Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Germany Backs Land Use for Solar Power as Subsidy Talks Start

January 6, 2010

Germany's Environment Ministry sees no conflict between solar energy and land use for agriculture, spokesman Juergen Maass said, rejecting calls by a party in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition to protect farmland. The proposal by the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union is stoking conflict within Merkel's three-party government over energy policy. CSU leaders are also calling for steeper cuts in subsidies for solar energy than foreseen under current law.

"We don't see any competition right now between farmland and land use" for solar panels, Maass told a regular government news briefing in Berlin today. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen is from Merkel's own Christian Democratic Union. Talks on a "reform of subsidies" for solar energy in Germany "are starting now," Maass said, without giving details on the participants. "Give it a bit more time."