Given the incredible layer of subsidies found in the European countries, I've decided to collect "result" oriented articles here, in that Europe may well validate or disprove my contentions against subsidies.
January, 2014: Spain yanks the subsidy rug from solar PV. (Source). Compare what's happening in Spain to the "solar mania" on Wall Street. (Source).
March, 2013: European countries lead the world in Solar PV investment. (Source).
January, 2013: France to double its PV target. And Ireland & the U.K. will cross-border share renewable electricity. (Source).
Germany as of September, 2011: A total of 18.4 GW of Solar PV has been installed. "Depending on size and type of the system, remuneration for solar power ranges from 21 to just under 29 €cents per kWh, but over the past two and a half years it has been reduced by 40-50 percent. In the coming years, reductions of another 24 percent at most are planned, depending on the scale of market growth." Also,"Germany’s decision to shut down its more than 20 GW of nuclear plants is expected to increase the country’s solar generation capacity significantly, above the anticipated growth of 32 GW by 2020." (Source).
Finally: "According to preliminary estimates from the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW), Germany’s renewable energy output in the first quarter of 2011 reached 28.1 TWh (compared with 24.9 TWh in the first quarter of 2010) and accounted for 19.2 percent of total German electricity consumption (compared with 17.1 percent in 2010). PV accounted for 1.9 percent (compared with one percent in 2010)." (Source).
I find the 19.2% figure impressive. I'd love to know how much of that is sustainable once subsidies (hence, artificial price supports) are stripped away. More importantly, I'd love to see an analysis about the net "green gain" once Solar PV's variability problem is addressed (i.e., how much brown power is reduced for each percentage increase in green power, bearing in mind the fact that green must be blended with base-load brown to ensure a steady, base-load flow of electricity to German customers).