Here's an article, citing a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory, that explains why solar is so much more popular/feasible in
Germany compared to the U.S. The primary reason: Soft costs, i.e. the costs involved in getting the system installed.
Link to article
Note this quote in particular:
For one thing, it isn’t mainly about the hardware, or the panels themselves. Those costs are comparable. The difference comes almost entirely in
“soft costs” — customer acquisition, labor, interconnection to the grid, and the like. Long story short, when it comes to residential solar, in
the U.S. it costs a little bit more to do … just about everything.
And this one:
Most of those differences can be attributed to policy, either directly or indirectly. PV installations don’t pay sales tax in Germany. Rules
governing permitting and interconnection are much simpler. And of course there’s the biggie, which is German feed-in tariffs, whereby customers who
install rooftop solar are guaranteed a high rate of return for the lifetime of the system.
With almost none of those incentives available in the U.S., and the average cost of a solar system in the neighborhood of $20,000 and up, this
supposed "cheap" renewable energy isn't so cheap.
But then here comes the $0 down solar lease! Hooray! As long as your credit score is pretty good (roughly the same credit score you'd need to get a
0% interest loan on a car, when they used to offer them), they'll stick the system on your roof for free and maintain it for you. Sounds great,
It would be, except for the fact that it's a lease, not ownership, and you are not producing the energy for yourself, which, if you were, would
effectively make your monthly electric bill $0, and any surplus you don't use would be bought from you by your local power company. No, instead,
you're actually paying THEM for the energy your system generates, but at a modest discount compared to your normal utility, out of the kindness of
You pay them for what it generates, you get a reduction in your monthly electric bill, and they get to sell what you don't use to the power company
at a profit.
Solar isn't working in America because of America's unique ability to take useful technology and price it out of reach by being greedy, which then
lends to the vultures coming in and letting you rent it from them at a profit.
Who cares if some vapid talking head spouted something about less sunlight, when the real conspiracy here is the bureaucracy and greed within the
"clean" energy sector itself.