January 26, 2015 / 11:14 AM / 3 years ago

Italy to halt solar power sector incentives -deputy industry minister

ROME, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Italy is planning to halt incentives to solar power producers, a junior minister said on Monday, after years in which generous public support to the sector has fed investor interest including from abroad.

“The decree on (renewable energy) incentives for the next three years should be ready by the end of February, but the photovoltaic sector won’t be in it,” Industry Deputy Minister Claudio De Vincenti said at a conference.

“The government believes there is no need to offer (solar) plants further support.”

Italy’s solar power market, which has drawn private equity firms such as Terra Firma and First Reserve as well as bank-owned investment firms and pension funds, took off at the end of 2010 when new rules sent production subsidies soaring.

Subsidies rose from 750 million euros ($843 million) in 2010 to 3.8 billion euros in 2011 and 6.7 billion euros in 2013.

In the past five years, investors have poured more than 50 billion euros into Italian renewable energy, building about 17 gigawatts of solar capacity. ($1 = 0.8895 euros) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto; Writing by Valentina Za; Editing by David Goodman)

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