EU seeks cheaper power, curbs renewable subsidies

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

The European Commission on Wednesday 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 says 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 — like 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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