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Just have a look how much money you get for your solar system on you roof for20 years. And of course who is paying that gift for the solar industry? Everybody. In Germany it's some kind of socialism in this part of the economy.
Being German, I prefer paying for photovoltaics systems on people's roofs rather than paying for the huge energy conglomerates to neutralize all the radioactive waste from their nuclear plants.
The point is that we also pay for all the other energy sources. I tmight be by nuclear waste, carrying the risk of an accident or just generally blowing green house gases into the atmosphere. Personally, I prefer to do it with money. Besides, Germany also invests heavely in wind energy. I can only hope that Switzerland is going a similar route.
I doubt that solar energy will ever be a big part of the electricity produced that's impossible... (what do u do during the night and during long winter with weak sunshine ??). Windmills are cheaper and have a future. BTW germany is going to close nuclear plants nice for politics but they are going to use much more Gaz and Coal to produce electricity... is this really green ?
I firmly believe that innovation is good for the world
+Michaël Bonnet There are energy storage systems for the night/cloudy day problems. Think batteries, or gravity storage. Pump water to an elevation while energy is abundant (sunshine) and use gravity to generate hydroelectric power when needed to supplement. Energy use is always higher during the day (daylight) hours, so if the proliferation of solar makes it so there are a few less "traditional" power plants, it's a good move. There is not one sustainable energy source that wins, it'll take a "concert" of all types to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
The problem with alternative energy sources like solar and wind is the ever popular "not in my backyard" response. No one wants wind turbines blocking their view or solar panels littering the landscape near them. Of course this was the case with coal, oil and nuclear too.
If i had 50 grand, i would definately put a solar array on top of my house, and geo thermal heating/AC in my backyard.

If your house is self sufficient enough the electricity company pays you for whatever you dont use.
And the payback time for your investment of the 50 grand would be measured in decades +Brent Mifsud 
+Brent Mifsud I agree, it has reached the point where the efficiency makes it feasible. The cost barrier remains. Google "Solar Leasing", it may work for you. 
+Michael Tefft His Utility bill would go from an expense to an income. Tell me again, how this would be a bad thing?
Hello? At a cost of 50 thousand dollars. +John Kirsopp How is that a wise investment? Save 50 dollars a month at a cost of 50 thousand dollars. Guess my math is different from yours.
Germany, the language of ...
Well, it would sound like someone oppressing me if they were speaking poetic prose.
Just an observation 
+Michael Tefft 50 Grand may be a overstatement. Financing the geothermal would be about $40-50 per month. Leasing the Solar would take that down to about the same.
The figure I used was the one he used +John Kirsopp He was talking about installing solar and geothermal for heating, etc. I was simply pointing out that the price barrier as it currently stands for alternative energy, especially solar, is prohibitive unless co-opted in some manner.
I think the investment would be worth it, especially on those 40 degree Celsius summer days where the power has gone out due to the crazy use of air conditioning.
My family has had solarthermal and photovoltaic modules on their roof for some 15 years now. Financially, it is only now starting to pay off, that's true. But if everyone thinks in such terms we'll never get away from conventional (i.e. dirty and non-sustainable) energy sources.
 Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to spend money on something that takes over 15 years to recoup. Reality rears its ugly head.
+Michael Tefft And that's why we need subsidies or interest-free loans from government or from the electricity utilities.
I agree +mathew murphy The problem is that those subsidies or interest-free loans are not free. Someone, (taxpayers or consumers) is paying for them. Time to pony up.
Well, we're already paying to subsidize the oil industry, so I suggest we just shift that money into subsidizing renewables instead.
The problem +mathew murphy is that unfortunately, it takes oil to produce everything that goes into generating solar, wind, etc. Without oil to, so to speak, grease the wheels of industry, the other forms of energy would be unattainable. Sort of a Catch 22.
I'm not suggesting eliminating oil. I'm suggesting eliminating subsidies to the oil industry.
+Michael Tefft The loans in Germany are actually not free, and with the low borrowing cost of the government they should come out at least cost neutral.
Germany is going to survive the energy crisis.
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