Government subsidies for solar energy in Germany have reached absurd proportions, as ordinary consumers pay out billions to support solar power. Now plans to reduce the subsidies are encountering massive resistance from the industry and a number of German states, which benefit from the current arrangement. . .Even ignoring the massive solar-subsidy fraud, solar power is an energy drain, not a source. With even Der Spiegel now catching-on, Democrats are almost the only remaining solar subsidy true believers.
[L]awmakers have overshot the mark by far, at least when it comes to subsidies for solar energy. Anyone who installs solar panels benefits from guaranteed feed-in tariffs for the next 20 years. That means that, over a 20-year period, Germany's electricity customers will pay a total of around €14 billion in subsidies -- just for the solar panels that were installed in 2009. And that cost is likely to rise in the future, because Germans are mounting more and more solar collectors on their roofs. Economists estimate that all the solar panels installed by 2013 will cost German consumers more than €70 billion. Thanks to the generous subsidy program, crops on some fields have been replaced with arrays of shimmering, bluish modules mounted on automated stands and tilted toward the sun. And all of this is being done for an amount of electricity that meets only 1.1 percent of German demand.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
From the April 22nd Der Spiegel: