Italy to cut Subsidies on Solar power plant Spain and Czech faced massive fiscal pressure on their treasuries after their government’s legislated large subsidies for solar power energy. The bureaucrats set up a bad subsidy policy, which resulted in windfall profits for developers as they procured solar panels at cheap prices from Chinese producers. The [...]

Solar Subsidy pain in Spain Spain saw a massive boom in solar installations after the government announced a very generous subsidy on solar energy installations. Beside large funds and companies, large number of small investors also started to invest in solar energy systems, attracted by the steady high long term returns given by the government. [...]

According to reports coming from Europe where the summit of major European leaders took place to resolve the growing debt crisis,a deal has been reached on Greek debt.The Euro 350 billion debt which dwarfs the size of the negatively growing Greek economy has been a major source of instability in the last 2 years.The private holders of the Greek government bonds have agreed to take a 50% writeoff on their holdings.This means that if they hold Euro 100 of bonds they have become Euro 50 now as the rest has been written off as bad debt.Not that it was not apparent as Greek CDS and Greek bonds were touching all times lows in the secondary market.In fact the only buyers of Greece bonds were the European Central Bank and the Greek banks.The capital markets had been going up in the last month in the hope of some sort of resolution.The deal does not look like a win win as there will be some big losers in this deal (though they were already losing for some time).Nicolas Sarkozy announced the deal which would be voluntary in nature so that the CDS would not be invoked.Here are the winners and losers from this deal

Spain has started cracking down on Solar Power Plants which are making huge profits through illegal Feed in Tariffs which they should not get.Note Spain had seen a massive boom in solar installations in 2008 due to unusually large ROI driven by high Feed in Tariffs.FIT are electricity rates which are higher than wholesale electricity rates paid to renewable energy power plants in order to make them competitive with cheaper fossil fuel power plants.Seeing a huge increase in the subsidy burden Spain has pretty much killed the solar market in 2009,however the problems of Fiscal Deficit has made Spain reconsider the tariffs being given to even older solar power plants.After a lot of controversy,Spain changed the FIT rules in the middle of the game through a retroactive FIT Law drawing howls of protest from solar investors like pension funds which have sued the government

The Spanish Government faces multiple lawsuits over its Royal Decrees which cut the Feed in Tariff for Solar PV Installations Retroactively.These laws were passed in Dec 2010 as part of the comprehensive review of the Renewable Energy Subsidies by the government.While Wind Energy and Solar Thermal Subsidies were changed earlier,the controversy over the Solar PV subsidies had forced the government to delay the change to the last minute.These changes were strongly opposed by the Solar PV Industry Association ASIF which has earlier called the measure as “industry killing”.These cuts over the next 3 years would be done through a “backdoor approach” in which the subsidies would be restricted for a only a few hours for the Solar PV plants.

Spain is having difficulties with its fiscal deficit and finding it hard to sustain subsidies for Renewable Energy.The Markets in the West have also saturated themselves in terms of growth rates.Though low cost South Korean and Chinese Wind Turbine Producers have not penetrated the Western Markets yet,they could do so in the future.Gamesa which is a Top 5 Wind Energy Company has faced a turbulent year with the owners selling stakes and the share price taking a huge dive.Gamesa is one of the worst performing Wind Energy Stocks in 2010.Gamesa is looking to restructure its operations and concentrating on the offshore wind market by focusing on higher megawatt turbines.Gamesa is leading a massive Spanish Research Effort to develop a colossal 15 MW Turbine meant for the fast growing offshore wind sector.But this is a long term plan with 2020 set as the target for the complete development of this new Turbine.Meanwhile Gamesa has become the target of takeover speculation by one of the bigger Chinese Wind Turbine players like Sinovel,Goldwind etc.Gamesa has seen its revenue fall by 28% and profits by 71% with Operating Margins of 4-5%.Things don’t look too good for 2011 either though Orders have started ticking up.