German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler is pushing to slash clean energy subsidies in the country, a well-known powerhouse in the global solar power market.
According to a Bloomberg report, Roesler today told members of the Free Democratic Party that subsidies for clean energy technologies, including solar, must be changed to reflect market realities.
But could Germany's solar market survive the cuts? Bloomberg notes that the country's solar manufacturers already face adversity – increasing competition from foreign companies as well as slowing demand. And some have been unable to survive: Germany-based Solon SE and Solar Millennium AG, for example, both applied for insolvency proceedings last month.
According to the report, Roesler had earlier proposed limiting annual solar installations in Germany to 1 GW, well below 2010's record-setting 7.4 GW. In addition, his plan calls for investments in new power lines, as well as new coal and gas power plants.
In response, Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said last month that the uncertainty Roesler's cuts would cause"is poison for the energy transformation," according to Bloomberg.