May 6, 2010 / 4:31 PM / 7 years ago

German Bundestag approves solar incentive cuts

BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) - Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament approved on Thursday controversial cuts for solar power incentives to take effect from July.

Solar subsidies for rooftop installed solar power will see a one-off cut of 16 percent, while most open-field installations will be cut by 15 percent.

German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said the cuts were appropriate given that solar modules were now cheaper and the sector had to compete with Asian producers.

"Our solution is innovation instead of subsidies," Roettgen said. "And we also have to keep the costs with which we burden electricity clients under control."

Germany is the world's largest market for solar power with about half of all solar power produced there. Critics of the cuts have said they could harm development of the technology. (Reporting by Markus Wacket and Sarah Marsh)

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