Solar yelling match

Grist went ballistic over this WSJ article on the collapse of Spain's solar industry, but I'm not sure they really addressed the right points head-on. The story as I can tell it goes something like this:
WSJ: The sudden withdrawal of generous solar subsidies killed Spain's solar industry, which should be a cautionary tale for the U.S.

Grist: The U.S. solar subsidies in California are TOTALLY DIFFERENT than the Spanish subsidies, so conflating the two is a crime against humanity.
Yes, the subsidies are different, but they are still subsidies (as are Renewable Portfolio Standards). They are OK for now, but not forever. And despite Grist's blithe assertion that "Solar is getting cheap—cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives", even MIT seems a bit confused as to whether solar power is ready to compete with fossil fuel power generation on a level playing field (Geoff Styles runs the numbers and decides probably not). And ultimately, for solar to be a success, it needs to compete, and win, on a level playing field - subsidies can't last forever and won't do the trick alone. Which is why it will be interesting (and necessary) to see how the economics of truly large-scale solar installations like Desertec and this 2GW project in Inner Mongolia play out in practice. Few people are rooting for solar to stay expensive, but it is fair to want to see before believing that it won't.

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