Spain's Famous Solar Subsidies Gored by Government

solar Spain

And so one of the most ambitious experiments in government-subsidized renewable energy comes to an end as Spain announces that it will slash subsidies for photovoltaic solar power plants by 45%, for big rooftop solar plants by 25%, and for small rooftop installations by 5%. The move comes jut a month after Spain announced similar cuts to its thermosolar and wind power subsidies.

We first reported on Spain's plan to cut PV solar subsidies last month, when Tomas Diaz, director of external relations at the Photovoltaic Industry Association in Madrid, predicted that the move would bankrupt the majority of Spain's 600 PV operators. But the cuts will also give a $1.3 billion annual boost to the Spanish government. In the past, the subsidy program has caused the government to practically bleed money--in the first five months of this year, the PV sector received $1.2 billion from the state.

No word yet on when the subsidy cuts will go into effect, but we'll probably figure it out from the conspicuous lack of  new solar projects in the country, which is known for such achievements as the world's biggest solar power tower and Europe's first parabolic trough commercial power plant.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

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