Spain to cap solar subsidy with time limit -lobby

Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:43pm GMT

* Govt mulls subsidy cap at 1,200-1,644 hrs/year

* Lobby says proposal same as retroactive cut

By Clara Vilar

MADRID, June 22 (Reuters) - The Spanish government is mulling a cap on subsidies for solar panel power which would create as much legal uncertainty for the beleaguered sector as previous proposals, lobby group ASIF said on Tuesday.

ASIF chairman Javier Anta said the government proposed limiting the hours of output for which a solar plant could receive subsidies, instead of cutting the subsidies for plants themselves.

"This is tantamount to a retroactive cut and creates just as much legal uncertainty. We can not accept this," Anta told a news conference.

Spanish renewable energy firms in recent months have seen share prices fall amid media reports the government may cut lucrative subsidies not just for future plants but for existing ones with set tariffs for 25 years of operation. [ID:nLDE63L1V8]

The government has set a deadline at the end of June for overhauling a system for subsidising renewables which has left the Spanish consumer owing utilities billions of euros.   Continued...

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