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May 07, 2011

Financially troubled Spain still spending $10.5 billion subsidizing renewable energy and cogeneration

1. Spain may trim its goal from 22.7 percent to 20.8 percent of national energy needs from renewable sources by 2020

Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian is devising plans for Spain to stick to its pledges on low-carbon energy as voters struggle to pay their energy bills amid the worst economic slump in at least 60 years.

Subsidies for renewable energy and cogeneration plants, which turn excess industrial heat into energy, rose 8 percent to 7.1 billion euros last year, to comprise 39 percent of the country’s electricity bill. The regulator had forecast a decline of 10 percent. The government will announce the main elements of the energy plans next week and the final version is set to be approved in July.

Spain's budget deficit for 2010 was €98.2 billion, or $135.6 billion, amounting to 9.24 percent of gross domestic product. The figure slightly bettered the government’s 9.3 percent target and was down from 11.1 percent of G.D.P. in 2009. The 2011 deficit target is 6% of GDP (about 65 billion euros or US$97 billion).



2. India published a policy called National Solar Mission in January 2010 that calls for adding 20 GW of grid-tied solar energy generation capacity and 2 GW of off-grid projects by 2022. In addition, the Indian state of Gujarat also has its own solar incentive program.
About 404 million people in India lack access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.

Nearly 69 percent of the country’s electricity production came from coal-fired power plants, according to the most recent, 2008 data posted by the IEA website. At 20 gigawatt-hours, solar electricity hardly makes a dent in the overall electricity generation of 830,126 gigawatt-hours.

The country’s renewable energy secretary on Thursday told reporters that the country plans to add 17 GW of renewable power generation capacity between 2012 and 2017, and that will need as much as 1.5 trillion rupees ($33.5 billion USD) to achieve. Most of that investment will have to come from the private sector though.

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