The government plans to halve state subsidies for solar panel schemes of up to 4 kilowatts (KW) from December 12, 2011 and will from April next year impose minimum energy efficiency standards on buildings applying for solar feed-in tariffs (FITs), the energy ministry said on Monday.

The plummeting costs of solar mean we've got no option but to act so that we stay within budget and not threaten the whole viability of the FITs scheme, said Energy Minister Greg Barker.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps)