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PV Subsidies: France up, Netherlands down

Different phases of market stimulation

This past summer, France announced new, increased fixed rates for power from renewable sources (the so called “feed-in tariffs”). Netherlands, on the other hand, decided to cease awarding premiums for green power. Is this two countries headed in opposite directions? No, it’s just an illustration that France and the Netherlands are at different stages in their stimulation of the green power market.

A market growing to maturity

In the Netherlands, feed-in rates have already done their job in recent years. Investments in green power have risen significantly. The interim-government has now decided to skip the premiums since they believe that even without them, the target of 9% green power by 2010 will be achieved. New supporting policies will have to be decided by the new government after the elections in November.

A germinating market

In France, the renewable energy market, with the exception of hydropower, is still in its infancy. In 2005, 11% of all electricity production came from hydropower, but only 1% from biomass, wind, PV systems, and waste incineration. So the government decided that the market needed further stimulation if they are to achieve their target of 21% renewable power by 2010. Higher feed-in rates for the next 20 years have been established. For PV systems, the feed-in tariff doubled to 30€ct/kWh, with an extra premium of 25€ct/kWh for roof, wall, or window integrated PV.

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