hot_french_man saidTake in count that Germany can run with solar energy, only because they buy a lot of energy to France. They want to be ecological, but they never tell that they buy a lot of nuclear generated electricity.
Germany's climate is also rather moderate, compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Air conditioning isn't quite as useful there as it is elsewhere.
That said, the usual American approach of large-scale electrical generation doesn't particularly mesh with solar or wind power technologies. Those are a better fit for decentralized and extremely local installations, such as solar panels and/or small turbines on roofs.
Another model that has apparently been meeting with success is semi-decentralized solar fields--so instead of having to go through the permit process etc. for an area the size of twenty football fields, smaller open areas within or near existing communities are converted to solar fields. This simplifies the permit process, generates power closer to the consumer, and requires less in the way of start-up funds per project.
This is true, as I work in architecture. Obtaining a solar power permit, one of the first questions you are asked in dealing with a arduous village board is whether a neighbor already has it or not.
I like this concept that the public could be seriously investigation into some form of self power generating. All these technologies are in their baby stages, maybe a bit further. Imagine 30 years from now, 75% of the USA, using solar, wind and geothermal, to generate say 85% of the electricity. This concept makes the electric company obsolete, but they could change their services to the solar, wind and thermal power equipment maintenance (new jobs) or just move into something else.