Germany and France reduce subsidies for solar power Both Germany and France have ...

Germany and France reduce subsidies for solar power Both Germany and France have stated that they will reduce the levels of support they provide for solar power through feed-in tariff (FIT) mechanisms that have played a major part in expanding adoption of the technology in the two countries. The news comes as the UK has just set out its plans for FITs. The German Environment Minister, Norbert Röttgen, announced that the German Government will cut feed-in tariff levels for roof-mounted solar power by 15% from April. Open-field and farmland sites will follow in July with 15% and 25% cuts respectively, reports Euractive. However, they also announced that individuals that installed solar panels for personal use would receive higher tariff levels. Röttgen said that the planned cuts were due to the success of the solar sector which has led to over-subsidisation of the industry - the price of the solar panels has dropped by around a third due to oversupply in the past year. There are fears in the solar industry that the cuts will result in job losses, and that there could be a stall in the global market which is largely driven by Germany. France also announced that it would cut tariffs for rooftop systems by 24% from 55 eurocents to 42 eurocents per kWh. In France’s case the move was part of a wider change to renewable subsidies which also saw changes to support for geothermal and biomass plants. The revised tariff levels include the world’s highest - 58 eurocents per kWh for integrated panels for residential buildings, hospitals and schools. Offices and industrial sites would get lower tariffs - 50 eurocents for existing buildings and 42 eurocents for new-build. The country stated that the measures were aimed at removing a ‘speculative bubble’ in the market.

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