Cenk Uygur: "Don't you want to check anything? I know it's Fox News. I know it's a fact-free zone. But do you really want to go on national TV and say that Germany gets more sun than the United States?"
Here's more from Steve Benem:
Let's unpack this a bit, because energy policy is awfully important, and anyone who watched the Fox segment might be confused right about now.
First, Germans do not get more sun than Americans. In fact, every American state other than Alaska gets far more sun every year than Germany does. Fox's report had this backwards.
Second, the Obama administration's subsidies to the solar industry haven't failed; they've vastly improved domestic solar output and expanded the industry's reach. So, Fox's report had this backwards, too.
And third, if anyone who cares about reality wants to know the real reason Germany's solar industry is ahead of ours, it's because the German government has invested heavily in environmental technology. Indeed, Max Greenberg's report flagged this Bloomberg Businessweek report from a few months ago.
Unlike the U.S., Germany has a national solar policy, a quick, inexpensive permitting process, and a national mandate that utilities sign up rooftop installations under what's known as a feed-in tariff--essentially a long-term contract whereby the utilities agree not just to allow the solar on their grids but also to buy the excess power from consumers.
In other words, the Fox segment might as well have come with an "Opposite Day" disclaimer.
Do you wonder why Fox 'News' viewers are more ignorant than people who don't watch any news at all? Well, this is a good example why.
I'll also point out that this is how we should be doing it, too. Instead of building massive solar power plants in fragile desert environments, we should be putting solar panels on every roof.
Put it close to where we need it, and use up some of that space that's not used for anything else, anyway.