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The German parliament yesterday approved long-expected cuts to solar energy incentives prompting US shares in solar companies to tumble amid fears that demand from one of the world’s largest markets for solar panels will now fall.

The Bundestag voted in favour of a 16 per cent cut to feed-in tariff incentives for solar rooftop installations, as well as an 11 per cent reduction in incentives for solar installations on conversion sites and the scrapping of support for solar installations on agricultural land.

A spokesman said the cuts will now come into force from 1 July, once the legislation has passed through parliament’s second chamber, the Bundesrat.

Shares in three of the world’s largest solar firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange – Trina Solar, Yingli Green Energy Holding Co and Suntech Power Holdings Co – fell by between 12.03 and 15.15 per cent on the back of the announcement.

Although the cuts were expected, the fall in stock prices reflected fears that the cuts will slow the global solar industry’s burgeoning recovery and undermine one of Europe’s largest renewable energy markets.

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