Philipp Rösler

Solar isn’t cheaper, or more effective, learn from Germany’s mistakes

The Green party wants to foist an energy policy upon New Zealand that is idiocy in the extreme. Industry sources say it is a hopelessly flawed policy, reliant on subsidies to work and even then it is based on a lie…that solar is cheap and effective.

Germany’s problems suggest the opposite.

Germany once prided itself on being the ?photovoltaic world champion?, doling out generous subsidies?totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany?s Ruhr University?to citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned and to phase out support over the next five years. What went wrong?

Subsidizing green technology is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the government?s generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed ?acceptable.? It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer?s annual power bill.

According to?Der Spiegel,?even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel?s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp R?sler, Germany?s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a ?threat to the economy.?

Germany?s enthusiasm for solar power is understandable. We could satisfy all of the world?s energy needs for an entire year if we could capture just one hour of the sun?s energy. Even with the inefficiency of current PV technology, we could meet the entire globe?s energy demand with solar panels by covering 250,000 square kilometers (155,342 square miles), about 2.6 percent of the Sahara Desert.? Read more »