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Friday, 28 January 2011

Solar in Europe: Highways and Byways on the Path to a Sustainable Future

Paris Tech Review
Jan 3, 2011

The ever expanding palette of tools available to national authorities in their struggle to meet the energy needs of the future has grown to include fiscal incentives, quotas on production and the creation of feed-in tariffs on renewable energy sources. The financial encouragement these and other measures provide is a demonstration of the desire of policy makers to funnel more resources into expansion of solar energy production through an increase in the photovoltaic infrastructure. Across the 27 member states of the European Union, 22 are relying on some form of feed-in tariff but in deployment diversity has been the rule and each country must face hurdles specific to its own reality. Differences in capacity as well as sophistication have created wide disparities between the various countries. European Commission directives on the harmonization of renewable energy policy have taken on a greater urgency and as the measures implemented gain traction it would be wise to look back at the road already travelled and take the measure of the success or failure of decisions by focusing on the paths followed in Germany, Spain and France. By focusing largely on three countries we can draw valuable lessons on the complexion of change and the obstacles that could appear as harmonization policies gain pace.
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