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Sunday 31 August 2014

EU curbs renewable energy subsidies

Published 09/04/2014 | 12:52

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New wind farm developments may be delayed by High Court challenges after a group of west Clare residents became the first local opposition group to secure leave for a judicial review.

The European Union's executive arm is curbing subsidies for renewable energies to help drive electricity prices down.

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The European Commission laid out stricter rules on the extent to which the bloc's 28 member states may support the generation of power from renewable sources such as solar, wind or biomass.

It said production costs for renewable energies have significantly fallen over the past years and the generous subsidies for them "caused serious market distortions and increasing costs to consumers".

The new rules foresee gradually diminishing subsidies to ensure "more cost-effective" renewable energy growth.

The guidelines say owners of existing small-scale renewable installations - such as solar panels on roofs - will be exempt from the curbs.

The rules also allow exemptions for particularly energy intensive manufacturers to keep them internationally competitive.

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