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Germany may cut support for solar power

Example of a German
solar farm
Berlin, Germany — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 15 December 2010 – Germany’s main centre-left opposition parties have backed calls to make further cuts in support for new solar power installations, which may help the government to bring forward reductions in aid.

Both the environmentalist Greens and Social Democrats (SPD) “’ who enacted legislation under ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that created the basis for a boom in solar investment “’ now say they are open to cutting back on the assistance the industry receives.

“In view of recent developments, a measured reduction in allowances for photovoltaics is definitely possible,” Greens deputy head Baerbel Hohn said in parliament. The SPD is also open to the option of cutting back support, according to internal papers seen by Reuters.

Germany’s Environment Ministry welcomed the news. “The market development renders further cuts possible,” a spokeswoman for the ministry said.

Reuters reports that support from the Greens and SPD could hasten the passage of any legislation to bring about cuts in the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right ruling coalition no longer has a majority.

Last week, the BSW solar industry association lobby said it would constructively support considerations to move forward some solar support cuts to mid-2011 from 2012.

Germany will add a record of some 8 gigawatt (GW) of photovoltaic capacity this year to a total of nearly 18 GW.

Germany is the world’s biggest market for photovoltaic, which turns sunlight into electricity.