Governments subsidize Solar PV in many ways, and perhaps the most significant and pervasive is through a Feed In Tariff (FIT), which is a stealth tax by any other name (the utility just passes that cost onto its ratepayers). Politicians and their bureaucrats simply declare that a utility must pay a grid-tied, Solar PV electricity producer X pennies per KWH of energy produced. My utility pays me $.08/KWH, but FITs as high as $.51/KWH have been paid in places like Germany. The utility is a monopoly, so it doesn't care, just pass the cost onto its captive customers -- a point this fellow conspicuously avoids in his pro-FIT article.
Here's a useful article on the topic; it collects FIT rates from around the world. Check out the chart showing $.79/KWH paid in Switzerland, and $.78 in Ontario, Canada. I'm getting rooked!
Here's a column advocating FITs in the USA as the best pro-growth policy for Solar PV.
Here's a good read on FIT's (Feed in Tariffs) and how they work.
A really smart fellow's asking FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) to step in and establish a national FIT standard here.
Here's an organization with pretty cool graphics -- they "grade" states on their FIT policies.
Here's their summary of Georgia's policies (they give Georgia an "F"). Here's a follow-up by that org.
Japan is now jumping into Feed In Tariff's big time: "Utilities will pay 42 yen (AUD 52.4 cents) per kilowatt-hour for at least 20 years to owners of solar power systems. Whilst the price for wind power will be set at a minimum of 23.1 yen per kWh, compared with as low as 4.87 euro cents (6 U.S. cents) in Germany."
Here's a book that is very useful reading and basically illustrates how FITS can work positive results.
The Californians, says this columnist, are doing one better -- FITs with a community-participation twist.
Here's a positive analysis of cap-and-trade, which basically taxes pollution sources, thus elevates brown-power energy and, of course, lowers demand in the process. The analysis touts that as a positive result, which of course depends on whose pocket's being drained for the cost-side of that scheme. Here's a more comprehensive article on it.
Here's a piece explaining why (yes, politics) there are such large differences between reverse-meter rates (hence, FITS) in Georgia, Alabama, and TVA-territories.