the German feed in tariffs for solar energy are cut every year and solar nstallations are stll growing. The German solar boom started at roughly 40-54ct/kWh in the year 2004 and in 2012 the feed in tariffs will be 13,5-19ct/kWh, depending on the size of the solar power plant.
We are now developing markets that work without any subsidies. I already pay 25ct/kWh for my electricity, so
PV is already cheaper than electricity from the grid. This is also true for small companies, super marktes and so on. But you need to use that electricity when the sun is shining. For some users that works quite fine, because they can consume every solar kWh they produce imidiatly, others need to the feed in tarrifs to give away excessive solar power to the grid.
Btw, we now have large companies building renewable energy systems for their facilities. BMW will make the new electric car i3 n a new factory in Lepizig where they will also build 4 large wind power plants and use that electricity directly and for the first charge of the car batteries.
Even without the wind plants the new factory uses a lot less electricity and water than previous factories. This is a side effect of expensive energy in Germany and a side effect, that you can sell the "green idea" to the public.
I now about a microchip company that plans to install solar on every roof top available on their facilities and also install a large battery system, because their peak demand is during hot summer days for cooling and they can already save money with photovoltaic. This is in cloudy Germany and for a company that uses as much electricity as a medium sized city.
If you install PV power plants in the middle east you will save more than 3 barrels of oil for your oil power plants. That's an additional export of roughly 350 US$/year and such a power plant now costs only 1500 US$/kWp in Germany (maybe 2000 US$/kWp in the middle east?)
You could replace many, many oil barrels directly with PV.
In Chile PV power plants are now cheaper than diesel power plants for remote mines.
In 10 years I assume / hope, that we (Germany) will be available to make more synthetic methane from excessive wind and solar energy than we now get out of our own small reserves.
I know about 10 planned (still small) systems with water electrolysis in Germany and I guess there are a lot more. We have no problems to generate enough electricity when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining (we exported lots of electricity during cold February, when demand was as high as 100GW in France and France hat not enough power, even after shutting down 8 nuclear reactors and even with natural gas shortage in southern Germany because of reduced gas exports from Russia. This was not without problems, but fact is, that nuclear France needed our electricity, not vice versa.).
Our much bigger problem is, that we have to much electricity from time to time, when the sun s shining and the wind is blowing. We get negative prices more and more often on the spot market, so we have a growing demand for systems that can make use of that excessive electricity. Pump storage, batteries, electric cooling and heating... Electric cars are not available in great numbers, they are way to late to be useable as smart demand system in the coming years.
So why not making hydrogen instead of throwing away that electricity but switching of wind and solar power plants. (which already happens sometimes).
80% conversation rate? So what? Better than 0% conversation rate.
The insolvencies in the solar industry are expected. In the end there will be maybe 10 large manufacturers of solar panels world wide and if all of them are in China, so let it be. Maybe 1 or 2 German solar panel manufacturers will survive , maybe 2-3 more where solar is part of a large portfolio like Bosch.
That's ok, survival of the fittest. We believe that those, that can do it the best way should survive. We want cheap solar energy and we can now produce solar energy in cloudy Germany in MW power plants for 10ct/kWh thanks to Chinese factories that sell solar panels at a loss.
There is still money to be made from inverters, silicium, glass, plastic sheets, in the planning and installation process, the installation material and sooner or later also electricity storage systems.
We have a lot of public and poltical discussion about solar panles, but these people do not undestand the solar market. To make the panels from the raw products now only is 10-20% of the cost of a solar system (and currently the money to be made of it even negative for >95% of all companies), so why focus of insolvencies n the solar modul industry.
Let the Chinese make the panels f they can make it cheaper. They also make socks, because the can do this cheaper.
Focus on making things where we still have some technological advantage, like hydrogen electrolysis from excessive electricity. This is a "problem" guess the Chinese will not have for the next 10-20 years, but we are having now.
The same people that are whing about not enough efficiency, to high costs and other problems are the same people that whined about photovoltaic, that was to expensive, not efficient and so on. They are now whining because solar panals are made in China.
Whiners do not win.
They really may end with a 40W systems and 2 bulbs.
The intersting thing is, that typically we Germany are the whiners and the Americans are the optimists.
You have a huge country with abundant wind and solar resources (much, much better than ours) and you have some dirt cheap gas to balance both in the switching period and enough coal to make so much plastics that you can cover the entire planet with it.
And stll you put almost all your money in campaignng against any climate protection, you are putting money in the nuclear industry, which could fill their promises during 60 years and you are opposing solutions that lay on your hand.
Why? Because you want to have ultra cheap energy until the last day and then you would want to live in some medieval collapse society farming your garden and feeding on your cans.
This are the things you are dreaming about, but making hydrogen out of wind is impossible?
Expensive fossil energy wll prevent us from buillding renewable systems?
Why do you think so? We now pay 1,70€/l of gasoline (roughly 8 US$/gallone) and the Autobahns are full of cars, some of them driving at 200km/h. I pay 25 €ct/kWh for my electricity and I can still whtach TV on the flat screen, surf the net, wash my clothes, cook and so on. If I have to pay 3€/l (15 US$/gallon) am able to do it, I am able to pay 50ct/kWh electricity and I have an income that is not so much above the average income.
Yes, I use my electric bike to go to work and I do not heat my whole home to +23°C during cold winter days. That's not, because I'm forced to do it, but because I want to do it.
Give me hydrogen/methane based on renewables for my car at an equivalent 15US$/gal and maybe I will buy that, give me deep geothermal heat at double my current heat prices (district heating from the waste heat from a gas power plant) I most likely will go for it. I already buy electricity that is made to 100% from wind, water and solar power plants in Germany.
Money is not a problem.
For the expenses our nations had for a war in Afghanistan that we already have lost we could have cut our oil use in half and creating millions of new jobs and being leaders in hydrogen production, renewable energy production, electric cars, hydrogen cars and whatever (or at least rebuilt some infrastructure in Afghanistan), instead we spent the money on bombs and soldiers. Don't tell me about lack of money or resources.