Some more astonishing stats on the progress Germany is making on solar power thanks to good, steady and predictable renewable energy policy: Greentech Media shares the astonishing fact that in the month of December alone Germany installed 2 GW of solar PV. For the whole of 2011, Germany installed 7 GW.
The US managed to install 1.7 GW in the same time period—which isn't to knock US installation rates so much as to further highlight the massive Germany push to install more PV before the feed-in tariff for it drop as planned.
Greentech Media characterizes the news:
That's good news and bad news. Good news because there is still demand for solar and Germany is amazingly efficient at deploying solar panels; bad news because it reveals the market distortions provoked by subsidies and fading subsidies.
There's a bit of market fundamentalism in that for sure.
If all subsidies were eliminated for fossil fuels (fat chance, especially in the US), and if all environmental costs were included in the price people pay for goods and services, then perhaps you've created a level playing field for energy and you can criticize giving clean energy additional financial incentives. But just perhaps.
Look, there will be always things that as a society we try to push more than others, in terms of what types of goods are produced and which are not. Right now we've tilted the board towards polluting sources of energy, production methods, and consumption of resources in general via consumerism and corporatism as state religion. Until that's corrected, we're going to have to give clean energy a little help.
(h/t Think Progress)