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Italy Unveiling Solar Cuts Thursday: Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Germany moved ahead with plans to send its much-debated solar feed-in tariff reductions to parliament on Wednesday, and Europe is just getting going.

Italy is reportedly to move forward with changes to its solar incentives on Thursday.

Italy industry minister Claudio Scajola told Reuters that the revised solar incentive scheme would be unveiled Thursday. However, another Italian official told Reuters that the "Unified Conference of State and Regions" needs to approve the plan before it goes to industry and environment ministers to be signed. This meeting has not been set up yet, the official said.

The message was slightly confusing. The news service said that based on the comments from the Italian officials, the meeting would have to be organized within a matter of hours. However, at the same time, Reuters gave no indication that there was a chance that the solar incentive reductions would not be presented on Thursday.

Maybe more important than Italian government meeting agenda protocol were the numbers quoted by the Italian industry minister. The industry minister noted that Italy's booming solar market has already hit the 1 gigawatt (GW) level, and the current feed-in tariff scheme expires when the market reaches 1.2 GW. However, there had been prior indications that Italy would not enact the changes to its feed-in tariffs until, at earliest, Jan. 1, 2011.

It is clear that if Italy is currently at 1 GW of solar capacity, there is no way it will not reach 1.2 GW well before the end of 2010.

German prime minister Angela Merkel's cabinet approved its feed-in tariff proposal and is now sending it to the lower house of parliament for a vote, where Merkel's coalition government has s solid majority.

Solar stocks were up big early on Wednesday on a flurry of good news: the German situation coming near a close, a Greek bailout coming into view and making Europe's outlook brighter, and another bullish outlook on solar 2010 from Canadian Solar (CSIQ), which reported earnings on Wednesday morning.

By the afternoon, though, only JA Solar (JASO - Get Report) held onto its hefty level of a one-day share price gain, up over 6%, on trading of more than 6 million shares above its average daily volume.
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