German solar industry faces subsidy cut: minister

Jan 19, 2010
A technician checks the panels of a solar power system on the roof of solar power company Conergy SolarModule GmbH & Co. in Frankfurt/Oder in 2009. Germany, the world's biggest market for solar cells, is poised to slash its subsidies for solar power by as much as 17 percent, Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said on Tuesday.

Germany, the world's biggest market for solar cells, is poised to slash its subsidies for solar power by as much as 17 percent, Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said on Tuesday.

"I envisage an order of magnitude of 16 to 17 percent," Bruederle said at an energy conference in Berlin.

Electricity produced by in Germany is sold at a minimum price guaranteed by the government to help producers compete with firms using and that can produce power much more cheaply.

This guaranteed price has already been reduced gradually -- the subsidy was already cut by 10 percent from January 1 this year -- but pressure has grown on the government to accelerate the process.

Experts say the subsidy fails to spur competition in the industry, which represents less than one percent of the total electricity production in Germany, Europe's top economy.

The solar sector itself has said it is prepared to accept a cut in the subsidy, but that anything above 10 percent would be intolerable.

After years of dazzling results, Germany's solar industry has succumbed to the gloom enveloping the broader economy, with competition from Asia also taking the shine off the sector.

The world's top solar cell maker, Q-Cells, saw its turnover plunge by over 40 percent in the first nine months of 2009.

Explore further: Green technology saves energy and boosts profits, productivity in factories

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Asian competitors shadow German solar industry

Aug 18, 2009

Germany's solar power industry, until recently the world leader in the technology, is facing an unprecedented crisis, analysts say, outshone by cheaper competitors from Asia, most notably Chinese firms.

Germany's biggest solar park inaugurated

Aug 20, 2009

Germany's largest solar park, and the world's second biggest, was inaugurated on Thursday on the site of a former Soviet military training ground in the east of the country.

Solar cell shipments in Japan hit record high in April-June

Sep 08, 2009

Demand for solar cells has been growing rapidly in Japan with a record generating capacity of 83,260 kilowatts shipped to the domestic market between April and June, up 82.5 percent from the same quarter last year, a private-sector ...

Desert power: A solar renaissance

Apr 01, 2008

What does the future hold for solar power? “Geotimes” magazine looks into more efficient ways of turning the sun’s power into electricity in its April cover story, “Desert Power: A Solar Renaissance.”

China solar panel makers see boost from Copenhagen

Dec 03, 2009

In Trina Solar's brilliant white factory in eastern China, masked workers in lab coats turn silicon wafers into solar power cells capable of harnessing the sun's clean and limitless energy.

Recommended for you

European grid prepares for massive integration of renewables

9 hours ago

Today, the ancient city of Rome welcomed an important new initiative for the large-scale integration of grids and of renewables sources into Europe's energy mix, with nearly 40 leading organisations from research, industry, ...

Preparing for a zero-emission urban bus system

Oct 30, 2014

In order to create a competitive and sustainable transport system, the EU must look to alternative fuels to replace or complement petrol and diesel. Not only will this reduce transport emissions but it will ...

Exploring the value of 'Energy Star' homes

Oct 30, 2014

The numbers in neat columns tell—column by column, page by page—a story spread out across Carmen Carrión-Flores' desk at Binghamton University. It's a great story, she says; she just doesn't know how ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.