Interesting ... is it all propaganda? had an item in my inbox this morning which was, ala the old Arsenio Hall show, a “thing that makes you go hmmmm”. If you have a somewhat similar data stream over on Facebook to what I see, you’re frequently foisted “image memes” about how wonderful the German solar program is … and, not having investigated this at all, I’ve always sort of shrugged and figured “good for them”. However, this morning was a piece from the question-and-answer web site Quora that was rather damning about the economics of the German program.

Make sure to hit the “more” link at the end of the part which shows on the page, as all the interesting graphs are “below the fold” … as well as the counter-to-perception figure that Germany, despite its trillion-euro solar push, still gets less than 5% of of its electricity from solar … and this amazing data point:

38% of Germany’s “renewable energy” comes from chopping down forests and importing wood from other countries. … Due to overzealous renewables targets, and a quirk in the EU carbon pricing system that considers firewood carbon-neutral, Europe is chopping down forests at an alarming rate to burn them as “renewable biomass.”

Yep, 38% coming from coal plants. Not exactly the story that the Al Gores of this world would want getting out.

Again, I’ve not looked into this in depth, but I do have to admit that any info that’s too “rainbows & unicorns”, especially coming from governmental or quasi-governmental sources, I tend to figure is there for the rubes, and the real info probably reflects something nearly 180° from the “official version” and will only become clear if one “follows the money”!

Although we’ve not gotten credentials yet, there’s a chance we may be covering the Solar Power show coming up in a couple of weeks, in which case I’ll likely be coming out of that with a lot more context on this question … but in the meanwhile, I found this piece from Quora fascinating in how it breaks down the drumbeat of the on-going web meme propaganda!

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