Czech government wants to reduce subsidies for new solar energy power plants

PRAGUE (AP) — The government has approved a plan to scrap a state subsidy program for some newly built solar energy power plants.

Prime Minister Petr Necas says the measure, which aims to prevent electricity prices from rising too high, becomes effective in March. It will affect plants built on land, but not on buildings.

Generous subsidies that ensure high rates have led to a recent boom in solar energy production in the Czech Republic but critics have warned electricity prices could jump by up to 22 percent next year as a result.

Industry Minister Martin Kocourek said he hoped the amendment to a renewable energy law approved Wednesday could save 7.8 billion koruna ($400 million) by halting a 700-megawatt output construction. It needs parliamentary approval.