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Solar industry concern about EU energy finance model

The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry has expressed concern about the European Commission's latest proposals to finance renewable energy.

By Isabella Kaminski

The European Commission communication Renewable Energy: Progressing to 2020 looks at cost-effective ways of supporting renewable energy technology in the EU.

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has welcomed the EU’s general efforts but emphasises the importance of maintaining existing successful national support schemes and addressing bureaucratic barriers.

Eleni Despotou, Ad-Interim Secretary General of the EPIA, says: “Well-designed and evolutionary support schemes are the key market drivers for a sustainable photovoltaic (PV) deployment. We think that feed-in tariffs should evolve within a predefined ‘corridor’ that could help avoiding stop-and-go policies or retroactive measures. PV investment profitability should be assessed on a regular basis and support schemes adapted accordingly in a predictable manner.”

The EPIA says some of the proposals may be counter-productive. Referring to the European Commission’s call to achieve a greater convergence of national support schemes to facilitate trade, Despotou says that such an approach “could deprive Member States from a real control on their binding national targets and could eventually cost more to European citizens.”

According to the EPIA, the Renewable Directive is already providing the appropriate framework to develop renewable energy in a cost-effective way while taking into account the maturity of different technologies.

Despotou says: “When it comes to financing, we should not forget that huge savings can also be achieved by tackling bureaucratic barriers.”

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity