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Sunny Germany?

Only on Fox News. Why let reality get in the way of defending the stranglehold large multinational oil companies have on our energy future?

Fox and Friends was ridiculing Obama’s “failed” strategy to promote solar energy in the US, but there was the little detail of Germany to contend with. Germany is leading the world in switching to solar power. So they asked their “expert” guest why solar power was working so well in Germany when it failed here in the US. The “expert” response? “They get a lot more sun than we do.” California might get sun now and then, “but here on the East Coast, it’s just not going to work.”

There’s just one problem. I live in the Pacific Northwest (famous for cloudy weather) and we get more sunshine than Germany. According the US Department of Energy, virtually the entire continental US gets more sun than even the sunniest part of Germany.

Watch it yourself:

UPDATE: A Fox News “expert” apology. Definitely fair and balanced. Not.



  1. Dan wrote:

    From an article specifically on PV efficacy: (sadly not open access)

    Nuff said.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 2:28 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Another map showing solar resources, directly comparing the US and Germany —

    I guess Germany’s real advantage compared to the US is that they don’t have to contend with idiots on Fox News.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink
  3. Duckman wrote:

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Duckman, thanks for that excellent Motley Fool article. So not only did Fox News get a plain fact about sunshine in Germany dead wrong, the whole point of their show was ludicrous — that solar power is a bad investment.

    Some day, we are going to discover that Fox News is actually owned by Saudi terrorist lovers who are trying purposely to destroy the US. Oh wait, we already know that!

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink
  5. zip zero nada wrote:

    We were in Germany in Oct, drove from Munich to Frankfurt to Berlin. Solar farms everywhere and windmills everywhere. Does that mean they have more wind, too?

    The real difference between Germany and the US? They don’t have The Party of NO.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink
  6. Duckman wrote:

    A good quote from my MF link: . The cost to produce a module has fallen 54% in the past three years, and the cost to produce solar energy is now less than it cost to buy it from the grid in some places. Going green isn’t just a political game anymore — it’s economic reality.

    The reason Germany is so much better than the US in the solar game is because they gambled on solar well over a decade ago and it is paying off now.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    ZZN, we might have a slight advantage in wind, but only because of all the media and political blow-hards we have here.

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    ZZN: They have more wind, but we have more hot air!

    And that’s why I remain anonymous!

    Monday, February 18, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  9. ebdoug wrote:

    I wanted to put up a windmill. I live where there is wind. I wanted off the grid. The company in California quoted me 25K for one on the grid (that is with no installation) So I opted for the 9K one off grid. “Those don’t work very well,” I was told. I guess the US is not ready for solar/wind power. Meanwhile as soon as I moved from my parents when I was 19 in 1964 and left all their conveniences, I started using solar/wind to dry the clothes and haven’t stopped through four children (one not mine) and no disposable diapers when they were in. Two years ago I got my wringer washer(made in Saudi Arabia). I can do six to nine loads of wash with two fillings of water and one half a cup of soap for the whole six to nine loads. We are supposed to run out of drinking water soon, yet mos use two fillings of water and one scoop of soap for EACH load of wash.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink
  10. Lewtoo wrote:

    Joshi retraction- And then puts it in more honest terms.

    FOX ought to air the retraction as well-

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  11. Michael wrote:

    What a freaking tool. Here is the link to her retraction:

    Her mea culpa: “I incorrectly stated that the chief difference between the U.S. and Germany’s success with solar installations had to do with climate differences.” That seems like an awfully polite way of saying, “I spewed complete nonsense that I pulled out of my rectum.”

    Of course you know she’s a hack when starts her “retraction” with political jabs and references to Solyndra as a “scandal.” Solyndra is only a scandal to Fox News viewers and people who don’t understand how basic research is funded. Solyndra didn’t fail because of corruption or incompetence. It failed because a competing technology (heavily underwritten and subsidized by governments in China and Germany) produced similar results for lower costs.

    I find it ironic when free market zealots always lavish praise on innovators and those who take chances. Solyndra took chances and developed a new technology. However, they had the audacity to fail against socialist-backed institutions. The horror.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Michael, thanks for posting that. Everyone should read her “apology” — what an absolute tool.

    Or if you are too lazy to read it, it is “blah blah blah (mumble) blah blah blah”. The mumble is her apology, and the “blah” parts are her spewing more complete nonsense she pulled out of her ass, which basically translates into “we should be subsidizing energy sources that already make lots of money like natural gas and nuclear”. The whole point of subsidies is that they are used to promote something that is not already viable on its own. That’s why China and Germany are subsidizing solar, to great success.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink