Electricity Policy



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Forced by fiscal pressures, Europe cuts its once-generous solar subsidies

Generous government subsidies have helped make Germany a world leader in solar technology, but sudden cuts in subsidies for solar in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have thrown the industry into crisis just short of its ultimate goal: a price to generate solar energy that is no higher than fossil-fuel counterparts.

German policymakers indicated last week that they planned to cut once-generous subsidies by as much as 29 percent by the end of the month, on top of a 15 percent cut in January, although details were still being negotiated after protests from the solar industry. Britain and Italy have made similar moves, and in January, Spain abandoned its subsidies altogether, prompting outrage from the solar industry.

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