In Spain, even the rising industry of renewable energy is not immune to the realities of the country's sizable debt and broader economic woes. Just last month, the Spanish government slashed subsidies for any new wind or solar thermal projects in the country. The decision was in sharp contrast to last year's move on renewable energy, when the Spanish government provided 6.5 billion Euros to utilities as pass-through subsidies to those who are generating renewable energy.
In recent months, a state, a municipality and a public utility district have enacted policies that guarantee a premium price for electricity that's generated from renewable sources. Lawmakers from a number of states -- including South Dakota, California, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan -- are also considering creating so-called feed-in tariffs of their own. Such tariffs entice homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, or wind turbines, by making it financially attractive to do so.
While AIG chief Edward Liddy was taking a pounding from the House Financial Services Committee, AIG Financial Products Corp. (AIGFP), an AIG company, announced on Wednesday its sale of its interests in three solar PV plants in Spain. The three plants -- operated variously by City Solar, Proener and SunPower -- represent a combined 35 megawatts (mW) of capacity. According to AIGFP Cheif Operating Officer Gerry Pasciucco, the move "continues AIGFP’s ongoing program of investment portfolio dispositions, further reducing its overall risk profile.”