German solar wants faster subsidy cuts

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - German solar companies in industry association BSW are proposing to cut subsidies faster than planned, Solarworld Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told a German magazine.

So far, plans had called for a 10 percent reduction of feed-in tariffs — incentives utilities are obliged to pay for power generated from renewable sources — in early 2010 and another 10 percent a year later. BSW is now proposing to add a cut in mid-2010.

"Some 10 percent on January 1, five percent at mid-year and then another 10 percent at the move into 2011," Asbeck said, according to an excerpt of an interview to be published in weekly Focus-Money magazine.

Utilities are obliged to pay 43 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity produced for 20 years for systems installed in 2009. Companies including Solarworld have called for a faster reduction of subsidies in exchange for international environmental and quality standards in regulation.

According to Handelsblatt newspaper, the BSW association is set to make its proposal to policymakers at a January 13 meeting.

Germany is a world leader in green energy with a 15 percent share of all electricity produced and wants to double that to 30 percent by 2020.


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