New German coalition aiming to cut solar energy subsidies

New German coalition aiming to cut solar energy subsidies
Photo: DPA
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new centre-right coalition could slash subsidies to the country’s already beleaguered solar energy manufacturers, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

Economic policy experts for Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the free-market Free Democrats (FDP) want to cut support for photovoltaic panels dramatically starting January 1.

Citing a draft section on energy issues of the CDU/FDP coalition agreement being discussed on Tuesday, Handelsblatt reported the two parties wanted to “critically scrutinise” the subsidies in light of sinking production costs.

Last year Germany helped the solar industry with €2.2 billion in aid, but many firms have run into trouble amid increasing competition from cheaper Asian competitors.

Handelsblatt predicted the economic experts would likely tousle with their counterparts hashing out environmental issues for the coalition agreement over the extent of subsidies for renewable energy.

And though photovoltaic manufactures might soon face grim times, Michael Fuchs from the CDU told public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday morning that the incoming coalition could use profits from extending the lifespan of Germany’s nuclear power plants to fund research for other forms of renewable energy.

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