Kiran Stacey Starace: Solar subsidy changes don’t worry us

Solar farmOne of Europe’s top renewables bosses has contradicted much of the rest of the solar industry by saying he is unconcerned about the changes being made to subsidies for solar power by governments around Europe.

Francesco Starace, chief executive of Enel Green Power, said his company was “not at all worried” about recent changes to government policies, which have included reductions in solar subsidies in the UK and Spain, as well as discussions on a similar move in Italy.

Answering Energy Source readers’ questions, Starace said:

In 2010 the share of EGP revenues depending on incentives was only 22 per cent, but we think that the process of constant revision of subsidies, taking into account technological improvements and cost reductions, is a sign of the soundness and sustainability of this business in the long run.

Governments are paying the right attention to the dynamics of each industry – for example the solar photovoltaic industry which is getting more competitive year after year, and we are very active in the entire value chain of this technology.

His comments contradict the message from much of the UK solar industry, which has warned the moves could severely hamper investment in the sector.

Starace also predicted the recent nuclear crisis in Japan would help drive additional demand towards renewable energy sources in the long term, although warned that it could be a year before such an effect is felt.

The full Q&A session will be published on this blog later on Friday.