Business, Finance & Economics

Solar energy slump in Spain

Spain's vast solar farms tend to be in hard to reach places, just like this one in the Pyrenees Mountains. The 25 square panels here rotate to keep their faces towards the sun. the farm produces electricity for about 50 houses, and in all solar energy provides power for 750,000 Spanish houses. This power expert surveys the scene and says the industry has grown from almost nothing in two years because the cost of subsidies had come down. But things have gotten out of control and Spain now pays above market price to meet its ambitious goals for renewable energy. But with the economy in recession the government is determined to cut back. starting in October, any entrance into the solar industry will get 35% less per kilowatt in subsidies. This analyst says that price will cripple the industry just as it was coming into its own. The government argues it has no choice but to make a big reduction. The price cut is a bitter pill for the solar industry, but the industry will also be more flexible and able to adjust more easily. But that's a small consolation given that about half the workers in Spain's solar power industry will be laid off.

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