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Spain boosts solar target

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Spain boosts solar target

The Spanish government has increased its target for the installation of solar electricity generation capacity from 400MW to 1,200MW by 2010.

On 1 October, Joan Clos, a minister at the Spanish ministry of industry, tourism and commerce, announced the decision after figures from the Comisión Nacional de la Energía showed that 85% of the original quota has been met, and the full 400MW is likely to be installed by the end of 2007. The feed-in tariffs which incentivise solar electricity production are linked to this target.

However, the solar photovoltaic industry in Spain has strongly criticised the move. The trade association Asociación de la Industria Fotovoltaica issued a statement saying that the new target is not a sustainable answer to encouraging renewable energy growth in the country.

Tomás Díaz, a spokesman for ASIF, said that the 2010 figure is "very low", considering the rate at which the industry is expanding. Instead, the association wants a more ambitious target for 2020, with the EU's targets for renewable electricity generation in mind. According to ASIF, the Spanish solar PV sector grew 500% in the last year, prompting fears that the market is overheated. It has also proposed cutting the feed-in tariffs granted to solar energy projects.

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