Solar industry in France continues to see a drop in the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs (FITs). The country’s regulator, CRE (Commission de Regulation de l’Energie) has announced that the tariffs for new installations connected in the first quarter 2012 will decrease by 4-10 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The new remuneration will depend on the type of installation, up to 100 kW in size. Overall, more than ten different tariffs have been introduced. According to the industry organisation Enerplan, during 2011, the industry lost “half of the 25,000 jobs that had been created until then.”
The Turkish Parliament approved a law regulating the renewable energy market of the country in December, 2010. The new law limits the volume of energy that the State is allowed to buy, besides determining the long-term prices for electricity purchases. However, energy analysts in the country believe that the law will present more obstacles for renewable energy investors than ease the development process. “While Germany is seeking to get 100 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2050 and England aims to reduce carbon emissions to zero, Turkey’s law – a country which has great wind and solar energy potential – should have promoted renewables far more. Instead of support, the law brings limitations to renewable energy production”, observed Prof. Tanay Sidki Uyar, head of the Turkey branch of European Association for Renewables (Eurosolar).
But the investors’ biggest concern is the feed-in tariff set by the Parliament. The law limits the total production of licensed solar energy companies to 600 MW annually until Dec. 31, 2013, and authorises the Cabinet to determine the limits afterwards. In addition, the law guarantees a price of $7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for energy from waste products and solar energy. These rates are said to be very low for a country that needs to work harder to tap into its vast renewable resources, especially in solar and wind. According to market analysts and solar developers, the solar industry in Turkey could become one of the biggest in the world if the government offered the industry appropriate regulatory and financial support as Germany and Spain have done.
“We have enacted a law that will create jobs and encourage industrialists in new sectors,” said Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız.
In 2010, Finland introduced feed-in tariffs to promote renewable energy in the country. Finland consumes more than twice the electricity used by Germany because of its cold climate and energy-intensive industries such as papermaking and is therefore seeking ways to add non-polluting power generation to its energy mix. Prices were fixed for wind and biogas power to encourage producers to meet emission targets set by the European Union. The tariffs came into force on January 1, 2011 and will last for 12 years.