With hefty rebates, an environmentally-conscious public, and plentiful sun, California has been a hub of solar installations for years. From large-scale solar power plants to solar-powered McMansions, sun power has moved firmly into the mainstream in the sunshine state. But despite considerable financial support at the State and federal level, California has yet to see the kind of cost reductions or mass adoptions that have swept Germany—the world-leader in solar power. John Farrell reports that what California needs more than ever is not more incentives, but rather more streamlined, efficient solar incentives that could cut California's solar costs 30% or more:
Given the solar cost disadvantage presented in both the value of incentives AND in the actual installed cost, renewable energy advocates in California should seriously question whether the current policy framework makes sense. The mish-mash of federal tax credits and state/utility rebates has not led to the same economies of scale and market maturity as Germany has accomplished with their CLEAN Contract (a.k.a. feed-in tariff).
Switching energy policies could save ratepayers billions.