What marks out both the entire renewable energy sector for economic decline above all else is the fact that it is effectively an expensive government-sponsored enterprise, not a child of the free and democratic marketplace. Consider again the elements colluding to produce the current crisis: the lifeline of public subsidy, energy levies and taxes and market-skewing regulation dove-tailing with incentivized over-capacity, protectionism and, ultimately, trade wars. All marks of an industry kept afloat by ideological fiat and not free market capitalism geared to meeting actual market need.
To gain a final key perspective, a report by United Nations Environment Programme in June announced that global renewable energy investment generally reached $257 billion in 2011 rivalling the $302 billion invested in hydrocarbon power. Germany alone has committed over €100 billion in solar subsidies over the next 20 years – for a power that will produce a very small energy return. In total, renewable energy, of which solar is just a tiny fraction, makes up just 3 percent of our electricity.
As the green utopian clouds obscuring the real cost of ‘free’ solar power clear, it’s easy to see why the industry is in eclipse.