On the German FIT, I agree that Germany installed too much solar, they would have reached grid parity with 10% of the solar amount
I was slightly surprised. Shah was the CEO of the “Carbon War Room”. If he knows we are in a war on carbon, with potentially all life on the planet at stake, how can there be something like “too much solar”?
After some discussion, he followed up with this:
I agree but had Germany adopted California’s volume based incentive reduction its moral duty would have been achieved for 50% less
I am not familiar with the California program, so I had a look.
First off, they only got to 1.4 GW until now, with much better solar resources than Germany. That does not impress me as a model worth following. Maybe their program is worth some attention once they get at least 10 GW, some time after 2020 at current pace.
I then looked at the handbook the California government published to find out what “volume based incentive reduction” is.
I am not sure I have understood that system very well. Looking at the explanation at page 5, it looks like they have radically reduced the benefits at ridiculously low levels. No wonder they don’t get anywhere compared to Germany.
But the basic idea seems to be to reduce the benefits as more solar gets installed.
That is of course also happening in Germany, though at a very much larger scale. Right now reductions are 2.5% each month, because installations still are at healthy levels.
And, of course, no one knows what would have happened in an alternative universe where Germany had adopted the California policy. Possibly it might have been cheaper.
But, seriously, who cares? The cost of German solar feed-in tariffs of about 2.5 euro a month per capita is completely irrelevant in comparison to the cost of unchecked global warming. And you need a magnifying glass to spot it in the average households’ consumption.
What we do know, however, is that Germany has beat California by a factor of over twenty in installation records. And that is what has brought the price down to levels where solar is starting to displace coal in China, where it counts most.