Monday, February 11, 2013

Where the Sun Don't Shine

The Internet was abuzz last Friday with some astounding news: Germany has more sun than the United States!

That’s as reported by Fox business reporter Shibani Joshi last week on Fox and Friends, in a statement she’s probably been regretting ever since.

The good news about this news is that it’s simply not true. In fact, Germany has solar resources comparable to those of Alaska, while our mainland is more akin to sunny Spain: 

This image, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is by now a familiar sight to anyone who knows anything about solar -- a group that clearly doesn’t include Fox and Friends.

The same week, another Fox story also concluded that solar is on the decline. Why? Well, it’s clearly because solar is affordable only when the government “throws” billions in subsidies at it, which are now “being slashed.” At the same time, homeowners have been snapping up solar because of an influx of cheap panels from China. So, let me get this straight: The problem is that solar is not affordable without subsidies -- and also that it's so affordable that people are buying it in droves. There must be logic in there somewhere … right?

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