Germany kicks some serious U.S. butt on solar

german-us-solareditors-blog-entry3If you’re a solar geek (like me ;-), you’ve probably read that Germany saw about three gigawatts of new solar installations in the month of December alone, or more than two times as much new solar installed as was installed in the entire U.S. in all of 2011.

This, in a country about 1/23rd the size of the lower 48 U.S. and in a country that gets, on average, about as much sun as the state of Alaska.

Feed-in tariff
Germany has stoked incredible solar growth with a so-called feed-in tariff which means solar system owners get paid a pre-determined and substantial amount for every kWh of electricity their system produces. In the process, Germany’s also managed to reduce per watt solar costs to about half of what they are in the United States.

There’s really only one good explanation for the tremendous German-American solar disparity: Political will.

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The people of Germany truly and genuinely want a renewable energy future.

Who wants solar more?
The people of the USA?

Well, a good portion of us genuinely desire a renewable energy future – some polls show 90%, or more, of Americans want more solar. But the fact of the matter is that the Germans clearly want it more.

That’s great for them, but not so good for us, especially considering what a tremendous potential energy resource the sun is in the U.S. as compared to Germany (see the graphic at the top of this story).

C’mon America – it’s time to wake up to the power of the sun and work as hard as the Germans to tap it! And, in the process, we can show the world who’s No. 1 – in a category that we can be proud of.

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