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Subsidies for Renewables Continue to Rise

Ljubljana, 12 August (STA) - State subsidies for the production of electricity from renewable sources surged in the first half of the year. Subsidies for solar energy in particular ticked up despite a decree effective on 1 December to lower payments to operators, according to data from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Subsidies totalled EUR 59.1m, up 33% year-on-year, and averaged EUR 141.4 per GWh. Solar accounted for 46% of the total, as output from solar installations rose 27% compared to the same period last year to 418.2 GWh.

A total of 3,190 installations (small hydro plants, co-generation plants, solar installations and biogas plants) were included in the scheme. This is 521 more than in the same period last year, with solar accounting for 476 of the new installations included in the scheme.

Subsidised solar installations produced 98.2 GWh of electricity, with co-generation accounting for 135 GWh, biogas plants for 62.9 GWh, biomass plants 46.1 GWh and small hydro plants 75.5 GWh.

The figures suggest that the government decision on 1 December to lower subsidies for solar did not have an impact as claimed by operators, but many of these projects had been ongoing at the time the decision was made and were completed despite the lower subsidies.

The government opted for the reduction of subsidies after the construction of solar installations surged as prices of solar panels collapsed due to cheap Chinese imports, making such installations very attractive for investors.

The prices were so low that investors were able to recoup their entire investment in seven years whereas the subsidies were granted for 15 years.

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