France’s government may be having difficulties on agreeing how to pay for, or at least appearing to pay for, their expensive and unsustainable socialist state, but never fear, greenies — unaffordable ‘renewable energy’ standards and subsidies will absolutely not fall prey to the awful specter of financial reality. European demand in general is falling off in the face of everyone’s persistent fiscal woes, but France is prioritizing with some emergency measures to bail out their sickly solar business:

France has doubled its capacity target for photovoltaic power generation and offered more financial support to small solar power farms that use European-made panels in a bid to rescue the country’s ailing solar industry. …

The government estimated the annual cost at between 90 and 170 million euros, to be levied on consumers through the existing CSPE tax on power bills. …

France is slowly embracing heavily-subsidized renewable energy, such as wind and sun power, which accounts for 13 percent of energy consumption, well below the 23 percent target set by former President Nicolas Sarkozy for 2020. …

France is also trying to reduce its reliance on foreign-made solar panels, after cheap Chinese modules flooded the French market, prompting cries of unfair competition and creating a 1.35 billion euro trade deficit for the sector in 2011. …

I have no doubt that solar energy does indeed have a legitimate place in the global economy, but why do all of these oh-so-enlightened redistributionist governments (very much including our own) seem so bound and determined to prevent us from figuring out what that place might be? The relentless market-signal distortion is hardly a way to encourage price efficiency and productive competition, and slapping all of these taxpayer-funded band-aids on the industry is hardly doing solar energy any long-term favors.

One of President Obama’s justifications for providing subsidies, standards, and tariffs that ‘help’ our own solar energy industry is that China ‘unfairly’ subsidizes their solar outfit, meaning that we have to accordingly subsidize our industry just to keep up. …If everybody was jumping off of a bridge, would you do it, too? China is all too aptly demonstrating precisely why it is not a good idea to fiddle with incentives and pump so much public money into a politically-favored industry, but the governments of the world just can’t seem to stop themselves from rushing to double down on stupid.

Today, the solar industry worldwide is suffering from oversupply, weak demand, and depressed prices, and many of China’s solar manufacturers are fighting huge financial losses, debt, and bankruptcy. …

Yet China has also saturated the solar industry with overcapacity. A recent solar market research report released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Association reveals that global solar manufacturing capacity stands at 70 gigawatts, even though only an estimated 31 gigawatts are needed. China is responsible for much of the glut, and as another GTM report cited by the New York Times indicates, Chinese companies alone had the ability to manufacture 50 gigawatts of solar panels last year. …

In addition, polysilicon, the essential raw material for photovoltaic cell and module products, went from severe shortage to growth in worldwide manufacturing capacity beginning in 2010. As polysilicon became more abundant, the prices of solar products dropped, causing the profit margins of solar companies, including Chinese ones, to plummet.