or filed the application for the authorization by March 25, 2012 (i.e., the date of entry into force of the Decree conversion law), (ii) commenced operations by September 21, 2012 (i.e, 180 days of the date of entry into force of the Decree conversion law), and (iii) complied with the Romani Decree requirements set forth above with respect to the power capacity of the plant, the distance between the PV plants and the percentage coverage of agricultural land of the PV plant. This provision applies the Romani Decree requirements to PV plants that were already authorized or applied for authorization by March 25, 2012 (while other PV plants will not be eligible for incentives). However, Article 65 of the Liberalizzazioni Decree also provides (by way of reference to the Romani Decree) that the incentive be granted to PV plants that do not meet the requirements in preceding item (iii) if they have obtained the authorization for the construction of the PV plant or filed the application for the authorization by January 1, 2011, provided that they commenced operations within 60 days of March 25, 2012. This in particular applies to the Acquafresca and D’Angella Plants, which applied for the authorization prior to January 1, 2011 and already commenced operations.
 
 
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The Fourth Conto Energia has been replaced by a new decree effective July 11, 2012, also known as Fifth Conto Energia. The Fifth Conto Energia is the last law of this type and sets out a new system of incentives granted to plants fed by renewable energy sources and, with some exceptions, applies to photovoltaic plants that commenced operations starting from August 27, 2012. The main provisions introduced by the Fifth Conto Energia are:
 
 
(i)
new (generally lower than the Fourth Conto Energia and decreasing every six months) tariffs, comprising both the incentives and the sale of electric energy (so called “omni-comprehensive tariffs”);
 
 
(ii)
the provision for “large” photovoltaic plants of a register in which the same must be enrolled in order to qualify for the grant of the incentives;
 
 
(iii)
bonuses for photovoltaic plants whose components are manufactured in European Union countries; and
 
 
(iv)
bonuses for photovoltaic plants on buildings replacing asbestos roofs.
 
The Fifth Conto Energia provided that it shall cease to be effective 30 days after the communication by the Italian Energy Authority that a cumulative amount equal to 6.7 billion Euros of annual cost for incentives granted to photovoltaic plants has been reached. In June 2013, AEEGSI announced that the overall annual expense cap of €6.7 billion for incentive payments payable to PV had been reached.  As a consequence, the Fifth Conto Energia ceased to apply on July 6, 2013, and until new incentive plans will be formulated, Italy will not subsidize any new PV installations, excluding minor exempted projects.
 
Law 228 of 2012 (so called Legge di Stabilità 2013, approved on December 24, 2012) has subsequently provided some time extensions in connection with the benefits of the Fourth Conto Energia incentives. In particular, an extension of the deadline for the commencement of operations to March 31, 2013 has been provided for photovoltaic plants installed on public buildings or on areas owned by the public administration whose authorization has been already obtained as at the date of the law; furthermore, an extension to June 30, 2013 has been provided for photovoltaic plants of the same kind that are subject to the so called valutazione di impatto ambientale (environmental screening), and to October 31, 2013 if the relevant authorization has been obtained after March 31, 2013.
 
Other Renewable Energy Incentives
 
        Legislative Decree no. 79 of 1999 implements the so-called “priority of dispatch” principle to the marketing of renewable energies, which means that the demand for electricity must be first satisfied by renewable energies.
 
 
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In other words, in light of the increasing demand of energy, the sale of the total output of power plants fuelled by renewable sources is required by law, and the government must buy power from solar power plants that wish to sell to it, before it can buy the remainder of its power needs from fossil fuel energy resources.
 
Developments regarding the Italian incentive system and the electric energy sale price since 2013
 
(i)           The so called “Fare 2” Decree
 
The Ministry of Economic Development issued a draft of decree, or the Fare 2 Decree, which provided measures aimed at reducing the cost of energy for consumers.
 
Thereafter, such measures have been incorporated in a law proposal ancillary to the so called “Stability law” (i.e. the budget law to be approved on an annual basis to comply with European Union financial requirements).  The abovementioned Fare 2 Decree has been replaced by another decree named Destinazione Italia, which was approved as a Law Decree by the Government and converted into Law n. 9, dated February 21, 2014.
 
This decree does not differ from the Fare 2 Decree as to the matters set forth above, and provides, in particular:
 
 
·
a measure consisting of granting the option to access a new revised incentive plan. This specific provision applies to producers of renewable energy and owners of plants to which the ”all-inclusive tariff” (tariffa omnicomprensiva) or certain “Green Certificates” (certificati verdi) apply and provides an alternative incentive system for production of renewable energy, which can be activated voluntarily on demand of each producer. The latter must choose either to continue maintaining the same incentive regime for the remaining period of duration of the plan, or access a new plan, enforced for the remaining duration of the plan extended by 7 years, but with a correspondent reduction in the nominal amount of the incentive, in a percentage which varies based on, inter alia, the remaining duration of the plan and the type of energy source.
 
 
·
a replacement, starting from January 1, 2014, of the minimum guaranteed prices currently foreseen under the Italian mandatory purchase regime with the zonal hourly prices set out for each specific area (so called prezzi zonali orari, i.e. the average monthly price, correspondent to each hour, as resulting from the electric market price on the area where the PV plant is located). The replacement of minimum guaranteed prices with zonal prices applies to PV plants exceeding 100kWp.

Based on the above mentioned provision, the minimum guaranteed prices for energy produced by renewable energy sources have been abolished and the prices that are awarded to such plants are equal to the hourly zonal prices.
 
 
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On February 26, 2014, GSE published the following new rules regarding the conditions for access to the minimum prices for photovoltaic plants. Therefore, commencing January 1, 2014, the minimum prices as defined by AEEGSI, are equal to:
 
For photovoltaic plants with an installed capacity of up to and including 100 kW – the minimum price, as defined by AEEGSI; and
 
For photovoltaic plants with installed capacity higher than 100 kW – the hourly zonal price.
 
 
(ii)
Minimum Guaranteed Prices determined by AEEGSI
 
AEEGSI opinion n. 483/2013
 
In parallel with the above-described legislative procedure, on October 31, 2013, AEEGSI (i.e., the Italian authority for electric energy) issued a document whereby it started a consultation process aimed at re-determining the amount of the minimum guaranteed prices from which electric energy produced through renewable sources currently benefit under the mandatory purchase regime.
 
This document illustrates the current regime of minimum guaranteed prices and identifies possible issues with respect to which other interested entities may set forth their position.
 
In such document AEEGSI identifies (based on a quantification of standard operational costs) Euro 0.0378/Kwh as the price that could be guaranteed to PV plants with nominal power higher than 20kWp, without any progressive diversification (as currently applying in 2013, from Euro 0.106/Kwh for the first 3,750 Kwh annual production, through Euro 0.0952/Kwh for annual production of electricity up to 25 MWh, and until Euro 0.0806/Kwh for annual production of electricity up to 2,000 Mwh) and provided that should such price be lower than the zonal hourly price, the zonal hourly price shall apply.
 
AEEGSI Resolution n. 618/2013
 
 On December 19, 2013 AEEGSI issued a new resolution, determining the new reduced minimum guaranteed prices applicable as of January 1, 2014, by means of the amendment of AEEGSI Resolution n. 280/2007. However, such resolution has been challenged before the administrative court (TAR Lombardia) by an organization of renewable energy producers (AssoRinnovabili).  On July 3, 2015, the administrative court rejected AssoRinnovabili’s appeal thus confirming the effectiveness of AEEGSI Resolution n. 618/2013.
 
 
(iii)
AAEG resolution 36/E on depreciation of PV Plants
 
Resolution n. 36/E dated December 19, 2013, highlighted, that, in case of plants qualified as real estate (which is the case of all of our Italian PV Plants), the depreciation rate for tax purposes will be the same as the depreciation rate for “industry manufacturer” (i.e. 4%).
 
 
(iv)
Imbalance costs under AEEGSI Resolution n. 281/2012
 
On January 1, 2013 AEEGSI Resolution n. 281/2012 (subsequently also implemented by Resolution n. 343/2012), or the AEEGSI Resolution, entered into force, aiming at charging the PV plant owners with the costs relating to the electric system (so called “imbalance costs”) that are the result of an inaccurate forecast of the production of electric energy, particularly in cases in which the owner is party to the mandatory purchase regime with GSE.
 
 
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Such costs are mainly due to the fact that under the mandatory purchase regime GSE buys electric energy on the basis of a production forecast that may not be fully accurate; such circumstance causes the GSE to bear costs in connection with the re-sale of electric energy on the market; before Resolution n. 281/2012, such costs were borne by final consumers.
 
In order to transfer such costs to the owners of the PV plants, AEEGSI Resolution n. 281/2012 has mainly provided two types of measures:
 
 
(i)
imbalance costs are to be borne by the owners of PV plants, in an amount calculated by multiplying the discrepancy of the production forecast by a fixed parameter;
 
 
(ii)
in the case that the owner of the PV plant is party to the GSE mandatory purchase regime, administrative costs borne by GSE in connection with forecast services are to be charged on the owner. All of our Italian PV Plants are parties to the GSE mandatory purchase regime.
 
On June 24, 2013, the administrative Court of the Lombardia Region annulled the parts of AEEGSI Resolution 281/2012 relating to the imbalance costs as the AEEGSI Resolution 281/2012 should apply to programmable sources which should have a different treatment than non-programmable renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic plants.
 
This judgment was challenged on September 11, 2013 by AEEGSI before the Consiglio di Stato (the Italian supreme administrative Court), which, on June 9, 2014, had rejected the appeal thus confirming the decision of the Court of Lombardia and the partial annulment of the AEEGSI Resolution no. 281/2012. Following said judgment, as of January 1, 2015, AEEGSI reviewed the provisions regarding imbalance costs for non-programmable renewable energy sources. In particular, AEEGSI considered it advisable to provide that beneficiaries of the dispatchment (i.e. of the management of the energy transferred into the national grid and its distribution) may choose, for each of the dispatchment points owned, between two different criteria for the determination of imbalancing costs:
 
 
1.
application of the actual imbalancing (i.e., the difference, hour by hour, between the measurement of the energy delivered/withdrawn into the grid in one day and the final delivery/withdrawal program as a consequence of the closing of the Electrical Markets and the Dispatchment Services Market).

In other words, based on the first option, production units powered by non-programmable renewable energy are subject to the same criteria of determination of imbalancing (regolazione di valorizzazione degli sbilanciamenti) applicable to the programmable ones.
 
 
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2.
sum of three components, which are a result of the application:

 
·
to the actual imbalancing which falls within the tolerated thresholds of the price equal to that provided under section 40.3 of Resolution AEEGSI SI 111/06, as amended by Resolution 522/2014/R/eel;

 
·
to the actual imbalancing exceeding the tolerated thresholds of the price equal to that provided under section 30.4(b) of Resolution AEEGSISI 111/06, as amended by Resolution 522/2014/R/eel.

These two amounts must be calculated pursuant to specific technical formulas.

 
·
to the actual imbalancing which falls within the tolerated thresholds, considered as an absolute value, of an imbalancing price  equal to the area quota. The area quota must be intended as the ratio between the imbalancing costs which have not been allocated pursuant to the two aforementioned points and the sum of the absolute values of imbalancing costs, which fall within the tolerated thresholds.

This second option, therefore, provides the application of tolerance thresholds to the amended and corrected binding program, which are differentiated by source (in particular, 31% of the program for solar energy), so that all imbalancing costs are allocated among producers of energy through non-programmable sources.

As in the previous regulation, AEEGSI provided that for both production units subject to the ritiro dedicato regime and those who applied to the fixed omni-comprihensive tariff, imbalancing costs and the counter-value deriving from participation in the daily market (“mercato infragiornaliero” or “MI”) are transferred from GSE to the same producers pursuant to the provisions defined by GSE under its Technical Rules.
 
 
(v)
Law 116/2014 on the tariff cuts
 
In August 2014, law 116/2014 (so called “spalma incentivi”), providing for a decrease in the FiT guaranteed to existing photovoltaic plants with nominal capacity of more than 200 kW, or Law 116/2014, was approved by the Italian Parliament. Pursuant to Law 116/2014, operators of existing photovoltaic plants, such as Ellomay, which received a guaranteed 20-year FiT under current Italian legislation, were required to choose between the following four alternatives:
 
 
(i)
a reduction of 8% in the FiT for photovoltaic plants with nominal capacity above 900 kW, a reduction of 7% in the FiT for photovoltaic plants with nominal capacity between 500 kW and 900 kW and a reduction of 6% in the FiT for photovoltaic plants with nominal capacity between 200 kW and 500 kW (i.e., out of the twelve Italian photovoltaic plants owned by us, eight would be subject to a reduction of 8% in the FiT and four would be subject to a reduction of 7% in the FiT);
 
(ii)
extending the 20-year term of the FiT to 24 years with a reduction in the FiT in a range of 17%-25%, depending on the time remaining on the term of the FiT for the relevant photovoltaic plant, with higher reductions applicable to photovoltaic plants that commenced operations earlier (based on the remaining years in the initial guaranteed FiT period of our existing Italian photovoltaic plants, the expected reduction in the FiT for the our photovoltaic plants would have been approximately 19%);
 
 
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(iii)
a rescheduling in the FiT so that during an initial period the FiT is reduced and during the second period the FiT is increased in the same amount of the reduction with the goal to guarantee an annual saving of at least Euro 600 million by the Italian public between 2015 and 2019, assuming all photovoltaic operators opt for this alternative); or
 
(iv)
the beneficiaries of FiT incentive schemes can sell up to 80% of the revenues deriving from the incentives generated by the photovoltaic plant to a selected buyer to be identified among the top EU banks. The selected buyer will become eligible to receive the original FiT and will not be subject to the changes set forth in alternatives (i) through (iii) above.
 
The photovoltaic plant operators were required to make a choice by November 30, 2014, with effect commencing January 1, 2015. Operators that did not make a choice became automatically subject to the first option.

We chose the first option for our Italian PV Plants. Therefore, effective as of January 1, 2015 the FiT for eight of our Italian PV Plants has been cut by 8% (with respect to Adria I, Adria II, Pedale, Acquafresca, D’Angella, Troia 8, Troia 9, Galatina) and the FiT for our remaining four Italian PV Plants has been cut by 7% (with respect to Giacchè, Massaccesi, Costantini, Del Bianco).
 
The operators that chose one of the alternatives set forth in (i) - (iii) above can benefit from governmentally subsidized lines of credit or guarantees, for a maximum amount equal to the difference between the incentive due as of December 31, 2014 and the rescheduled incentive under the alternative chosen. The guarantee or line of credit will be made available by Cassa depositi e prestiti, a financing institution controlled by the Italian government, according to criteria that will be determined by a specific decree, as described in detail under paragraph (iii) below.
 
Implementing decrees

The Ministry of Economic Development, issued several implementing decrees in connection with the new provisions on electrical bills reduction detailed above, approved with Law 116/2014.

 
(i)
The decree on the payment terms by GSE
 
Article 26, paragraph 2 of Law 116/2014, provides that the incentives will be paid through equal monthly installments in an amount of 90% of the average production of each plant in the relevant solar calendar year. GSE calculates the balance due based on the effective production before June 30th of the previous year. This provision has been implemented by the Italian Ministry of the Economic Development through a decree dated October 16, 2014. Other than the annual advance payment by GSE, equal to 90% of the total annual average production, determined based on the actual energy produced during the previous year and paid within 60 days commencing from the communication of the production data or, in any case, by June 30th of each year, this decree also determines the criteria for the determination of the advance, the verifications that GSE must carry out and the timing of payments, which varies according to the specific type of plant.
 
 
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(ii)
Decree on option (iii) – rescheduling of the FiT over 20 years
 
On October 17, 2014, pursuant to article 26, paragraph 3(b) of Law 116/2014, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development issued a Ministerial Decree implementing the option described under (iii) above under Law 116/2014, based on the rescheduling of the FiT throughout the 20-year initial period.
 
In particular, the abovementioned Decree provides that, without prejudice for the original 20-year period, for a first period (i.e. from 2015 to 2019) the FiT will be reduced and will then be increased by the same amount of the reduction during the second period. The redetermination of the FiT shall take place in compliance with the criteria set forth in Annex 1 attached to this Ministerial Decree.
 
None of our Italian PV Plants opted for this option.
 
 
(iii)
CDP Decree
 
On December 29, 2014, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development published a decree regarding the guarantee/line of credit that the Italian Government will grant Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, or CDP pursuant to art. 26, par. 5 of Law 116/2014. This decree was issued in order to allow the CDP to finance those banks that will be granting energy producers a new financing in order to cover the costs related to the new amended tariffs, regardless of the option chosen by the producer with respect to producers who chose one of the first three options.
 
In particular, the Italian Government guarantees 80% of the amount (that includes principal and interests) of each guarantee that CDP issues in favor of economically and financially sound banks that provide financing to economically and financially sound producers. A bank/producer is considered “economically and financially sound” pursuant to the definitions set forth by the European Commission.
 
The Government’s guarantee could be enforced by CDP: (i) within 6 months starting from the expiry of the terms foreseen under the financial agreements, in case of default of the reimbursement; or (ii) within 6 months starting from the payment released by CDP following the enforcement by the guaranteed bank.
The Italian Ministry of Economic Development will pay CDP after an evaluation of the specific case. Following the payment, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development will acquire all rights held by CDP towards the first debtor for the amounts paid.
 
In June 2015, an appeal was filed with the Italian Constitutional Court aimed to assess whether the Spalma Incentivi Law entails unconstitutional provisions, particularly insofar as they apply in a retrospective fashion. The decision of the Constitutional Court is expected to be issued during the summer of 2016 and, in the event the Constitutional Court decision results in the annulment of the law, the GSE may have to refund incentives that were reduced based on this law.
 
 
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Interventions on operating plants and incentives
 
On May 1, 2015, GSE issued a regulation called “Documento Tecnico di Riferimento”, or DTR, setting out the conditions subject to which a PV plant can continue benefitting from incentives despite modifications made to the PV plant due to revamping interventions. The terms of the DTR cover a number of circumstances (such as moving of the plant, modification of the connection point, variation of the installation method, replacement of components, modification of the capacity, etc.). The DTR was criticized for being too restrictive by many operators and relevant associations and in July 2015 the effectiveness of the DTR was suspended by GSE partly due to the fact that relevant measures are addressed in the scheme of new Italian decree dedicated to renewables (Nuovo Decreto FER).
 
Although Nuovo Decreto FER is mostly dedicated to other forms of renewable energy, it provides measures on revamping interventions that also apply also to photovoltaic plants. Such measures provide that in order for a plant to continue benefitting from incentives, Revamping revamping interventions:
 
   (i)
shall not entail an increase of more than 1% (5% for plants up to 20 kWp) of the nominal power of the plant or its single units;
 
   (ii)
shall use new or regenerated components, in the case of definitive replacements; and
 
   (iii)
shall be communicated to GSE within 60 days.
 
The Nuovo Decreto FER has already been approved at the national level and is currently subject to the scrutiny of the EU Commission.
 
Retention from Incentives for Panel Disposal
 
As part of the implementation of legislative decree 49/2014, in December 2015, GSE published the guidelines regarding disposal of PV panels that benefit from incentives. In particular, the decree had established that GSE was entitled to retain a certain amount from payment of incentives as a guarantee for the cost of disposal of the panels installed on PV plants and GSE set out the determination of such retention.
 
The guidelines provide that the retention shall start from the 11th year of incentive and shall be calculated, for plants with nominal capacity higher than 10 kWp, on the basis of the following formula:
 
[2 * (n – i + 1) / n * (n + 1)] * total quota
 
where “n” is equal to 10, “i” is the year in which the retention is applied, and “total quota” is n*number of panels (GSE has however reserved to amend the value of “n” after further assessment of disposal costs).
 
For example, for a plant with 100 panels, based on the above formula the retention is equal to Euro 181.82 for the first year and an aggregate amount of Euro 1,000 for a ten-year period (assuming a duration of the incentive of 20 years).
 
 
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The retention will be held by GSE in an interest-bearing escrow account and is to be returned to producers after evidence is provided to GSE that the panels have been disposed correctly. If such evidence is not provided, GSE will proceed by itself to the disposal of the panels and not return the retention to the producer.
 
The guidelines clarify that the retention shall apply also in the case that the incentive-related receivables have been the object of assignment (as is applicable to our financed projects).
 
New provisions regarding determination of cadastral value
 
Art. 21 of Law 208/2015 (2016 Italian Budget Law) set out new criteria concerning the determination of the cadastral value of immovable assets with so called special and particular destination (i.e., those belonging to cadastral categories “D” and “E”). PV plants fall within the scope of such provision. Following issuance of the law, on February 1, 2016, the Italian Tax Office (Agenzia delle Entrate) published official clarifications to the scope of said provision. With specific reference to ground PV plants, the Italian Tax Office pointed out that, on the basis of the new provision, modules and inverters shall not be accounted in the determination of the associated cadastral value, which should entail a significant reduction in the calculation of the related tax burden.
 
Material Effects of Government Regulations on the Spanish PV Plants

The Spanish general legal framework applicable to renewable energies

The legal and regulatory framework applicable to the production of electricity from renewable energy sources in Spain was modified by Royal Decree-law 9/2013, dated July 12, 2013, due to the adoption of several urgent measures in order to ensure the financial stability of the power system, or RDL 9/2013, eliminating the former “Special Regime” and feed-in-tariff established by Royal Decree 661/2007 and Royal Decree 1578/2008 and establishing the basis of the current remuneration scheme applicable to renewable energies called the “Specific Remuneration” regime.

Specific Remuneration includes two components to be paid on the top of the electricity market price: (i) an “investment retribution” sufficient to cover the investment costs of a so-called “standard facility” – provided that such costs are not fully recoverable through the sale of energy in the market, and (ii) an “operational retribution” sufficient to cover the difference, if any, between the operational income and costs of a standard plant that participates in the market.

The Specific Remuneration provides that commencing July 13, 2013 all PV plants currently in operation, including our Spanish PV Plants, were no longer entitled to receive the applicable feed-in tariff for renewable installations but rather became entitled to receive the Specific Remuneration.

The basic concept of the Specific Remuneration contained in RDL 9/2013 was confirmed by the current Power Act (Law 24/2013, of December 26, 2013) and further developed by the following regulations:

 
1.
Royal Decree 413/2014 which regulates electricity generation activity using renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste, or RD 413/2014.
 
 
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2.
Order IET/1045/2014 approving the retribution parameters for certain types of generation facilities of electricity from renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste facilities, or Order 1045/2014.

Pursuant to RD 413/2014 and Order 1045/2014, the calculation of Specific Remuneration is made as follows:

 
a)
The Specific Remuneration is calculated by reference to a “standard facility” during its “useful regulatory life”. Order 1045/2014 characterized the existing renewable installations into different categories (referred to as IT-category). These categories were created taking into account the type of technology, the date of the operating license and the geographical location of renewable installations.

The Specific Remuneration is not calculated independently for each power installation. It is calculated based on the inclusion of each exiting installations in one of the formulated IT-categories and, as a result of such inclusion, is based on the retribution parameters assigned to that particular IT-category.

 
b)
According to RD 413/2014, the calculation of the Specific Remuneration of each IT-category shall be performed taking into account the following parameters:

 
(i)
the standard revenues for the sale of energy production, valued at the production market prices;
 
(ii)
the standard exploitation costs; and
 
(iii)
the standard value of the initial investment. For this calculation, only those costs and investments that correspond exclusively to the electricity production activity will be taken into account. Furthermore, costs or investments determined by administrative rules or acts that do not apply throughout Spanish territory will not be taken into account.

 
c)
Order 1045/2014 established the relevant parameters applicable to each IT-category. Therefore, in order to ascertain the total amount of the Specific Remuneration applicable to a particular installation it is necessary to (1) identify the applicable IT-category and (2) integrate in the Specific Remuneration formula set forth in RD 413/2014 the economic parameters established by Order 1045/2014 for the relevant IT-category.

 
d)
The Specific Remuneration is calculated for regulatory periods of six years, each divided into two regulatory semi-periods of three years. The first Regulatory Period commenced July 14, 2013 and terminates December 31, 2019.

 
e)
The Specific Remuneration is designed to ensure a “reasonable rate of return” or profitability that during the first regulatory period (i.e., until December 2019) shall be equivalent to a Spanish 10-year sovereign bond calculated as the average of stock price in the stock markets during the months of April, May and June 2013, increased by 300 basis points (7.398% before taxes).
 
 
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f)
Pursuant to RD 413/2014, the revenues from the Specific Remuneration are set based on the number of operating hours reached by the installation in a given year and adjusted to electricity market price deviations. Furthermore, the economic parameters of the Specific Remuneration might be reviewed by the Spanish government at the end of a regulatory period or semi-period, however the standard value of the initial investment and the useful regulatory life will remain unchanged for the entire Regulatory Useful Life of the installation, as determined by Order 1045/2014-.

Please note that the update of the Specific Remuneration is carried out by reference to the IT-categories with the sole exception of the adjustment of annual revenues from the Specific Remuneration as a result of the number of Equivalent Operating Hours. This update is made installation by installation by the National Markets and Competition Commission.

The obligation to finance the tariff deficit

Pursuant to the Power Act (Law 24/2013), renewable installations are required to finance future tariff deficits whereas pursuant to the former Power Act, the tariff deficit was only financed by five vertically integrated companies (Iberdrola, Endesa, E.On, Gas Natural Fenosa and Hidrocantábrico). Therefore, in the event there is a temporary deviation between revenues and costs of the electricity system on any given monthly settlement, this deviation shall be borne by all the companies participating in the settlement system (including renewable facilities).

Taxation of the income from generation of electricity

The Spanish Parliament enacted the Law 15/2012, dated December 27, 2012, or Law 15/2012, on fiscal measures for the sustainability of the energy sector, which entered into force on January 1, 2013. Law 15/2012 sets forth a tax on energy generation of 7% from the total amount received for the production of electricity.

Dori Energy and the Dorad Power Plant

General

U. Dori Energy Infrastructures Ltd., or Dori Energy, is an Israeli private company in which we currently hold 49%. The remaining 51% is currently held by the Dori Group. The Dori Group is an Israeli publically traded company, whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. During early 2016, the controlling shareholder of the Dori Group sold its holdings in the Dori Group to a new controlling shareholder, who nominated new board members and senior management in the Dori Group. Dori Energy’s main asset is its holdings of 18.75% of Dorad.

Dori Energy

On November 25, 2010, Ellomay Clean Energy Ltd., or Ellomay Energy, our wholly-owned subsidiary, entered into an Investment Agreement, or the Dori Investment Agreement, with the Dori Group and Dori Energy, with respect to an investment by Ellomay Energy in Dori Energy. Pursuant to the terms of the Dori Investment Agreement Ellomay Energy invested a total amount of NIS 50 million (approximately $14.1 million) in Dori Energy, and received a 40% stake in Dori Energy’s share capital. The transaction contemplated by the Dori Investment Agreement, or the Dori Investment, was consummated on January 27, 2011, or the Dori Closing Date. Following the Dori Closing Date, the holdings of Ellomay Energy in Dori Energy were transferred to Ellomay Clean Energy Limited Partnership, or Ellomay Energy LP, an Israeli limited partnership whose general partner is Ellomay Energy and whose sole limited partner is us. Ellomay Energy LP replaced Ellomay Energy with respect to the Dori Investment Agreement and the Dori SHA.
 
 
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Ellomay Energy was also granted an option to acquire additional shares of Dori Energy, or the Dori Option, which, if exercised, will increase Ellomay Energy’s percentage holding in Dori Energy to 49% and, subject to the obtainment of certain regulatory approvals – to 50%. The first option was exercisable starting from issuance and shall expire within twelve (12) months following the completion and delivery of the power plant and the second option commenced at this date and shall expire within 2 years following the completion and delivery of the power plant. The exercise price of the options is NIS 2.4 million for each 1% of Dori Energy's issued and outstanding share capital (on a fully diluted basis). In May 2015, we exercised the first option. For more information, see “Item 4.A: Information on Ellomay - History and Development of Ellomay.”
 
Concurrently with the execution of the Dori Investment Agreement, Ellomay Energy, Dori Energy and Dori Group also entered into the Dori SHA that became effective upon the Dori Closing Date. The Dori SHA provides that each of Dori Group and Ellomay Energy is entitled to nominate two directors (out of a total of four directors) in Dori Energy. The Dori SHA also grants each of Dori Group and Ellomay Energy with equal rights to nominate directors in Dorad, provided that in the event Dori Energy is entitled to nominate only one director in Dorad, such director shall be nominated by Ellomay Energy for so long as Ellomay Energy holds at least 30% of Dori Energy. The Dori SHA further includes customary provisions with respect to restrictions on transfer of shares, a reciprocal right of first refusal, tag along, principles for the implementation of a BMBY separation mechanism, special majority rights, etc.

Dori Energy’s representative on Dorad’s board of directors is currently Mr. Hemi Raphael, who is also a member of our Board of Directors.

The Dorad Power Plant

Other than information relating to Dori Energy, the disclosures contained herein concerning the Dorad Power Plant are based on information received from Dorad and other publicly available information.

Dorad currently operates the Dorad Power Plant, a combined cycle power plant based on natural gas, with a production capacity of approximately 850 MW, located south of Ashkelon, which is currently the largest private plant in Israel. The Dorad Power Plant was constructed as a turnkey project, with the consideration denominated in US dollars and commenced commercial operations on May 2014. Dorad is leasing the land from the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC for the construction period and for a period of 24 years and 11 months following the commencement of commercial operations of the Dorad Power Plant.

The electricity produced by the Dorad Power Plant is sold to end-users throughout Israel and to the Israeli National Electrical Grid. The transmission of electricity to the end-users is done via the existing transmission and distribution grid, in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Sector Law and its Regulations, and the Standards and the tariffs determined by the IPUA. The existing transmission and delivery lines are operated by the IEC, which is the only entity that holds a license to operate an electricity system in Israel. The Dorad Power Plant is based on combined cycle technology using natural gas. The combined cycle configuration is a modern technology to produce electricity, where gas turbines serve as the prime mover. After combustion in the gas turbine to produce electricity, the hot gases from the gas turbine exhaust are directed through an additional heat exchanger to produce steam. The steam powers a steam turbine connected to a generator, which produces additional electric energy. The Dorad Power Plant is comprised of twelve natural gas turbines, each with an installed capacity of 50 MWp and two steam turbines, each with an installed capacity of 100 MWp. These turbines can be turned on and off quickly, with no losses in energy efficiency, which provides operational flexibility in accordance with the expected needs of customers and the IEC, calculated based on a proprietary forecasting system implemented by Dorad.
 
 
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The other shareholders in Dorad are Eilat Ashkelon Infrastructure Services Ltd. (37.5%) and Edelcom Ltd., or Edelcom, (18.75%), both Israeli private companies, and Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S. (25%), a publicly traded Turkish company. Dorad’s shareholders, including Dori Energy, are parties to a shareholders agreement that includes customary provisions, including a right of first refusal, arrangements in connection with the financing of Dorad’s operations, certain special shareholder majority requirements and the right of each shareholder holding 10% of Dorad’s shares to nominate one member to Dorad’s board of directors. As noted above, pursuant to the Dori SHA, we are currently entitled to recommend the nomination of the Dorad board member on behalf of Dori Energy.

Dorad entered into a credit facility agreement with a consortium led by Bank Hapoalim Ltd., or the Dorad Credit Facility, and financial closing of the Dorad Power Plant was reached on November 29, 2010, with the first drawdown received on January 27, 2011. The Dorad Credit Facility provides that the consortium will fund up to 80% of the cost of the project, with the remainder to be funded by Dorad’s shareholders. The funding is linked to the Israeli consumer price index and bears interest at a rate that is subject to updates every three years based on Dorad’s credit rating (Dorad received an “investment grade” rating, on a local scale). The current interest rate is approximately 5.5%. The funding is repaid (interest and principal) in semi-annual payments, commencing six months of the commencement of operations of the Dorad Power Plant and for a period of 17 years thereafter. The Dorad Credit Facility further includes customary provisions, including early repayment under certain circumstances, fixed charges on Dorad’s assets and rights in connection with the Dorad Power Plant and certain financial ratios, which Dorad is in compliance with as of December 31, 2015. In connection with the Dorad Credit Facility, Dorad’s shareholders (including Dori Energy) undertook to provide guarantees to certain customers, to the IEC and to various suppliers and service provides of Dorad and also undertook to indemnify Dorad and the consortium in connection with certain expenses, including payments to customers due to delays in the commencement of operations, payment of liquidated damages to the construction contractors in the event of force majeure and certain environmental hazards. The aggregate investment of Dorad in the construction of the Dorad Power Plant as of December 31, 2015 was approximately NIS 4,743 million (equivalent to approximately $1,215), as of December 31, 2015)). The Dorad Credit Facility provides for the establishment of the project’s accounts and determines the distribution of the cash flows among the accounts. In addition, the Dorad Credit Facility includes terms and procedures for executing deposits and withdrawals from each account and determines the minimum balances in each of the capital reserves.
 
 
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As of December 31, 2015, Dori Energy provided guarantees to the IPUA, to the IEC and to Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd. in the aggregate amount of approximately NIS 20.8 million (approximately $5.3). As of December 31, 2015, the principal and accrued interest on the shareholders loans provided to Dorad by Dori Energy was in the aggregate amount of approximately NIS 102.2 million (approximately $26.2 million). The shareholders loans bear 10% interest and are linked to the Israeli CPI.

In July 2013, the Dorad Power Plant was energized and connected to the Israeli national grid. In November 2013, the Natural Gas Authority of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources approved the connection of the Dorad Power Plant to the national gas pipeline network. The commencement of operations of the Dorad Power Plant was postponed due to technical delays, including a temporary disruption of the works during 2012 due to missile attacks directed at Southern and Central Israel.

The Dorad Power Plant commenced operations in May 2014, following the receipt of the permanent generation and supply licenses discussed under “Material Effects of Government Regulations on Dorad’s Operations” below.

Dorad previously entered into an operation and maintenance agreement, or the Dorad O&M Agreement, with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eilat Ashkelon Infrastructure Services Ltd., which holds 37.5% of Dorad, or the Dorad O&M Contractor. Certain of the obligations under such agreement were assigned to Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S., or Zorlu, which holds 25% of Dorad. The Dorad O&M Agreement is for a period of 24 years and 11 months commencing upon receipt of a permanent license by Dorad, and in no event for a period that is longer than the period of the lease of the Dorad Power Plant premises. During 2013, the Dorad O&M Contractor entered into an agreement with Ezom Ltd., which, to our knowledge, is 75% owned by the controlling shareholder of Edelcom Ltd. (which holds 18.75% of Dorad) with the remainder held by a company controlled by Zorlu for the provision of sub-contracting services to the Dorad O&M Contractor. Despite the assignment and subcontracting agreement, the Dorad O&M Contractor remains liable to Dorad for all obligations under the Dorad O&M Agreement. The engineering, procurement & construction contractor of the Dorad Power Plant is Wood Group Gas Turbines Ltd., or Wood Group.

Due to the location of the Dorad Power Plant, Dorad has implemented various security measures in order to enable continued operations of the Dorad Power Plant during attacks on its premises.

The Dorad Derivative Action

During April 2015, Dori Energy approached Dorad in writing, requesting that Dorad take legal steps to demand that Zorlu, Wood Group and the representatives of Zorlu on the Dorad board of directors disclose details concerning the contractual relationship between Zorlu and Wood Group. In its letters, Dori Energy notes that if Dorad will not act as requested, Dori Energy intends to file a derivative suit in the matter.

Following this demand, on July 16, 2015, Dori Energy and Dori Energy’s representative on Dorad’s board of directors, who is also a member of our Board of Directors, filed a petition, or the Petition, for approval of a derivative action on behalf of Dorad with the Economic Department of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa District Court. The Petition was filed against Zorlu, Zorlu’s current and past representatives on Dorad’s board of directors and Wood Group and several of its affiliates, all together, the Defendants. The petition requested, inter alia, that the court instruct the Defendants to disclose and provide to Dorad documents and information relating to the contractual relationship between Zorlu and Wood Group, which included the transfer of funds from Wood Group to Zorlu in connection with the EPC agreement of the Dorad Power Plant. For the sake of caution, Plaintiffs further requested to reserve their rights to demand, on behalf of Dorad, monetary damages in a separate complaint after Dorad receives the aforementioned information and documents.
 
 
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On January 12, 2016, Dori Energy filed a motion to amend the Petition to add Ori Edelsburg (a director in Dorad) and affiliated companies  as additional respondents, to remove Zorlu's representatives and to add several documents which were obtained by Dori Energy, after the Petition had been filed. Dorad and Wood Group filed their response to the motion to amend the Petition and Zorlu filed a motion for dismissal. During the hearing held on March 10, 2016, Zorlu withdrew the motion for dismissal and is required to submit its response to the motion to amend the Petition by March 31, 2016. An additional hearing regarding the motion to amend the Petition is scheduled for April 20, 2016.

On December 27, 2015, Dorad received a letter from the representatives of Zorlu, or Zorlu’s Letter. Zorlu’s Letter mainly refers to the execution of civil engineering work in a project of Dorad by the Dori Group and affiliated companies whose services were retained by Dorad’s EPC contractor. According to Zorlu’s Letter, Dori Group did not fulfill its commitments regarding execution of the civil engineering work in Dorad’s project, which resulted in delays in construction of the Dorad Power Plant. Zorlu is requesting that Dorad exercise its legal rights against the Dori Group and its affiliates and representatives, and insofar as its requests do not receive a positive reply, Zorlu plans to file a motion for approval of a derivative claim. On February 3, 2016, Dorad replied to Zorlu’s Letter and advised that it requires an additional period of 45 days beyond the period prescribed by law to examine the matters referred to in Zorlu’s Letter and thereafter Zorlu agreed to this extension until March 27, 2016.

On February 25, 2016, Dorad's Board of Directors received a letter from the representatives of Edelcom and Ori Edelsburg, or the Edelcom Letter. The Edelcom Letter refers to an entrepreneurship agreement that was signed on November 25, 2010 between Dorad and the Dori Group, pursuant to which the Dori Group received payment in the amount of approximately  NIS 49.4 million (approximately $12.7 million) in consideration for management and entrepreneurship services. Pursuant to this agreement, the Dori Group undertook to continue holding, directly or indirectly, at least 10% of Dorad’s share capital for a period of 12 months from the date the Dorad Power Plant is handed over to Dorad by the construction contractor. The Edelcom Letter claims that as a consequence of the management rights and the options to acquire additional shares of Dori Energy granted to us pursuant to the Dori Investment Agreement, the holdings of the Dori Group in Dorad have fallen below 10% upon execution of the Dori Investment Agreement. The Edelcom Letter therefore claims that Dori Group breached its commitment according to entrepreneurship agreement. The Edelcom Letter requests that Dorad take all legal actions possible against the Dori Group, Dori Energy, Ellomay Energy and Mr. Hemi Raphael to recover the amounts it paid in accordance with the entrepreneurship agreement and also notify Dori Energy that, until recovery of the entrepreneurship fee, Dorad shall withhold the relevant amount from any amount Dori Energy is entitled to receive from Dorad, including repayments of shareholders’ loans and dividend distributions. Dorad has 45 days to notify Edelcom and Ori Edelsburg on its position and actions taken, if any, in connection with the Edelcom Letter.
 
 
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The Israeli Electricity Market; Competition

The Israeli electricity market is dominated by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), which manufactures and sells most of the electricity consumed in Israel and by the Palestinian Authority and had an installed capacity of approximately 13.6 GW as of November 2015. According to IPUA's report on the electricity sector, published on November 2015, this installed capacity will have comprised 85% of the total installed capacity in the Israeli market. In recent years, various private manufacturers received energy production licenses from the IPUA. During 2015 Israel's largest privet power plant, Dalia Power Energies Ltd, was commissioned with installed capacity of approximately 900 MW.

Dorad competes with the IEC and other private electricity manufacturers with respect to sales to potential customers directly.
 
Dorad’s position is that the current regulation and structure of the Israeli electricity market provide IEC with a competitive advantage over the private electricity manufacturers. However, as long as the regulation remains unchanged, as the IEC controls the transmission and delivery lines and the connection of the private power plants to the Israeli national grid, Dorad and the other private manufacturers are dependent on the IEC for their operations and may also be subject to unilateral actions on the part of IEC’s employees. For example, the approval of Dorad’s permanent licenses was delayed due to ongoing disputes between the IEC and its employees.For more information see “Material Effects of Government Regulations on Dorad’s Operations” below.
 
Customers

As of December 31, 2015, Dorad entered into electricity supply agreements with various commercial consumers for an aggregate of approximately 95% of the production capacity of the Dorad Power Plant. The end-users include the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Mekorot (Israel’s water utility and supply company), Israeli food manufacturers (Ossem and Strauss), Israeli hotel chains (Isrotel and Fattal), and others.  The electricity supply agreements are, mainly, based on a reduced rate compared to the rate applicable to electricity consumers in the general market, as determined by the IPUA.

The agreements with the Israeli Ministry of Defense and with Mekorot include an undertaking to compensate such customers in the event of a delay in commercial operations of the Dorad Power Plant beyond the second quarter of 2013. Dorad reached an agreement with such customers for compensation in the form of discounts for the first six months or one year of operations and could still be subject to claims for monetary compensation from Mekorot for which a provision was made during 2013 and 2014 in Dorad’s financial statements. In June 2014 Dorad compensated Mekorot by the full amount of the compensation due to it (including interest accrued until that date).

In addition to the provision of electricity to specific commercial consumers, the agreement between Dorad and the IEC, which governs the provision of services and electricity from the IEC to Dorad, provides that Dorad will supply availability and energy to the IEC based on a production plan determined by the IPUA, on IEC’s requirements and on the tariffs determined by the IPUA.

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials for the Operations of the Dorad Power Plant

The Dorad Power Plant is a bi-fuel plant, using natural gas as the main fuel and diesel oil in the event of an emergency. Pursuant to publications of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resource, natural gas is currently being used for the production of approximately 50% of the electricity produced in Israel.
 
 
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Agreement with Tamar

On October 15, 2012, Dorad entered into the Tamar Agreement with Tamar, which is currently the sole supplier of natural gas for the Israeli electricity market. Pursuant to information received from Dorad, following the fulfillment of certain conditions precedent that are set forth in the Tamar Agreement, Dorad purchases natural gas from Tamar for purposes of operating the Dorad Power Plant and the main terms of the Tamar Agreement are as follows:

           Tamar has committed to supply natural gas to Dorad in an aggregate quantity of up to approximately 11.2 billion cubic meters (BCM), or the Total Contract Quantity, in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Tamar Agreement.

           The Tamar Agreement will terminate on the earlier to occur of: (i) sixteen (16) years following the commencement of delivery of natural gas to the Dorad power plant or (ii) the date on which Dorad will consume the Total Contract Quantity in its entirety. Each of the parties to the Tamar Agreement has the right to extend the Tamar Agreement until the earlier of: (i) an additional year provided certain conditions set forth in the Tamar Agreement were met, or (ii) the date upon which Dorad consumes the Total Contract Quantity in its entirety.

           Dorad has committed to purchase or pay for (“take or pay”) a minimum annual quantity of natural gas in a scope and in accordance with a mechanism set forth in the Tamar Agreement. The Tamar Agreement provides that if Dorad did not use the minimum quantity of gas as committed, it shall be entitled to consume this quantity every year during the three following years and this is in addition to the minimum quantity of gas Dorad is committed to.

           The Tamar Agreement grants Dorad the option to reduce the minimum annual quantity so that it will not exceed 50% of the average annual gas quantity that Dorad will actually consume in the three years preceding the notice of exercise of the option, subject to adjustments set forth in the Tamar Agreement. The reduction of the minimum annual quantity will be followed by a reduction of the other contractual quantities set forth in the Tamar Agreement. The option described herein is exercisable during the period commencing as of the later of: (i) the end of the fifth year after the commencement of delivery of natural gas to Dorad in accordance with the Tamar Agreement or (ii) January 1, 2018, and ending on the later of: (i) the end of the seventh year after the commencement of delivery of natural gas to Dorad in accordance with the Tamar Agreement or (ii) December 31, 2020. In the event Dorad exercises this option, the quantity will be reduced at the end of a one year period from the date of the notice and until the termination of the Tamar Agreement.

           During an interim period, that will commence upon the fulfillment of conditions set forth in the Tamar Agreement, or the Interim Period, the natural gas supply to Dorad will be subject to the quantities of natural gas available to Tamar at the time following the supply of natural gas to customers of the “Yam Tethys” project and other customers of Tamar that have executed natural gas supply agreements with Tamar prior to the execution of the Tamar Agreement. The Interim Period will end after (and to the extent) Tamar completes a project to expand the supply capacity of the natural gas treatment and transmission system from Tamar, expected to be completed by January 2016, subject to the fulfillment of conditions set forth in the Tamar Agreement, or the Expansion Project. In the event the conditions for the completion of the Expansion Project are not fulfilled, or the Expansion Project is not completed by the dates set forth in the Agreement, Dorad shall be entitled to terminate the Tamar Agreement. Upon completion of the Expansion Project, the minimum capacity set forth in the Tamar Agreement will increase and the Total Contract Quantity will increase respectively up to approximately 13.2 BCM. On April 30, 2015, Dorad received a notification from Tamar whereby the Interim Period began on May 5, 2015. As per Dorad’s estimate, the impact of Tamar’s notification on its activities is not expected to be significant.
 
 
 
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          The natural gas price set forth in the Tamar Agreement is linked to the production tariff as determined from time to time by the IPUA, which includes a “final floor price.” Following the decreases in the price of fuel and electricity during 2015, the IPUA reduced the rate of electricity production, and as a result the natural gas price under the Tamar Agreement is expected to reach the “final floor price” in March 2016.

           Dorad may be required to provide Tamar with guarantees or securities in the amounts and subject to the conditions set forth in the Tamar Agreement.

           The Tamar Agreement includes additional provisions and undertakings as customary in agreements of this type such as compensation mechanisms in the event of shortage in supply, the quality of the natural gas, limitation of liability, etc.

As a result of the indexation included in the gas supply agreement, Dorad is exposed to changes in exchange rates of the U.S. dollar against the NIS. To minimize this exposure Dorad executed forward transactions to purchase U.S. dollars against the NIS. Dorad's senior loan facility is linked to the Israeli CPI. Since the production tariff is linked to the Israeli CPI, the exposure is minimized. However, as the production tariff is published in delay with respect to the actual changes in the CPI, Dorad executed derivative transactions on the Israeli CPI.

Tamar and Dorad were in dispute over the price of natural gas due to the update of the electricity production costs determined by the IPUA during 2013. In November 2015, the Company reached an arrangement with Tamar whereby the Company’s obligation to acquire the gas for the period preceding the commencement date of the actual consumption of the gas will be cancelled, where in addition the parties also settled the disagreement regarding the tariff linkage during the period of the dispute, with no monetary consequences.

Dorad is also a party to a natural gas delivery agreement and to a diesel oil warehousing agreement. In November 2013, the Natural Gas Authority of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources approved the connection of the Dorad Power Plant to the national gas pipeline network.

Material Effects of Government Regulations on Dorad’s Operations

The regulatory framework applicable to the production of electricity by the private sector in Israel is provided under the Israeli Electricity Sector Law, 1996, or  the Electricity Law, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, including the Electricity Market Regulations (Terms and procedures for the granting of a license and the duties of the Licensee), 1997, the Electricity Market Principles (Transactions with the supplier of an essential service), 2000, and the Electricity Market Regulations (Conventional Private Electricity Manufacturer), 2005, or the Electricity Market Regulations. In addition, standards, guidelines and other instructions published by the IPUA (established pursuant to Section 21 of the Electricity Law) and\or by the Israeli Electric Company also apply to the production of electricity by the private sector in Israel.
 
 
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Licenses

In February 2010, the IPUA granted Dorad a Conditional License, as defined by the Electricity Market Regulations, or the Conditional License) for the construction of a natural gas (and alternative fuel for back up purposes) operated power plant in Ashkelon, Israel for the production of electricity, with an installed production capacity of 760-850 MWp. The Conditional License includes several conditions precedent to the entitlement of the holder of the Conditional License to produce and sell electricity to the Israeli Electric Company. The Conditional License is valid for a period of fifty four (54) months commencing from the date of its approval by the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, subject to compliance, by Dorad, with the milestones set forth therein, and the other provisions set forth therein (including a financial closing, the provision of guarantees and the construction of the power plant).

                On April 13, 2014, the IPUA resolved to grant Dorad a generation license for a period of twenty years and a supply license for a period of one year, or the Licenses, which become effective with the receipt of the approval of the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, or the Minister. The execution of the Licenses was under the examination of the Israeli Ministry of Justice due to an outstanding legal proceeding between the employees of the IEC, the IEC and the State of Israel in the Israeli local labor court. In connection with such legal proceeding, the labor court ruled that the State of Israel should refrain from any change to the status quo that influences or could affect the mandates of the IEC pending the discussions among the parties to the legal proceeding. On May 4, 2014 an urgent petition was filed by Dorad with the Israeli High Court of Justice concerning the delay in the provision of the Licenses to the Dorad Power Plant, or the Petition, requesting the issuance of conditional orders against, among others, the IPUA, the legal advisor to the government and the Minister, to provide the reasons for not signing the Licenses despite governmental undertakings that were provided to Dorad. An urgent hearing at the High Court of Justice was scheduled for May 11, 2014. At the hearing the parties to the Petition reached a settlement, which the Israeli High Court of Justice approved, that, among other things, included the agreement of the parties that the Minister will approve the Licenses and that Dorad will be made a party to any petition or claim filed in the future by any of the parties that may affect Dorad. In August 2014, Dorad filed a request to extend the supply license for an additional period of nineteen years and the long-term supply license was executed in July 2015.

Tariffs

In September 2010, Dorad received a draft approval of conditional tariffs from the IPUA that sets forth the tariffs applicable to the Dorad Power Plant throughout the period of its operation, and in October 2013, Dorad received a revised approval of tariffs pursuant to the Tamar Agreement.

In addition, in July 2009, the Licensing Authority of the National Planning and Construction Board for National Infrastructure established pursuant to the Israeli Zoning and Construction Law, 1996, or the Construction Law, granted a building permit with respect to the Dorad Power Plant (Building License No. 2-01-2008), as required pursuant to the Construction Law.
 
 
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The IPUA determined the method and tariffs for the provision of availability and electricity by private electricity manufacturers to the IEC in the event not all of the capacity of such manufacturers was sold directly to customers. The IPUA’s decision provides that the IEC will pay for the availability even in the event electricity was not actually used by end customers depending on the amount of electricity made available to the IEC.

As noted above, the transmission and delivery lines used by the Dorad Power Plant are managed by the IEC, and the IEC is solely licensed to operate electricity systems (i.e. to oversee and manage the production and transmission of electricity) in Israel. In May 2013, the IPUA determined a temporary fee that will be charged by the IEC per KWh for its electricity system operator services from its customers, from private energy manufacturers, such as Dorad, and from “self-manufacturers” (i.e. those who manufacture electricity for self-use). The IPUA determined that once a permanent fee is established, a retroactive settling of accounts will be performed. These fees may revise the pricing structure of Dorad’s services and may cause Dorad to incur additional costs.

In August 2013, a steering committee for a reform in IEC was established, with the purposes of, inter alia, structuring the Israeli electricity market, including the implementation of competition in the relevant sectors, and suggesting an overhaul reform of the Israeli electricity market. In March 2014, the steering committee published an interim report for comments. One of the recommendations of the steering committee is to create an independent system operator and to maintain a minimal percentage of electricity produced by private manufacturers in Israel (42%), including by selling some of the power plants owned by the IEC to private entities.

On July 9, 2014, Dorad petitioned the Israeli High Court against the IPUA and the IEC in view of the IPUA’s intention to approve a resolution that, inter alia, requires the private electricity producers to pay IEC a new rate, generally referred to by the IPUA as “system costs”. The Israeli High Court decided that the IPUA will submit its response until September 10, 2014 and the IEC also requested permission to submit its response. The IES and IPUA have since submitted their responses to the court and the IPUA contended that the petition should be denied for various reasons.

On August 25, 2014, the IPUA published a proposed decision for a hearing regarding the rates of the “system costs,” in which details were provided on the system services provided by IEC and their rates. According to the proposed decision, the rates will be effective retroactively as from June 1, 2013 but for Dorad will be effective only from the date of its commercial operation.

On December 22, 2014, the IPUA published a proposed decision titled “Electricity Rates for Customers of IEC in 2015,” which includes a reduction of the rates for Dorad’s customers. According to the decision the rates of the manufacturing component which serves as the basis for charging Dorad’s customers and to which the price of the gas is linked, will be reduced by about 9% as from February 1, 2015.
 
On August 6, 2015, the IPUA published a decision establishing the rate in respect of “system management service charges” (system costs). As of December 31, 2015, Dorad settled such charges to for the period until June 2015, and as from July 2015 regular charges are received from the IEC for these services.
 
 
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On September 7, 2015, the IPUA published a decision reducing the electricity rates. According to this decision, the production tariff, based on which Dorad’s customers are charged and to which the price of the natural gas under the Tamar Agreement is linked, was reduced by approximately 6.8% commencing September 13, 2015.

Permits and Environmental Laws

Dorad is required to obtain and maintain various licenses and permits from local and municipal authorities for its operations.

The Dorad Power Plant is subject to a variety of Israeli environmental laws and regulations, including limitations concerning noise, emissions of pollutants and handling hazardous materials.

Pumped Storage project in the Manara Cliff in Israel

General

On January 28, 2014 we entered into an agreement with Ortam Sahar Engineering Ltd., or Ortam, an Israeli publicly listed company, pursuant to which we shall acquire Ortam’s holdings (24.75%) in Agira Sheuva Electra, L.P., or the Partnership, an Israeli Limited Partnership that is promoting a prospective pumped storage project in the Manara Cliff in Israel, or the Manara Project, as well as Ortam’s holdings: (i) in Chashgal Elyon Ltd., or the GP, an Israeli private company, which is the general partner of the Partnership (25%), and (ii) in the engineering, procurement and construction contractor of the aforementioned project (50%). On May 20, 2014 our indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary, Ellomay Manara (2014) Ltd., or Ellomay Manara, entered into an agreement, or the Electra Agreement, with Electra Ltd., or Electra, an Israeli publicly listed company. Pursuant to the Electra Agreement, Ellomay Manara shall acquire Electra's holdings (24.75%) in the Partnership as well as Electra's holdings in the GP (25%). In addition, we, Ellomay Manara and Electra agreed that: (i) on the closing date of the transactions contemplated under the Electra Agreement, Ellomay Manara shall transfer to subsidiaries of Electra all of its then holdings in the engineering, procurement and construction contractor of the aforementioned project, or the EPC, (50%), which will be acquired at closing by us from another partner in the Partnership pursuant to a conditional agreement we entered into, resulting in Electra’s subsidiaries holding 100% of the EPC and (ii) each of Electra (through its subsidiaries) and us (together with Ellomay Manara) was granted with an eighteen-month put option and call option, respectively, with respect to the entire holdings in the EPC. In addition to the aforementioned agreements, on January 19, 2014 we entered into an agreement with Galilee Development Cooperative Ltd., an Israeli cooperative, or the Cooperative, pursuant to which, subject to the fulfillment of conditions as set forth below, we shall acquire the Cooperative’s holdings (24.75%) in the Partnership as well as its holdings: (i) in the GP (25%), and (ii) in the EPC (50%).

On November 3, 2014, Ellomay Manara consummated the acquisition of 75% of the limited partnership rights in the Partnership as well as 75% of the GP, from Electra, Ortam and from the Cooperative. The remaining 25% of the Partnership and the GP are held by Sheva Mizrakot Ltd., an Israeli private company, or Sheva Mizrakot. We and Ellomay Manara did not pay any consideration upon the acquisition, and undertook to pay certain consideration upon the fulfillment of certain conditions precedent. On the same date, Ellomay Manara acquired Ortam’s holdings (50%) in the EPC and, as set forth above, immediately transferred such holdings to a subsidiary of Electra, which, following such transfer, now holds 100% of the EPC. According to the various agreements executed in connection with the Manara Project, we and Ellomay Manara are liable (subject to certain conditions and limitations), jointly and severally, to all the monetary obligations of Ellomay Manara.
 
 
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We and our subsidiaries that are involved in the Manara Project may, for various reasons including changes in the applicable regulation and adverse economic conditions, resolve not to continue the advancement of the Manara Project without further liability to the other parties under the aforementioned agreements. As more fully detailed below, the conditional license has not been issued yet. Based on the status of the conditional license and other relevant factors and circumstances, we will assess from time to time, whether, when at to what extent we will undertake f