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Solar industry faces subsidy cuts in Europe (but zots are still delivered without gov't subsidy) ^ | March 18, 2012 | Michael Birnbaum and Anthony Faiola

Posted on 04/29/2012 6:55:17 PM PDT by Razzz42

Hanover, Germany — Shiny black solar panels are as common a sight as baroque church spires in this industrial hub, thanks to government subsidies that have helped make Germany a world leader in solar technology.

Now, sudden subsidy cuts here and elsewhere in Europe have thrown the industry into crisis just short of its ultimate goal: a price to generate solar energy that is no higher than fossil-fuel counterparts.

Across Europe, governments are slashing public spending to cut their deficits, and green-energy subsidies are a target, too, even as solar power accelerates in the United States, helped by sympathetic federal policies and an increase in subsidies that came as part of the federal stimulus program.

German policymakers indicated last week that they planned to cut once-generous subsidies as much as 29 percent by the end of the month, on top of a 15 percent cut in January, although some details were still being negotiated after protests from the solar industry. Britain and Italy have made similar moves, and in January, Spain abandoned its subsidies altogether, prompting outrage from the solar industry.

Just months ago, a solar firm planting a field of solar panels atop one of Hanover’s many sprawling warehouses would have been sure to turn a profit. Now, one solar developer who plans to do that says he’ll be lucky to break even now that the subsidies are drying up.

Advocates say that in sunny regions, solar energy is within several years of becoming cost-competitive with fossil-fuel power — if solar companies can stay in business in the meantime. Several companies have already declared bankruptcy. Others say they’ll give up on Europe and focus on developing countries, where poor infrastructure makes solar panels that work off the grid a cost-effective competitor to diesel generators...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: solar; subsidies
A bit dated but interesting none the less.
1 posted on 04/29/2012 6:55:28 PM PDT by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

Seems a bit short-sighted... What about all those high-paying jobs that will be lost? These aren’t subsidies... They are investments.

2 posted on 04/29/2012 6:58:33 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Razzz42
Just months ago, a solar firm planting a field of solar panels atop one of Hanover’s many sprawling warehouses would have been sure to turn a profit. Now, one solar developer who plans to do that says he’ll be lucky to break even now that the subsidies are drying up.

What they are really saying is that they never made a profit.

3 posted on 04/29/2012 7:04:06 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Razzz42
The US taxpayer has been throwing Billions of dollars
in subsidies to the Solar field for over thirty years
and it is still not cost-effective.

Ooops There is one: Wood Pellets stoves.

4 posted on 04/29/2012 7:04:33 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Razzz42

A lot of European countries are finding that windmills were a stupid idea, too.

5 posted on 04/29/2012 7:06:02 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Brilliant

6 posted on 04/29/2012 7:06:32 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: Razzz42

Just recently several people who worked for foreign wind turbine companies here in Texas have hastily gone home. My guess is that they left before the companies stranded them here. Without the subsidies here in the US, the business is drying up quickly.

7 posted on 04/29/2012 7:30:06 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: Razzz42

Physics and Economics destroy another stupid liberal delusion... And liberals call themselves “ the science people” LOL...

8 posted on 04/29/2012 7:40:07 PM PDT by jveritas (God bless our brave troops)
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To: Razzz42
The slippery slope argument is valid in some cases.

Revocation of DADT will do nothing good for morale, discipline, good order, OPSEC, or even the blood supply for the DoD. Ever notice how Manning's orientation was a “taboo” in the MSM?

Politicians go after the low hanging fruit to show their accomplishments. The DoD is a great and easy target for such games by the POTUS who can by decree simply impose his will since he is the Commander in Chief. Easy political capital for Obama that will help stitch his majority together by pandering to every minority: gays, young people under 26, welfare bunnies that get more and longer than ever, tree hugger, blacks, those that sympathize with the illegals (Latino vote), college students looking for a free lunch...

The majority has come to realize that they can vote themselves more entitlements and money, someone once wrote about that and what it will bring.

9 posted on 04/29/2012 8:49:31 PM PDT by Red6
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To: Razzz42
As of date-

It takes MORE energy to produce a solar cell (all input energy added up) than what this cell will produce in it's probable life time. As long as this is the case, it will NEVER be an economically viable nor even really a so called “green” solution.

The solar cell as of date is a lie. It's an entire industry that can only exist through government incentives that hide the real costs and create a de facto false price point where demand is greater than what it would really be in an entirely free market. It's a shell game where some businesses make money at the expense of the rest of society that ends up paying for it. Of course some politicians also benefit from hugging a solar cell or baby.

Special tax breaks for these industries, direct investments by government for establishing these businesses, stimulus money, subsidies through the Department of Energy for R&D, tax cuts for consumers that purchase these products, government purchases where cost benefit isn't considered (guaranteed purchase), government mandates on power producers that require a certain percentage of regenerative power (and by the government definition solar cells are “green” even though heavy metals are used in their production and they have a net negative energy balance)... It's a lie to where if this industry would have to stand on her own two feet and compete, it would implode; here in the US, too.

10 posted on 04/29/2012 9:04:23 PM PDT by Red6
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To: Red6

You can apply what you said to the nuclear industry which will never be profitable in the long run owing its success to government mandates subsidized by taxpayers.

Cut out all the incentives and solar output just cost more so is not attractive, yet.

In Germany, the plan is to end nuclear power and makeup grid needs in part with solar. They already surpassed a short term goal of 3% solar power into the grid and now are cutting back or eliminating incentives. Not what I would call a complete failure.

Other than installation and hookup, solar is a passive system for an estimated 20 years or so not counting any rare earth used in manufacturing. Could potentially put people out of work or hurt public utility profits.

Here in San Diego, solar installations are going so well with meters running backwards during the day that SDG&E (Sempre Energy) wanted to charge solar paneled homes a fee for grid maintenance, claiming solar enjoys using the grid without paying for its maintenance. Read that as taking a bite out of their profits even though the infrastructure was financed with public monies and government wants you to use alternative energies.

Solar panels feed the local neighborhood no further than the nearest substation. The PUC (Public Utilities Commission) denied the rate increase.

11 posted on 04/29/2012 10:09:29 PM PDT by Razzz42
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To: jveritas

“Physics and Economics destroy another stupid liberal delusion...”



12 posted on 04/29/2012 10:11:32 PM PDT by EyeGuy (Non-Holder person.)
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To: Razzz42
What are you talking about?

1. The Germans “import” the net difference in power they don't produce from France, the later of which produces roughly 70% of their power from nuclear. Your argument appeals to ignorance, i.e. if you don't know better it sounds good. Sort of like when the typical liberal argues that socialism does work after all in some obscure place that no one really knows much about. Germany also pays per unit of power more than we do and the fact is MOST of their domestic produced power comes from burning brown coal (the bad stuff) or gas they import from Russia which they have managed to make themselves dependent on.

2. Nuclear is electrically capable of producing more than you put into it, solar isn't. The cost factor you address has to do with initial start up costs and the insurance, i.e. costs associated if something goes wrong. The government acts as a de facto under writer for the risk associated with nuclear power because no one can do that other than a government, the stakes and costs are to high. That does not mean that the government subsidies or that it's not cost effective to have nuclear power, it's just that mathematically no one out there has the type of money required to handle a Fukushima if it does happen. Risk is magnitude x probability, and the magnitude is so extraordinarily high that no insurance company in the world can handle something like this.

These green energy alternatives, to include wind power, are abject failures. They are good sounding, feel good nonsense that politicians want to get photographed in front of, but they are neither cost effective nor even in some cases capable of producing more power than you have to put into them to make them work, i.e. the photocell. You then in typical form go into the realm of hypothetical with the idea that these alternative power sources simply aren't cost effective “yet.” More nonsense. I need power today, not theoretically in 10 years. I want to keep my family cool in Texas, and warm in the winter. I prefer driving to work, not walking. I don't care about hypothetical feel good crap that derives it's entire weight from emotions.

13 posted on 05/05/2012 1:17:15 PM PDT by Red6
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