Wednesday, December 22, 2010

France Suspends Most Solar Projects

France’s decision to suspend most solar-energy projects for three months was done partly to curb cheaper imports of Chinese solar panels, Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said today on France Info radio.

“Ninety percent of the solar panels installed in France come from China and our import criteria must be strengthened,” Kosciusko-Morizet said. “We are not here to subsidize the Chinese economy but to create green jobs in France.”

European governments are revising solar policies after realizing their subsidies were too generous and that developers bought a majority of the panels from Chinese suppliers including Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. rather than manufacturers such as Q-Cells SE of Germany or Spain’s Solaria Energia & Medio Ambiente SA.

France on Dec. 10 suspended projects for three months as it studies whether to limit construction and further cut subsidized rates paid to solar-power producers. The feed-in tariffs, among Europe’s highest, sparked a boom in project applications and France, following similar moves in Spain and Germany, is seeking to limit the spiraling cost of clean energy for consumers.

The French halt applies to projects with a capacity of more than 3 kilowatts. The rules will allow projects that agreed on earning the subsidized rates more than nine months ago with Electricite de France SA to go ahead as long as generation is started within 18 months.


1 comment:

jeet said...

France seems to have more guts than the U S, atleast where renewable ebergy policy is concerned. How do we make panel manufacture more competitive in the west?